Delicate Arch in Arches National Park is one of my top three places to visit in Arches. It is by far the most popular and well-known Arch in all of Utah, if not the better part of the United States. This iconic Arch opening is 46 feet high and 32 feet wide. Visitors come from all over the world to hike the trail and see this famous geological feature for themselves.
The parking lot is big, but it also fills up fast. If you are planning on doing this hike, go early in the morning or later in the day. The trail up to Delicate Arch is 3 miles roundtrip and uphill pretty much the whole way. There is about a 500 feet elevation gain.
I am not gonna lie, I struggled a little. I had to stop and take a few breaks. My kids on the other hand are goats lol and didn’t have any issues. The other good news is that since it’s uphill the whole way there, the way back was cake since it was all downhill, lol.
When to go
I highly recommend you go in the spring or fall. Summer is VERY HOT. If you go during the summer, try and go as early as you possibly can (even getting the arch in time for sunrise is fun), or later in the afternoon to avoid the summer heat. This is where a hat, sunscreen, a cooling towel and plenty of water come in handy.
The spring and fall are also less busy so you will be able to enjoy everything without as many people crowding the area.
We went in February and it was almost perfect. It was still a little chilly, but overall the weather was great. Also, don’t forget there are no animals allowed. So be sure to find someone to dogsit for you so your puppy isn’t sitting in the hot car while you are hiking.
The trail also crosses the Wolfe Ranch cabin and a wall of Ute Indian petroglyphs. You can see pictures of these above/below. They are fun to stop and see along the way, adding an extra element to your hike!
What to take on your Delicate Arch hike
The trail can be tricky sometimes since there really isn’t a path along the big rock mountains. Just follow the flow of traffic or use a hiking app. There are some signs so be sure to watch for those.
Things I recommend you take on this hike:
- Water (hiking bags with bladders are great)
- Snacks (these can be carried in the hiking bags)
- Portable charger
- Cooling towel
- Small first aid kit
- Light jacket
- Emergency whistle
And anything else that is specific to your family. Don’t forget things for your littles (diapers, etc.) or inhalers/meds if you need those as well.
As you are hiking, be sure to turn back a few times to capture views of the other arches and formations you can see. The photo above is one of my favorites. There is just so much to see everywhere you look.
Really take time and enjoy all the different rock formations and landmarks you will see along the way.
This part of the hike is the very end right before you go around the corner to see Delicate Arch. It is a drop off, and not super wide, so be sure to hold the hands of your little kids.
Delicate Arch is so amazing. I can’t even describe the beauty and size. You can see in the picture below of me standing in the arch.
Save for later
Pin the image below so you can save the details of this hike for when you are ready to go. You can also learn more about Delicate Arch here.
Looking for more to do at Arches? Be sure to also stop at these places:
If you are in Utah, here are some National Park stops you need to make:
And here is our National Parks in Utah – Road Trip Guide