Delicate Arch Hiking Trail In Arches National Park
Hiking Hiking Trips Travel Utah

Delicate Arch Hiking Trail In Arches National Park

The Delicate Arch Hiking Trail is one of the most popular hikes in Arches National Park. Located just outside of Moab, Utah, Arches National Park is home to over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, and the Delicate Arch is the most iconic.

This hike has been on my bucket list for a while and it was definitely a highlight of our American Southwest Road Trip Vacation.

Delicate Arch Hiking Trail in Arches National Park

Delicate Arch Hiking Trail

We arrived at Arches National Park shortly after 7am but had to wait to enter the park due to construction. It was closer to 8am when we arrived at the Delicate Arch parking lot… and it was full by the time we were ready to hit the trail. So, going early is important to (try to) beat the crowds and get a decent parking spot.

Arches National Park Sign - The Wander Guide

The hike itself is moderate to difficult. It’s relatively short, totaling 3.2 miles round trip, but the incline and heat combined make it seem more difficult. (Another reason to go early! Or late!)

The first thing you will see on the trail is Wolfe Ranch. It’s a small, one-room cabin that takes no time at all to walk by and look inside.

Wolfe Ranch On The Delicate Arch Hiking Trail

Shortly after Wolfe Ranch, there is a trail that breaks off and leads you to the petroglyphs. This trail will connect back to the main trail, so I think it’s worth an extra few minutes to walk by and see the petroglyphs.

Petroglyphs on the Delicate Arch Hiking Trail

The trail gets more brutal when you reach the slickrock. Once you make it over the slickrock, the trail levels out for a little bit. There is a rock ledge to hike around right before you reach the Delicate Arch. Once you make it around the rock ledge, the trail opens up and you will see the Delicate Arch.

Hiking Up The Slickrock on the Delicate Arch Trail

There are a few shaded spots around the Delicate Arch, so you can chill out for a while. It’s a pretty large, open area.

Delicate Arch Landscape

Photographing The Delicate Arch

Hiking around sunrise or sunset will allow for the best lighting. I think sunset would be best. These pictures were taken around 9am, and the part of the arch facing me was shaded. Brining a tripod would help, but it’s not necessary. Also, you will probably have to wait around to make sure other people are not in your pictures of the arch.

Delicate Arch Hiking Trail Arches National Parks

Things People Don’t Tell You About Hiking The Delicate Arch

The crowds and the heat are the two things that suck the most about this hike. It’s awesome… and that’s why it is a very busy hike. It also feels more crowded since a lot of the space is wide open and you can see all of the people around you. There was also a line to take your picture underneath the arch, which was kind of funny, but I get it.

The heat is also a little ridiculous, and there is basically no shade on the trail. Hiking in the middle of the day is not advisable. (Except maybe in the winter it would be ok?)

There are porta-potty type bathrooms at the trailhead and they smell completely awful. It’d be smart to go to the bathroom before you go to the trailhead, if possible.

View Of The Delicate Arch

What To Remember About The Delicate Arch Hiking Trail

  • Hike early or late (sunrise or sunset would be best)
  • Bring plenty of water
  • Wear sunscreen
  • And a hat, if you’re a hat person
  • Pace yourself
  • Bring your camera!

The Delicate Arch Hiking Trail in Arches National Park is one of the best hikes in the United States. The Delicate Arch is iconic and even better to see in person. You need to add this one to your hiking bucket list. #hiking #utah #utahtravel #utahhiking #delicatearch #archesnationalpark #usnationalpark

Hannah Bubp
<p>Hannah Bubp lives in Knoxville, TN with her husband, Kyle, baby girl, Claire, and two dogs. She is a professional photographer and a new Stay At Home Mom. She enjoys writing, cooking, hiking, traveling, and navigating life as a new mom.</p>

One thought on “Delicate Arch Hiking Trail In Arches National Park

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back To Top