One of the most popular trails in Arches National Park in Utah is the 1.5 mile trail (one way) that will give you an up-close experience with one of the parks most iconic arches, Delicate Arch. The trail is listed as moderate and, with the exposure to the sun, steep rock faces, and some narrow ledges towards the end, it is definitely not an easy trail. The views are definitely worth the effort as you gain a little over 600 feet in elevation with panoramic views in all directions. The highlight, of course, is Delicate Arch, which is the arch that is depicted on Utah’s license plate.
We hiked the trail starting at mid-morning and the temperatures were already starting to soar. It is very important that you take plenty of water, at least 1 liter per person, to help combat the heat and dehydration. We had both a Camelback with 3 liters of water as well as a power drink with electrolytes. As we reached the end of the trail and had the opportunity to see Delicate Arch, we were glad that we decided to do the trail, although we probably should have started a little earlier. People were lining up to get their pictures taken standing inside of the arch, but at least while we were there, we had opportunities to get photographs of the arch without anyone as they changed places with other tourists. We weren’t worried about having our photographs taken inside of the arch, so we opted for panoramic views and yes, we did take a selfie.
The Delicate Arch Trail is certainly a worthwhile hike within Arches National Park. It is extremely popular, especially at dawn and dusk when photographers come in droves, but it is busy all day long. The parking lot can get very full, but we were fortunate enough to find a spot near the trailhead. It was the first of our hikes in the park and we certainly learned some lessons about getting on the trail as early as possible and stopping in whatever shade we could find to help ourselves cool off. Seeing Delicate Arch was definitely one of favorite memories of the park.