The Windows Section is located 9 miles (14.5 km) north on the park road and 2.5 miles (4 km) east on the Windows road. The drive-time from Arches Visitor Center is approximately 25 minutes. Visiting this area is ideal for people limited on time and those not looking for a strenuous hike.
A gentle climb up a gravel trail leads to the massive North Window, South Window, and Turret Arch (0.7 mi/1.1 km roundtrip). Return to the parking lot via the same trail, or take the slightly longer primitive trail around the Windows by starting at South Window viewpoint (1 mi/1.6 km roundtrip). The first 100 yards may be accessible to wheelchairs with assistance.
The Windows parking lot, though large, regularly fills to capacity. Consider leaving and coming back at a later time if the lot is full – waiting for a spot can cause significant congestion. Avoid crowds (and the heat) by visiting in the early morning hours or late afternoon.
You can take an easy walk to Double Arch from the other side of the loop road. There is a smaller parking area there, or you can walk on a trail between the Windows trailhead and the Double Arch trailhead.
Visiting the Windows can be a thrilling and rewarding experience for visitors of all ages. Help protect the park by leaving no trace and staying on established trails.
In summer, we recommend hiking early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the hot temperatures. Always carry and drink water when hiking.
In winter, snow or icy conditions may make this trail treacherous. Use caution. We recommend traction devices in winter.
After 100 yards, stairs climb to close views of the Windows and Turret Arch. The trail is uneven, rocky, and not accessible for people using wheelchairs.
Pets are not allowed on this trail, but service animals are welcome.
Protect your park. Protect yourself.
To protect the park, keep yourself safe, and allow everyone to enjoy their views of these geological formations, do not walk or climb on any arches.
Practice safe hiking. Avoid hiking in midday summer heat. Carry and drink water and eat salty snacks during your hike. Read more about staying safe.
Biological soil crust is a living groundcover that forms the foundation of high desert plant life in Arches and the surrounding area. This knobby, black crust is dominated by cyanobacteria, but also includes lichens, mosses, green algae, microfungi and bacteria. Soil crust binds sand and rock particles together which allows plants to establish their roots. They also provide desert plants moisture and nutrients in otherwise inhospitable environment. You can help preserve these fragile and unique life-forms by staying on established trails.
Last updated: June 21, 2019