Arches National Park – Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park is amazing and can be seen from multiple angles. There’s the Delicate Arch trail that takes you to the base of the arch as well as the Upper and Lower Viewpoints.

Delicate Arch is one of the most popular arches in Arches National Park. As such, the parking lot fills up quickly during peak tourist season. Lizzie and I found this out the hard way when we visited in August of 2014. The parking lot of the Delicate Arch trail-head was full so we had to settle for doing the upper and lower viewpoints. Don’t get me wrong, the viewpoints are worth seeing, but we had are hearts set on being up close and personal.

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Delicate Arch from one of the viewpoints

When Shawn and I visited Arches National Park in March of this year (2017) we had our pick of parking spots at the Delicate Arch trail-head. Delicate Arch is a challenging 3 mile round-trip trail that is well work the effort. Once you get there, there is a lot of room to spread out from the other people, sit back, relax, and eat a snack; which is exactly what we did for a couple hours.

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Looking back down the rock-face section of trail
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Delicate Arch with snow covered La Sal Mountains in the background
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Delicate Arch up close


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Just don’t get too close!
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Trail leaving Delicate Arch

The Delicate Arch Trail starts by passing Wolfe Ranch cabin and then continues as a steady accent up a rock-face. There is a wooden marker sticking out of the ground near the top with an arrow pointing in the direction to continue. From there, there are cairns marking the trail.

If you do not like heights, I would recommend sticking with the Delicate Arch Upper and Lower Viewpoints. Right before you get to Delicate Arch the trail narrows and there is a sheer drop off on one side. The picture above is the widest section of that portion of the trail.