THING TO DO
Hike to Delicate Arch
People come from all over the world to visit Arches National Park, and visiting Delicate Arch is on the top of many visitors' to-do lists.
The trail to see Delicate Arch up close and personal is 3 miles (4.8 km) roundtrip and climbs 480 feet (146 m). At the beginning of the trail, you'll pass the Wolfe Ranch cabin and a wall of Ute Indian petroglyphs.
Beyond Wolfe Ranch, the trail climbs rolling hills then begins a steep ascent on a bare rock slope. This rock slope has no shade and can be very hot in summer months. We recommend avoiding this trail in midday summer heat. If you're hiking in summer, start early.
Toward the end of the trail, you'll follow a narrow rock ledge with exposure to heights. The arch sits on the edge of a sandstone bowl with steep slopes. In winter, ice and snow can make this trail treacherous. We recommend carrying over-the-shoe traction devices
Carefully consider weather conditions (summer heat or winter ice) and your own health and fitness before beginning this hike. Rangers frequently rescue people who underestimated the trail's difficulty.
Take at least 2 quarts (2 L) of water per person.
- Avoid hiking this trail in midday summer heat; start early in the morning.
- You may encounter sections of snow or ice on this trail. We recommend over-the-shoe traction devices when hiking in winter.
If you go to watch the sunset, make sure to bring a flashlight.
Last updated: October 2, 2018