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Arches National Park, located in the Moab region of eastern Utah, is a highlight of any trip to the Southwest, especially for families with children. The park is also a haven for adventure travel and adrenaline junkies. Compared to other National Parks in the region, the highlights can be seen within a day or two. The bright red rock against the deep blue sky is an iconic southwestern sight enjoyed by all ages. This National Park features 2,000 sandstone arches, the worlds highest concentration of natural sandstone arches, including the most famous arch in the park, Delicate arch. In a desert climate, millions of years of erosion have led to these structures, while the ground has life-sustaining soil crust and potholes. Other geologic formations are stone columns, spires, fins, and towers. If you are short on time, you can take the scenic drive past many viewpoints to snap a quick picture. With more time, make sure to to check out the various hiking trails the park has to offer. There are plenty of short hikes that are great for including the Delicate Arch Trail and Delicate Arch Viewpoint Trail (the iconic arch on the Utah license plates), the Park Avenue Trail, and trails in the windows section of the park such as Turret Arch Trail, Double Arch Trail or South Window Viewpoint. If you are feeling adventurous (and energetic), try the Devil's Garden Primitive Trail. Along this loop trail you will see such wonders as Tunnel Arch, Pine Tree Arch, Landscape Arch, Partition Arch, Navajo Arch, Double O Arch, and Dark Angel. Landscape arch is the largest arch on earth and should not be missed! Other notable features in the park include balanced rock, a large boulder that appears to be balancing 128 feet in the air and is a quick hike off of the road. Fiery Furnace, named such from the reddish glow at sunset that resembles a furnace is another great option. This ranger guided tour requires a permit from the visitor center. If you are hoping to avoid crowds, Broken arch is a less frequented spot in the park. The park is undergoing major road construction in 2017 so visitors should expect road closures.

So glad we took the trail down from the overlook. All the elevation gain is right at the trailhead on the south end, but they have installed steps that make it very doable. On a Saturday in January we pretty much had the trail to ourselves.

My husband and I took the route counterclockwise and decided to use the primitive trail to return. I would not necessarily recommend that way in the winter as it involves walking quite a bit in the shade behind the rock walls and some scrambling on ice near the end. That said, we got some wonderful pictures and it was much quieter on that stretch of the trail. It only adds another 1/4 mile to the route.

Take the 10 minutes to walk up under these two arches even though you can see it from the road. It is stunning up close.

Beautiful, relatively flat trail. This would be an absolute breeze in warmer weather, but if you plan on visiting in the next few weeks or anytime there is snow on the ground, there is a good chance you will be walking on some very icy patches. Nothing too treacherous as there are no dropoffs on this trail, but you could land on your butt if not careful. I would recommend actual hiking boots and even poles if you need some extra help.

Did this yesterday. Having microspikes for the last bit of the trail made a great difference. Watched several people slip and nearly fall off the side because they did not have proper footwear. My husband had to help several navigate the ice. It’s a great hike. It’s just stressful (or maybe just as a mom) to watch the seeming lack of care or observation, particularly among younger children, around the arch, cliffs, and the bowl near the arch. We also found and packed out plenty of litter left by others. Just not a lot of trail etiquette or outdoor best practices. Still, this was a great time of year to do the hike (had a lovely 50 degree, sunny day). I can’t imagine doing it during busier, or hotter, months.

Went today with 3 girlfriends- started about 12:30pm. Going up was notable slick with people taking extra care heading down. By the time we headed down, everything was slicked over and polished up and it was VERY treacherous (sit and slide down).

Great hike to the arch. Glad to have microspikes for the last bit of trail since it was really icy and steep.

hiking
3 days ago

If you’re hiking it in the winter be sure to have traction straps to put on your shoes for the icy parts. If you want it to be extra incredible, begin your hike at sunset and reach the top to see the stars. The Milky Way is visible & it’s unbelievably stunning. It’s a must do at night!

great short loop for pictures. 3 arches on it. easy.

Epic trail. Backpacked thousands of miles and usually the signs warn of difficulty when there is no need. however, this trail is not difficult perse, but it definitely has some seriously sketchy parts to it. .. atleast in winter. trail would be much easier in summer... though hotter.

hiking
6 days ago

Did this on the way to landscape arch. Worth the side hike! We also went at the perfect time when the sun was shining through the arch!

Did this on the way to landscape arch. Worth the side hike!

Multiple arches on the way to seeing the landscape arch. Good views, but the trail was extremely icy when we went on January 6th. We had some fun sliding down hills, but it was very easy to slip and fall.

Our group didn't enjoy this walk. It was very easy, but the views weren't that great. I would recommend spending your time elsewhere.

I agree with other reviewers, super easy hike but worth it to spend 15 minutes to get close to the balanced rock!

You are still pretty far from the Delicate Arch, but even so the trail has some good views.

on Double Arch Trail

8 days ago

Beautiful!

Great trail

Kid friendly. But watch them (duh) there are some cliffs and drop offs.

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