There is no doubt that Arches National Park in eastern Utah near the town of Moab is one of the most beautiful parks in the United States. With so many fascinating geological features, there are literally incredible sights around every corner as you drive through the park. There is one road that will take you through the heart of the park with a couple of side roads that lead to specific attractions and you can certainly see a lot that the park has to offer by simply driving through the park and pulling over at certain viewing areas. To really enjoy everything that the park has to offer, though, we’d highly recommend that you get out and hike a few of the trails.
Devils Garden Trail – This trail is one of the most popular trails within the park because of the diversity of the trail as well as the number of arches that can be seen on the trail. The first part of the trail is considered easy and also provides views of three arches, including the Landscape Arch, which was one of our favorites. After reaching the Landscape Arch, the trail becomes more difficult as you head toward Double O Arch and then the second half of the loop is extremely difficult where you need to rock scramble and there are steep slopes. For obvious reasons, many people only go as far as Landscape Arch, which was what we did as well.
Delicate Arch Trail – There are viewing areas that you can go to by car to see the famous Delicate Arch (which is seen on the state’s license plate), but to see it up close, you should take the popular Delicate Arch Trail. The trail is listed as moderate and, with the exposure to the sun, steep rock faces, and some narrow ledges towards the end, it is definitely not an easy trail. The views are definitely worth the effort as you gain a little over 600 feet in elevation with panoramic views in all directions. The highlight, of course, is Delicate Arch where people take turns having their pictures taken in front of the arch.
Sand Dune and Broken Arch Trail – This is a relatively short trail that can be found near the Devils Garden Campground. The trail first goes by the Sand Dune Arch, which gets its name from the sand that surrounds it. It then turns into a loop that will take you by Broken Arch and Tapestry Arch. If you want to keep it really short, you can visit the Sand Dune Arch and Broken Arch and then return without doing the full loop.
Regardless of which trails you choose, you will truly appreciate the size and beauty of the many arches if you take the time to hike amongst them. Seeing how nature has carved the rocks through wind and rain erosion is certainly a wonderful experience whether you hike the trails or not. Arches National Park is certainly one of our favorite national parks and if you are a photographer, the variety of images that you can capture are truly endless.