Updated: Sep 15
Utah National Parks: Arches
Arches National Park is so iconic that it's become a core part of Utah's identity, even making its way onto the home court of the Utah Jazz. People travel from all over the world to do these hikes so I feel fortunate that they're only a three-hour drive from home! I've been here several times over the years but it would take a lifetime to try and hike all 2,000+ arches in the park.
Here are my favorite hikes at Arches National Park, starting with the most popular.
Hiking Delicate Arch
Delicate Arch is easily the most popular hike in the park. It can get hot and crowded, so it's best to go early in the morning during the summer and come prepared with plenty of water. I've even seen scenes on Instagram lately of lines forming for photo ops. Avoid the Disneyland-ish crowds by going during the low season. Even though it has become incredibly popular it's still a bucket list-worthy hike. It's 3.2 miles if you want to go all the way under the arch, which is pretty awe-insiring. I've been a few times before but when we went with our small kids, we opted for the easier hikes.
Hiking Landscape Arch & Double O Arch
Drive to the end of the main road to the Devil's Garden Trailhead, hike less than a mile and you arrive at the Golden Gate Bridge of arches. Landscape Arch is massive, spanning over 300 feet wide. But it's only 11 feet thick at its narrowest point and is one of those things that just seems impossible but somehow it exists. This old picture from 2008 doesn't do it justice. Please don't judge my 2000s college style! Haha. Keep going for another mile or so and you'll arrive at Double O Arch, not to be confused with Double Arch, which you'll read about below. This one is unique because it has two arches stacked on top of each other. To get here you just continue on past Landscape Arch for another mile or so. The trail gets a bit more difficult at that point and you have to scramble over some rocks, but it's well worth it in the end. It's a total round trip of 4.1 miles.
Hiking The Windows Section
If you want an incredible view without much work, then check out the easy hike to The Windows Section on your way over to Double Arch. The red rock up against the snow-capped LaSal Mountains is a stunning sight.
Hiking Double Arch
This is more of a 1/2 mile walk than a hike but it was still our favorite because we recognized it from the Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade. Did you know the opening scene was filmed at Arches? Pretty cool! Our kids had a blast running up and down the arch pretending to search for treasure. Plus it's hard not to be awe-inspired by the majesty of this formation.
Hiking Sand Dune Arch
This was the kid's absolute favorite, especially because it was only 0.3 miles. The slot canyon leading to a hidden arch on a sand dune make you feel like you've been transported to Mars. Plan on staying here for a couple hours sliding down the sandstone or rolling in the fine grained sand paradise.
The best part is, all of these hikes are doable with kids. Delicate Arch and Double O might require your kids to be a little older or at least more experienced hikers, but they're still manageable if you're prepared with snacks, water, and the right equipment. We do a lot of hiking with our kids, so we're big fans of this baby carrier and hiking backpack.
Moab UT Hotels: Where to Stay When Hiking at Arches National Park
Arches is an extremely popular place to visit, so hotels can be very expensive. Camping is always an option, but we're not big campers. The hotels closest to Arches National Park are the Moab Springhill Suites & Fairfield Inn & Suites. The most affordable time to stay here (and avoid the crowds) is Nov-Feb when it's less than $100/night. We loved the fun amenities (that both hotels share) like the splash pad, and the hot tub and pool with waterfalls. It was the perfect place to take a break from all the hiking and just relax. We stayed in late February and still got great pool weather.
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Safe travels! 🤘