The famous Delicate Arch is a must see when visiting Arches National Park near Moab in Utah. The 52 ft tall freestanding natural Arch is one of the most photographed destinations where you can view the majestic La Sal Mountains looking through the arch. The popular Arches National Park trail leading to the Delicate Arch can be experienced by active families and hikers.

There are three separate hiking trails leading to great views of this amazing Arch. Two very short hikes take you to a Delicate Arch viewpoint where you can look up at the Arch. The third option is a 3 mile round trip hike leading you directly to the arch. I highly recommend this 3 mile hike with its spectacular views of the desert and mountains.

Delicate Arch: How to Get There

Pick up a park and trail map at the entrance of the Arches National Park park or at the information center immediately after entering the park. To access the Delicate Arch 3 mile trail, park in the Wolfe Ranch parking area. To access the shorter trail, park at the Delicate Arch Viewpoint parking lot.

Delicate Arch Hike

The Hike, Views & Terrain

For the 3 mile hike taking you directly to the arch, you’ll start with climbing up a wide slickrock trail. Here is a picture of my dad blazing up the terrain! The trail narrows as you near the Delicate Arch. You’ll need to walk single file on this narrow slickrock ledge.

Stop and look through the window near the top of the trail for a stunning view of the Delicate Arch, La Sal mountains and the valley below. I climbed up to the window to take this picture.

Moab- Delicate Arch & Window
After following the narrow ledge and looking through the window, you’ll arrive at the famous Delicate Arch. I took the following photo from a popular vantage point. You can actually stand under the arch and have your picture taken.
Delicate Arch

Planning Your Delicate Arch Hike

I enjoyed this hike with my active parents. I saw hikers of various ages and levels of fitness. Plan to hike and view the spectacular sights for about 2 hours. With the climb and intense high desert summer heat, you’ll need to take plenty of water and allow yourself time to enjoy the adventure.

Click Here for more hiking and gear tips.

Delicate Arch Viewpoint Hike

Below is a picture taken from one of the two shorter hikes designed to view the arch. To access these hiking trails, park in the Delicate Arch Viewpoint parking lot. The shortest viewpoint trail is only 100 yards round trip. The other viewpoint trail is approximately 1.6 miles round trip with a short climb. I took this photo at the end of the short climb.
Delicate Arch Viewpoint

Read about other great hikes in Arches National Park: Devils Garden, Balanced Rock, Park Avenue and the Windows.

Enjoy the hike! Share your own experiences and pictures with us!

4 comments… add one

Just climbed to Delicate Arch on 3/6/15 with my husband and son and daughter-in-law. I had seen it a couple of years ago from the viewpoint trail across the canyon. I was disappointed that time that I was so far away. This time we climbed the slickrock trail and I went down to the arch, stood under it, and had my picture taken. What a gorgeous view. Delicate Arch is truly a wonder of nature! It was a bit scary and I can’t emphasize enough how careful one must be. I was horrified at the parents who allowed young children to run around on the slickrock unattended or stand on the wall.

Hi Janice,
Thank you for sharing your experience! It is a great hike with gorgeous views! When my parents and I hiked this trail, we also discussed our shock towards parents letting their young children run around in a potentially dangerous area, I appreciate your feedback!


My spouse and I hiked to the arch today, Aug 6, 2012. It took about 1.5 to ascend and 1 hour to descend. We consumed 4 bottles of water.The temperature was about 95F. We are 68 years of age.

Hi Jim. Thank you for sharing with other readers your experience. I hiked to the arch in the Spring and the temperature was cooler. However, I’ve hiked other trails in Arches National Park in the summer when the temperatures were near 100F, and I’ve needed to allow more time and drink more water.
Congratulations on completing the hike. I admire how active you both are at age 68! I hope you both enjoyed the hike and views.

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