Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch
Arches National Park

          Delicate Arch has become the unofficial symbol of Utah.  Towering eighty feet over hikers, Delicate Arch is one of the highlights of Arches National Park and is possibly the most beautiful arch in the world. This arch needs to be experienced in person to be really appreciated. This hike competes with Devils Garden as the best hike in Arches National Park.

          If you are looking for good photo opportunities this is the spot, Delicate Arch is probably the most photographed arch in the world. Resting on top of a huge Entrada Sandstone formation, the world-famous site offers a dramatic views.

Trailhead Information:
          Arches National Park is located five miles north of the town of Moab, Utah. To get to Delicate Arch, drive 11.7 miles into the park to the Delicate Arch and Wolfe Ranch turn-off. Turn right and drive 1.2 miles to the trailhead parking area. There is limited vehicule parking avaiable and during peak usage this parking lot fills. Overflow parking is not allowed. Arriving early (before 9:00 a.m.) is the easiest method of eliminating the parking hassles.

Delicate Arch as seen through Frame Arch Amazing

Route Information:
Click Here for Map          This is a hike and not a stroll, it is an easy hike if it is treated as such. The trail is heavily traveled and well defined. From the trailhead you can see the remains of the John Wesley Wolfe Ranch, which was built in 1888 and abandoned in 1910. Just past the Homestead you will cross Salt Wash on a suspension bridge. 

          Once over the bridge take a short, signed spur trail to your left which leads to an excellent Ute petroglyph panel that depicts horses and a bighorn sheep hunt. 

          The first part of the hike is on a wide and well defined trail that leads to the base of a steep sandstone hill also known as slickrock. Once you have begun hiking on the slickrock you must follow cairns (stacks of rocks) as the route slowly climbs over the sandstone hill. The route is well traveled and easy to follow. As you near Delicate Arch you will pass Frame Arch on your right. The arch is often used as a picture frame for photographing Delicate Arch. Just before you reach Delicate Arch the trail follows an impressive 200 yard ledge which was blasted from the sandstone. Just past the ledge you will reach Delicate Arch.

          It is considered bad manners to hang out under any popular arch for any great length of time since this spoils the photo opportunity of others. If you want to enjoy a snack at the end of the hike and admire the arch please do so from a distance.

Wolfe Ranch Petroglyph Panel

Delicate Arch
Length: 1.5 miles One-Way.
Time: 1 1/4 hours One-Way.
Trailhead: 4,300'
Arch Elevation: 4,800'
Skill Rating: Easy, there is nothing difficult.
Season: Year Round
Equipment: None
Water: 2 liters per person.
Difficulties: None.
Circle Trip: No, Out and Back

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