The Delicate Arch
Delicate Arch has become the unofficial symbol of Utah. Towering eighty feet over hikers, Delicate Arch is one of the highlights of Arches National Park, and needs to be experienced in person to be really be appreciated. The pictures don’t do it justice!
Do not leave Arches National Park without seeing the Delicate Arch. The emblematic arch appears on the Utah License plate, and while it is certainly not the largest in the park, it is probably the most famous. Two overlooks provide a distant view of the arch, but the best way to see Delicate Arch is to hike right up to it. This incredible 3-mile round trip trek is a must-do for anyone visiting Arches.
Last summer, Todd and I met my best friend Shanelle and her family for a long weekend in Moab, Utah, home of Arches National Park. I will share a few more of my favorite things about Moab and this spectacular area, but I wanted to kick it off with the Delicate Arch – since it is one of the most iconic arches around.
When to Go
You will see in my pictures below a lot of people milling around in my images. It was hard to avoid! We made it around 8am on a warm August day, and it was still very crowded. I would suggest going very early in the morning, or around sunset. The trail is open year around, so if you can miss the summer months that might be worth it. But really, it is worth the hike and effort regardless of when you go!
To get to the trailhead
From the visitor center, drive 12.3 miles up Park Avenue and turn right. Continue an additional 1.2 miles and turn left into the parking area for Delicate Arch Trail.
Delicate Arch Facts
- Length: 1.5 miles one way. This is an out and back hike
- Time: 1 hour one way
- Skill Rating: Easy, but it can be moderate if it is hot.
- Parking is limited and can fill up quickly during peak months so make sure to arrive at the trailhead early.
- Helpful Hint: The building anticipation can make the mile and a half journey to Delicate Arch feel long, but as you traverse the ledge, the trail curves to the right and Delicate Arch appears. It is something to be seen! You can climb all around the arch so be prepared to traverse every side!