Delicate Arch Hike • 12 Issues To KNOW For The Path (2023)


The Delicate Arch is among the most famed formations in Arches National Park and all the American Southwest. Guests journey from world wide to benefit from the Delicate Arch hike. The Delicate Arch is so revered it even graces the Utah license plate and has turn into a well known depiction of the state.

Out of all of the Arches we noticed round Moab, I discovered the freestanding Delicate Arch to be probably the most awe-inspiring. It’s truthfully arduous to consider a singular formation like this exists on this planet. This 46 ft excessive and 32 ft huge arch is the most important free-standing arch within the park, however you received’t really grasp the dimensions as quickly as you stand below it.

If you wish to full the Delicate Arch hike your self, right here’s all it’s best to know.

Get a US Parks Move to Go to Arches

To enter Arches Nationwide Park, you might be required to buy a Parks Move. Move costs are as follows:

  • 1-7 Day Automobile Entrance: $30.00
  • 1-7 Day Bike Entrance: $25.00
  • 1-7 Day Particular person Entrance (foot or bicycle): $15.00

In case you are visiting a number of US Nationwide Parks it’s greatest to buy an America the Beautiful Pass for $80 for the yr and grants you entry to all registered parks. At simply $80 for a yr it’s fairly a steal and also you received’t have to fret about stopping at park gates to pay!

mountain climbing the Delicate Arch Path

  • Distance: 3.2 miles
  • Elevation Acquire: 480 ft
  • Delicate Arch Hike Time: 1-3 hours
  • Problem: Simple to Average, relying in your health stage
  • Finest Time to Go to Arches: Spring, Fall, Dawn and Sundown
  • Arches National Park
**From April 1 to October 31, 2023, all guests getting into Arches between 7 am and 4 pm require a timed entry ticket along with a park move or entrance price to enter the park. Be taught extra right here: Timed Entry Pilot - Arches National Park (U.S. National Park Service) ( These and not using a ticket might enter earlier than 7am or after 4pm, the park is open 24/7.

The place is the Delicate Arch?

arches national park

The Delicate Arch is in Utah’s Arches National Park, one of many most affordable destinations to travel in the US. The doorway to Arches is US-191 N. The trailhead for Delicate Arch is alongside the Arches Scenic Drive, about 35 minutes drive from Downtown Moab. In the summertime, this street can turn into congested and trigger delays.

The place Does the Identify Come From?

delicate arch hike

Earlier than we began the Delicate Arch hike, I believed the Delicate Arch was named for being so delicate it might at some point simply fall down. Nevertheless I used to be incorrect. The time period “delicate” first took place in a 1934 article that described it as “probably the most delicately chiseled arch in your complete space.”

It’s additionally donned different names from early settlers just like the “Outdated Maid’s Bloomers,” “Schoolmarms Bloomers,” and “Cowboy’s Chaps.”

put within the legwork to get to Delicate Arch

delicate arch hike

Not like another lovely Arch formations in Arches Nationwide Park, Delicate Arch can’t be seen from the street. You should get out of your automotive and stroll to see it. The one option to stand up and near Delicate Arch is to hike to it.

Don’t fear, although, it’s not a difficult hike and is definitely doable for kids and even these with some mobility points. I believe it’s one of many best hikes in all of Moab!

So how lengthy is the Delicate Arch hike? This path climbs 480 ft (146 m) and is 3.2 miles (spherical journey), and can take you between 1-3 hours to finish. The one hour is when you don’t take a lot time to hang around at Delicate Arch, and 3-4 hours is when you actually take time to hang around.

We ventured out for this hike for sundown, and the hike took us about 2.5 hours with an hour cease at Delicate Arch and mountain climbing again at nighttime, however we’re quick hikers on the path.

The Delicate Arch Hike is Not too tough

delicate arch hike

The Delicate Arch path is rated as reasonable, however I believe it’s a fairly straightforward path to discover. It’s well-trodden and simple to observe. There’s nothing difficult in regards to the hike, and it’s a gradual 12% grade on rock many of the means.

There’s one “uncovered part” proper earlier than you get to Delicate Arch, however it’s loads huge sufficient to stroll on with out feeling like you might fall.

delicate arch hike

You’ll have to stroll up sheetrock which may be slippery if moist. I’d recommend footwear with good traction. My favorites are the Salomon Speedcross that are nice for tackling the paths and hiking in the desert.

There’s A Decrease Extra Accessible Viewpoint

In the event you aren’t up for mountain climbing to Delicate Arch, there’s a extra accessible viewpoint decrease that may get you a terrific view of the arch. It is a flat path that may take roughly 5 minutes to get to the “Decrease Delicate Arch” viewpoint (50-yards) and 20 or so minutes (0.5 miles) to get to the “Higher Delicate Arch viewpoint. It’s a superb possibility for younger kids or people who don’t need to hike too far. See the information here.

When is the most effective time to deal with the Delicate Arch Path?

delicate arch trail

The most effective time to go to Delicate Arch for images is at sundown. It’s not simply nice for images, however total enjoyment, and with cooler temperatures, it’s arduous to complain! The subsequent greatest time to hike to Delicate Arch is dawn earlier than the crowds and warmth set in. So far as the most effective months to go to Arches, I’d extremely advocate visiting in spring and fall.

Summer time temperatures within the desert may be depressing. If visiting in the course of the summer season months, it’s greatest to try to get out for dawn and sundown to keep away from the noon warmth. In the event you should hike in the midst of the day, be certain that to carry a lot of water, sun shades, and a hat – there’s not a ton of shade on the hike.

As we have been heading down from our sundown hike, we noticed a couple of teams heading as much as Delicate Arch for some stargazing at evening, which might even be a improbable time to take a look at the well-known Arch.

Keep after sundown and convey a headlamp

Delicate Arch hike
Cameron having fun with Delicate Arch at nightfall

In the event you head up for sundown, I recommend staying a bit after the solar goes down. The longer you wait the higher the colours get, and the crowds clear shortly.

We stayed for about 30-40 minutes after the solar formally set to seize images and benefit from the surroundings and have been amongst among the final individuals left at Delicate Arch. Deliver a headlamp as you’ll need it for mountain climbing again at nighttime.

The crowds aren’t too horrible at Delicate Arch

delicate arch trail

We visited Arches Nationwide Park throughout spring break in early April – excessive season. The earlier week we have been Zion hiking Angels Landing and testing Horseshoe Bend in Page and the crowds have been excessive.

I anticipated the Delicate Arch to have loopy crowds realizing its recognition and Instagram fame. Whereas the hike actually was busy, it wasn’t overwhelmingly crowded, and there was loads of area for mountain climbing comfortably.

As soon as we arrived at Delicate Arch, there have been infinite alternatives for images with the Arch and plenty of area to chill and benefit from the view.

Now with the timed entry system, the crowds must be much more manageable.

Take Your Time to Discover the Space

delicate arch hike

The hike to Delicate Arch is a fairly one, with loads of improbable desert views all through. My favourite a part of the hike was a slight detour off route. The Twisted Doughnut Arch (formally referred to as Body Arch) may be discovered proper earlier than you get to Delicate Arch and provides distinctive views.

To see the view from Twisted Doughnut, you’ll must enterprise off-trail to your proper. Climb the rock with properly traction footwear to see the view!

Be Courteous to Different Photographers

delicate arch hike

If you attain Delicate Arch, there’ll undoubtedly be many individuals who need to get their picture standing below the Arch. There may even be keen photographers with travel tripods positioned to seize a photograph as the sunshine will get good.

We discovered everybody tremendous courteous in letting others get their picture below the Arch individually. A brief line even began to kind so that everybody may get their images shortly, making certain everybody obtained ones they have been pleased with.

It was nice to see hikers work collectively, however a couple of appeared oblivious to the road of households ready to get their picture and would considerably “hog” the Delicate Arch.

Whereas I perceive it’s a improbable sight and you might need to take images of eternally, everyone seems to be there to get pleasure from and snap some pics too, so strive to concentrate on your environment. Or, wait till most individuals have left when you intend to make use of a variety of time grabbing images.

How A lot Time do you Want in Arches Nationwide Park?

delicate arch hike

Surprisingly you possibly can see fairly a couple of sights and stop-offs with simply at some point in Arches Nationwide Park. We solely spent one afternoon and night in Arches and have been in a position to cease at loads of factors and see Double Arch, Turret Arch, the Home windows Arches, and Delicate Arch.

Nevertheless, if I had had extra time, I undoubtedly would have most popular no less than one other half day in Arches to do extra mountain climbing within the park. Ideally, if time permits, I’d recommend spending 1.5-2 days in Arches Nationwide Park and saving the Delicate Arch hike for a sundown journey a type of days.

The place to park to hike Delicate Arch

delicate arch hike

There’s a car parking zone close to Wolfe Ranch with many parking spots. Nevertheless on jam-packed days, the Wolfe Ranch car parking zone will replenish. There may be extra parking on the Delicate Arch Viewpoint lot, however it’s a one-mile stroll away to the trailhead, so undoubtedly not splendid, particularly in case you are quick on time.

To keep away from parking points, attempt to go to outdoors of peak season and peak occasions.

What to pack in your delicate arch Hike

delicate arch trail
  • Water: You want water on this hike. We went out with our Stanley IceFlow bottles to maintain us hydrated with further chilly water on this desert hike. They preserve drinks chilly for hours even below intense warmth.
  • Sunscreen: As talked about earlier than don’t enterprise out with out sunscreen. The solar right here within the desert is intense and there are few spots for shade.
  • Path runners: You’ll need footwear with improbable traction for this hike. My favorites are the Salomon Speedcross Trail Runners for mountain climbing within the desert.
  • Shorts: Mountain climbing shorts are perfect for sizzling hikes like this. (Men’s hiking shorts recommendations / women’s hiking shorts recs)
  • Hiking Shirt: Moisture-wicking, quick-drying mountain climbing shirts are excellent for hikes like Angels Touchdown. My favourite mountain climbing shirt is made by Outside Analysis!
  • Hiking Hat: Defend your brow and eyes from the cruel solar.
  • Sunglasses: I don’t hike with out sun shades, good ones with polarization too to guard my eyeballs. I solely have one set of them in any case!
  • Snacks: You’ll need one thing to snack on while you get to the summit. I really like vitality bars, an apple, and fruit chews.


We hope this helps put together you for the Delicate Arch path! For extra journey across the Southwest, see beneath:

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