Arches National Park is one of two National Park’s in the Moab area and is a very famous attraction. Over 2,000 unique Arches may be discovered within the park boundaries as well as many other unusual rock formations. Some of the best scenery is roadside, but the real treasures will take care, patience, and hard work to discover. Here are 5 of the best sites to see in Arches National Park.
Delicate Arch is one of the most famous sites in Arches National Park. This Arch is one of the most well-recognized rock formation’s of the desert southwest, if not the world. The Arch is freestanding in a seemingly improbable way. It’s tough to grasp how it was formed or how it is still standing to this day. The trail to the treasure of the southwest desert is 3 miles round trip, and the journey in is mostly uphill, which makes for a great workout. However, it is indeed, a struggle. The trail passes Wolfe Ranch, a historic and interesting site, and several ancient native Petroglyphs. The path then takes you up some switchbacks, and a strenuous, uphill Slickrock section. It then winds around impressive rock formations before making way to an exposed sidewalk. This section of the trail is dangerous when it’s icy in the winter season. Come into the shop, and we can get you outfitted for foot traction devices to set your mind at ease. The Arch itself is set in a beautiful amphitheater setting that allows plenty of seating for viewing the Arch. It’s almost as if it was planned this way. The Arch is incredible and is undoubtedly not to be missed. Consider getting there for sunrise for incredible views and fewer crowds.
Park Avenue is a stunning collection of towers and is among the first sites in Arches National Park. It’s a great introduction to the area and gives you a taste of the unique scenery Arches has to offer. A quick, paved viewing section provides you with the gist of the scenery if you have bigger plans for the day. For expansive views, there is a primitive trail that leaves from the paved trail. Being that it is a primitive trail, the markings and trail are less evident than the well-established paths. All in all, stopping at Park Avenue is an excellent start to any day in Arches.
Double Arch is arguably the most impressive feature in Arches, and it’s no drama to reach. Head towards the Windows Section after Balanced Rock, and park at a well signed and paved parking area. You can see the Arch from your car, just a quick stroll and you’re under the massive, impressive double arches. The dual formations feel a lot more three dimensional than other arches in the park. You should not miss the opportunity to witness this amazing feature.
Landscape Arch is the longest Arch in Arches, and the 5th largest in the world at 290 ft long. Similar to Delicate Arch, it appears improbably perched, but in a very different way. It’s incredibly thin and outstandingly long. There’s an overwhelming sense that it may not be there forever, and because of that feeling, it’s exceptional. Start at the Devils Garden trailhead for a 1.5-mile round trip hike to the Arch. Take the well established and obvious trail. You will soon reach a well-signed crossroads, take a left and continue up the trail. Stroll down the path until you see the Arch up high on the left. There are several fenced and apparent areas to view the Arch. Landscape is a priority to see on your journey through the park. This one is special.
Double-O Arch is for the adventurous. Rock scrambling on exposed fins is part of the deal, and route finding on the trail is a bit more confusing than other hikes in the park. But the journey is well worth it, and you may find some surprises along the way. Begin your adventure from the Devil’s Garden trailhead and continue uphill past Landscape Arch through a steep rock scrambling section that soon gives way to a moderate, marked trail. Follow the signage along the path and pay close attention to where the trail leads. It’s often over Slickrock that doesn’t have clear markings and can be easy to lose. Consider a GPS app such as Gaia GPS to aid you on your journey. After 1.9 miles from the Devils Garden trailhead, you’ll see the first reveal of the Arch to the left. It’s an incredibly photogenic formation and one of the most stunning sights anywhere.
As always, the Moab Gear Trader has you set for any gear you may need for your adventure. Visiting in the winter may present hardships, such as icy trails. Our gear experts can set you up with shoe tractions devices that will keep you safe in adverse conditions. If you’re visiting in the summer, hydration is vital. We have you covered on summer apparel, water bottles, camelbacks, and hydration supplements. Moab Gear Trader is your one-stop-shop for affordable and quality gear when you need it most. The gear traders knowledgeable and local staff are always eager and willing to help you plan your adventures and ensure you are equipped with the right tools to get it done. We hope to see you soon.