11 Epic (and Easy) Hikes in Arches National Park

With literally thousands of sandstone arches, you’ll find that the best hikes in Arches National Park have one thing in common: scenery that will blow your dang mind!

One of the most amazing things about Arches is that most of the trails are super-easy and accessible. This makes the best hikes in Arches ideal for the newbie desert hiker. It also makes Arches one of the top national parks in the US too!

Even seasoned desert hiking pros will enjoy the rewarding and scenic hikes in Arches National Park – it’s one of the best things to do in Arches! In fact, no Arches itinerary is complete without tackling some of the best hikes in the park. 

As a freelance writer for the outdoor industry, every year I make multiple trips to Moab. I’ve become a mega-expert in the area. And since I literally get paid to hike, this post will give you exclusive info that you can’t find anywhere else on the web. 

I want you to visit Arches National Park like a pro, not a tourist. Inside this post you’ll find tons of information at how to beat the crowds at Moab’s premier national park.

About This Guide to the Best Hikes in Arches National Park

This guide is jam-packed with expert hiking advice for this incredibly beautiful national park. You’ll get insider tips for beating the crowds, snagging permits and so much more. Here’s what you’ll find inside.

  • Where is Arches National Park?
  • When to visit Arches National Park
  • The Best Hikes in Arches National Park for all abilities
  • Easy hikes in Arches
  • Arches National Park’s most challenging hikes
  • Additional planning resources

Where is Arches National Park?

One major thing that makes Arches so popular is its easy access from Moab. Literally a 10-minute drive north on Highway 191 out of Moab brings you directly to the park entrance.

Just make a right at signs for Arches (there’s a traffic light) and you’ll find yourself at the start of the Arches Scenic Drive – one of Moab’s most beautiful drives.

Pro Tip: It’s $30 to enter the park and re-entry is not allowed. If you’re planning to visit multiple US national parks in one year, consider snagging the America the Beautiful Pass.

When is the Best Time to go on an Arches Hike?

Arches National Park is crowded year-round, with the worst crowds in the summer, fall, and spring respectively.

Spring and fall offer the best weather, and if you arrive early (ie for sunrise), you can certainly catch some solitude on many of the most popular hiking trails in Arches. 

Avoid summers at all costs. It gets far too hot to have an enjoyable time and the crowds are at an all time high. Yuck. 

Winter is an AWESOME time to hike in Arches National Park if you don’t mind the cold. The trails are generally quieter and it’s absolutely mesmerizing to see Arches dusted in snow. 

Pro Tip: Lines form EARLY here and if the park is at capacity, you will have to wait. Arrive before 7 am to get some sweet solitude in the park, even during the busy season.

The 11 Best Hikes in Arches National Park

If you’re looking for the best hikes in Moab, you’ll find many of them in Arches. The best part is that most of the trails are comparatively easy and full of jaw-dropping scenery throughout your hike. 

Best Easy Hikes in Arches

Many of the Arches National Park trails are easy, so you can explore a lot of the cool rock formations even if you only have limited time. Many of the Arches National Park trails are super easy and accessible.

1. Balanced Rock

One of the most popular Arches hikes is the quick jaunt to the famous Balanced Rock. You can easily spot this iconic formation from the road, and this less-than-half-mile loop takes you up close to marvel at the precarious looking rock from all angles.

  • Distance: 0.3 mile loop
  • Elevation Gain: 55 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Estimated Time: 15-20 mins
best hikes in arches

2. Skyline Arch

If you don’t have a lot of time to explore, this hike is a great way to see one of the namesake arches. Located in the Devil’s Garden area of the park, the trail to Skyline Arch is only a quarter mile from the road to the base of the arch. 

Skyline Arch is particularly pretty in the orange glow of sunset, and since the trail is so short, it’s easy to get there at the perfect time to take gorgeous golden hour photos.

Pro Tip: If you’re into astrophotography, head on over to one of my favorite Arches hikes, Landscape Arch (nearby) for unique night time photography options.

  • Distance: 0.5 miles out & back
  • Elevation Gain: 42 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Estimated Time: 15-20 min

3. Double Arch

Double Arch doesn’t necessarily impress from a distance, so it’s worth making the short hike to these arches to see how massive they really are. These two arches, which share the same rock as a foundation, are the tallest in the park. You can scramble up directly underneath them to see a unique view of the arches towering above.

  • Distance: 0.6 miles out & back
  • Elevation Gain: 95 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Estimated Time: 20-30 min

4. The Windows

The Windows Trail takes you through the most stunning section of Arches National Park. A one-mile round trip will bring you to excellent views of North Window, South Window, and Turret Arch. You can also easily combine this trail with the trail to Double Arch for a full value hike of some of the coolest formations in Arches.

Pro Tip: This is one of the most popular hikes in Arches National Park (along with nearby Double Arch). Check this spot out for sunset for slightly fewer people and jaw-dropping views of the sun setting through the arch against the mighty La Sal Mountains.

  • Distance: 1 mile loop
  • Elevation Gain: 160 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Estimated Time: 30-45 min
arches national park hiking trails

5. Park Avenue

As you drive into Arches, the first scenic area that you encounter will be Park Avenue. While you can simply stop at the viewpoint and see some incredible formations, including the Courthouse Towers and the Three Gossips, it’s even cooler to view them up close. A trail will take you down into the canyon about one mile to the base of the Courthouse Towers.

  • Distance: 2 miles out & back
  • Elevation Gain: 298 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Estimated Time: 1-1.5 hours

6. Landscape Arch

Landscape Arch is unique for its length – in fact, it is the longest arch in the world at around 300 feet. A personal favorite, this is definitely one of the best hikes in Arches. The trail is located in the Devil’s Garden area of the park, which features many other cool formations to explore if you want to extend your hike.

Pro Tip: Landscape Arch makes for a lovely addition to any of the hikes in the Devil’s Garden area. You can’t get up close and personal to the arch – it’s fenced and for good reason! But you CAN take some pretty epic photos here either in the morning, evening or night.

  • Distance: 1.9 miles out & back
  • Elevation Gain: 260 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Estimated Time: 45-60 min
arches hikes

Best Moderate Hikes in Arches

Spend a little extra time on the trail, and you will get to see some of the best formations in Arches National Park. The best hikes in Arches National Park fall into the moderate category. Even newbie hikers can tackle these amazing trails! Just pack plenty of water and allow for a little extra time.

7. Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch is the most iconic formation in all of Arches National Park and a symbol of the state of Utah, featured on license plates and signs. While you can see Delicate Arch from a viewpoint near the road, it’s really worth making the hike out to the amazing arch itself. And, of course, you can stand directly under Delicate Arch to get an Insta-worthy photo.

Pro Tip: This is THE most popular hike in all of Moab. Want it to yourself? Visit for sunrise during the winter. I’ve literally been one of 4 people here. Many people visit for sunset, but the arch is actually quite spectacular for sunrise too.

  • Distance: 3 miles out & back
  • Elevation Gain: 480 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Estimated Time: 1.5-2.5 hours
best hiking trails in arches national park

8. Tower Arch

Avoid the crowds in Arches and head to Tower Arch in a remote area near the border of the park. This trail isn’t long, but it is rugged and you’ll be hiking on slickrock and steep sand at times. The hike also features a lot of ups and downs in elevation. Along with Tower Arch itself, you’ll also see the Klondike Bluffs and lots of other sandstone spires and neat formations.

  • Distance: 3.4 miles out & back
  • Elevation Gain: 600 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Estimated Time: 2.5 hours

9. Double O Arch

Want to see one arch stacked on top of another? Take a hike to Double O Arch for this unique sight! The trail is actually an extension of the hike to Landscape Arch, so you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck on this hike. You can add on short spur trails to Navajo Arch and Partition Arch as well. While the trail starts out relatively flat, it eventually gets rocky, sandy, and steep, so be prepared to do some scrambling. Also, keep an eye out for cairns, since the trail can be a bit of challenge to follow as you get closer to Double O Arch.

  • Distance: 4.1 miles out & back
  • Elevation Gain: 672 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Estimated Time: 2-3 hours

Best Difficult Hikes in Arches

If you’re looking for a bit more adventure in your hikes, you can explore these areas. The best hikes in arches can also be pretty tough, but that’s just part of the fun!

10. Devils Garden Primitive Loop

This is the longest trail in all of Arches and is an awesome experience if you’re up for the challenge. The Devils Garden trail begins when you reach the end of the paved road through the park. The trail will take you to Landscape Arch and Double O Arch, then continues on to Dark Angel Spire. The farther you go along the trail, the fewer people you will encounter. The Devils Garden Primitive Loop is a perfect way to experience the beauty of the desert in a more secluded environment. 

  • Distance: 7.8 mile loop
  • Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Estimated Time: 4 hours
hiking trails in arches national park

11. Fiery Furnace

Fiery Furnace is an unusual hike that’s more like a rock scrambling maze than an actual trail. Be sure to wear shoes with good traction (sandals are not allowed), and be prepared to navigate through narrow passageways and along steep drop-offs. To hike in Fiery Furnace, you either need to go on a ranger-guided tour (book in advance) or get a permit.

Note: The entire Fiery Furnace area is currently closed due to Covid-19.

  • Distance: No established trail
  • Elevation Gain: Minimal, but lots of scrambling
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Estimated Time: 3 hours

Additional Moab Planning Resources

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Arches National Park is one of the best places to visit in Moab if you love hiking. If you're currently wondering what to do in Arches and the best activities in Moab, here are the best hikes in Arches National Park that you can't miss!

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Meg aka Fox is a 30-something who's born to explore. Her mission is to get you out on your greatest adventure. She'd rather be dirty than done up.