Delicate Arch

Arches National Park

Moab, Arches + La Sal Mountains, Utah

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Delicate Arch

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  • Ute petroglyphs on the way to the Delicate Arch.- Delicate Arch
  • Mid-slab route.- Delicate Arch
  • Looking northeast from rock ledge.- Delicate Arch
  • Looking southeast toward La Sal mountains from Delicate Arch.- Delicate Arch
  • Late afternoon Delicate Arch.- Delicate Arch
  • Delicate Arch sunset.- Delicate Arch
  • Last light on the western horizon en route back to the trailhead.- Delicate Arch
  • Under Delicate Arch's shadow- Delicate Arch
  • The sunset through Delicate Arch. Even in the offseason, you'll likely have to wade through a crowd of photographers and tripods to get this view!- Delicate Arch
  • Delicate Arch under the stars while tourists can be seen leaving the park in the distance.- Delicate Arch
  • From the right angle, another arch can be seen in the distance within Delicate Arch.- Delicate Arch
  • Even in the desert, evening storms can roll in quickly and weather can be unpredictable.- Delicate Arch
  • A rare tourist-free shot of Delicate Arch.- Delicate Arch
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Stunning sunset vantage point. Terrific photographic opportunities. Iconic destination.
Cons: 
Can be very crowded at the arch. Trailhead parking fills up frequently. Visitor restrictions may be imposed in the future.
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Region:
Moab, Arches + La Sal Mountains, UT
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
480.00 ft (146.30 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for: 
Hiking
Total Distance: 
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,320.00 ft (1,316.74 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

While heavy crowds may demote this formation as a destination for some visitors, there is no denying that Delicate Arch is the iconic rock formation of Arches National Park, and of Utah, as it is featured on versions of the state's license plates. There is also no denying that catching this geological wonder on the right day is absolutely remarkable. If you can visit during cold weather, the wait for sunset can be rough, but the conditions tend to thin the crowd. The vantage point from Delicate Arch's natural amphitheater is a commonly sought destination for sunset photography given it's geographic orientation that very nicely frames the La Sal Mountains located southeast of the park.

The hike to delicate arch is rather straightforward, although the arch itself will not be in view until the very end. The trail begins from the Wolfe Ranch Trailhead, and a marked spur trail almost immediately provides the opportunity for viewing some Ute petroglyphs. The first half mile follows a well-maintained trail with only slight elevation gain. From this point, the remainder of the trail traverses slickrock. Cairns are frequently placed along the route to aid with navigation, but if the way is ever in doubt, continue climbing up the slab. After leveling off, the route will wind behind the north wall of the amphitheater via a man-made ledge that is approximately 3 feet wide. The hike terminates on the north edge of the amphitheater bowl, providing a stunning first view of Delicate Arch.

Visitors take heed of the limited parking available at the trailhead. Also note that water is not available after leaving the trailhead, and there is very natural protection from the sun.  

 

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Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(6 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(45 within a 30 mile radius)

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