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Delicate Arch Trail

MODERATE 851 reviews
#1 of 45 trails in

Delicate Arch Trail is a 3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Moab, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
3.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
590 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

no dogs

Delicate Arch Trail is a short hike in Arches National Park to Utah's most recognizable natural arch. You will likely recognize the famous arch from the Utah license plates. The hike starts at the Delicate Arch Trailhead off at the Wolf Ranch turn-off in the Moab area of southern Utah . There is a large parking area right off of the main park road. From the parking area you will cross the bridge over salt wash. The hike to Delicate Arch is just over 1.5 miles each way, approximately a 3 mile hike round-trip. It is best hiked in spring and fall when the temperatures are cooler, or during the golden hours just after sunrise or and before sunset when the rocks seem to turn a magical color and the air temperature is bearable again. Take at least 1 quart (1 liter) of water per person! There is no shade. Open slickrock with some exposure to heights. The first half-mile is a wide, well-defined trail. Upon reaching the slickrock, follow the rock cairns. The trail climbs gradually and levels out toward the top of this rock face. Just before you get to Delicate Arch, the trail goes along a rock ledge for about 200 yards. A visit to this beautiful arch is a must do in Arches National Park. Parking is limited and can fill up quickly during peak tourism months so make sure to arrive at the trailhead early.

4 days ago

Hiked early in the morning to catch the sunrise. Had no idea the breath taking imagery I was about to receive. Even more amazing is watching how many people are hiking up to see the view as you make your way back down. Somewhat of a Mecca.

hiking
5 days ago

A must-do hike in Utah. Careful on the ice and snow near the end!

hiking
7 days ago

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).

8 days ago

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

hiking
9 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!

15 days ago

Great trail

hiking
15 days ago

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

hiking
20 days ago

Made this happen on New Year's Day. 17 degrees. The arch is a miracle however you get there. BUT IN WINTER: rent strap-on ice cleats. The part of the trail, uphill, before you turn the corner to be next to the Arch, gets no sun exposure to speak of. That 2 to 4 inches of ice is transparent. I was standing there one moment, the next I went horizontal and landed directly on the red rock on the back of my head. When my wife stepped to help, she went over the edge, down to the floor of the basin. She had on a white parka and disappeared completely into the snow.

The kindness of strangers while hiking is a gift. Someone went down and dug her out and walked her back up--she was stunned but uninjured.

Because I landed directly on my skull, it could have been curtains. I was saved by having a scarf, three different winter caps, and both my undercoat and parka's hoods were up. Head bounced right up.

Could have been tragic. I have never seen ice that thick remain so transparent!

hiking
22 days ago

Spectacular hike culminating in one of the most recognizable rock formations in America. Some ledge walking near the end might be much for those afraid of heights.

25 days ago

Make sure micro spikes or crampons are on in winter. Some part is very slippery and I saw people had trouble going through icy area without the right footwear.

hiking
26 days ago

Very simple and very rewarding! Bring crampons if you’re hiking in snow. It got a little slick but nothing insane!

26 days ago

Best view in the park at the end of this one. Steep inclines on the way in but very much worth it. We were there in December and only saw a handful of other people. Go offseason!

hiking
27 days ago

Amazing hike. Not difficult and the best comes at the very end.

After finishing the hike it is worth going to the viewpoint that is about a mile away. The view from afar is very different but equally beautiful.

1 month ago

I had seen photos of the arch before but I was not expecting the view when I arrived. What a fantastic place! I hiked up later in the day to catch the sunset. The rocks turned a deep red and with the moon behind the arch it's truly a stunning thing to see. The the time to make this trip.

hiking
1 month ago

Very beautiful. Easy hike. You get rewarded at the end.

1 month ago

This hike was very fun and takes just about an hour or two to reach the arches. It can get very crowded and you will have to wait in line to get a photo under the big arch but it is well worth your time!

1 month ago

Run up and down

hiking
1 month ago

Very easy hike, not very long and the trail is pretty flat after the initial ascent. The views around Delicate Arch are spectacular ! Definitely a must see.

The great thing about Arches National Park is one can choose many routes to climb on the sandstone structures. ( Stay off the plant life and do not climb Arches ! Climbing other sandstone structures is okay ). This makes any hike in Arches very enjoyable as one can choose to veer off the trail and explore other areas. Highly recommend it.

Wear good hiking shoes.

hiking
1 month ago

Heavily trafficked hike, but it's worth it

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