Arches National Park: Delicate Arch

Climb a massive slickrock ribbon and stand beneath one of Arches National Park's most iconic landmarks on this 3.1-mile out-and-back.
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Climb a massive slickrock ribbon and stand beneath one of Arches National Park's most iconic landmarks on this 3.1-mile out-and-back.

Add this classic 3.1-miler to your list of must-do hikes in Arches National Park. From the large parking area, follow the well-maintained Delicate Arch Trail to the northeast, passing a spur trail to the Wolfe Ranch cabin on the left. Desert scrub, stunted pinon, and ruddy rock formations flank the trail as you gently climb above Winter Camp Wash. After 0.8 mile, the route ascends a massive slickrock outcropping dotted with cairns. Don't forget to turn around every once in a while for striking views to the southwest of ruddy cliffs and mountains.
At the top of the slickrock ramp, head north for a slight descent into a sandy wash dotted with pinon, juniper, and sandstone rock formations. At mile 1.4, traverse a narrow, slickrock catwalk cut into the walls of the cliff. (Sandstone rock formations tower above the wash on the left-hand side of the trail.) Delicate Arch comes into view 0.1 mile later—drop your packs and savor incredible views of this natural sandstone arch, which rises in front of the Cache Valley and the La Sal Mountains. Follow the same route back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Kim Phillips, Maribeth Oscamou, and Matt Oscamou

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 5.0

Waypoints

DEL001

Location: 38.7356489, -109.5204735

From the large parking area, follow Delicate Arch Trail (a wide dirt path) to the northeast. In roughly 350 feet, pass a spur trail on the left that leads to the Wolfe Ranch cabin.

DEL002

Location: 38.7364006, -109.5192032

Cross a steel footbridge over Salt Wash, then continue northeast on trail flanked by desert scrub and ruddy rock formations.

DEL003

Location: 38.7382011, -109.5139008

The gentle climb continues, heading northeast above Winter Camp Wash.

DEL004

Location: 38.7402306, -109.5121002

The trail curves to the right and winds to the east toward a massive slickrock outcropping.

DEL005

Location: 38.7404785, -109.5098038

Follow the cairns up this expansive slickrock ribbon. Don't forget to turn around for striking views of the ruddy cliffs and mountains that rise to the southwest.

DEL006

Location: 38.7418165, -109.5052171

At the top of the slickrock ramp, head north for a slight descent into a sandy wash dotted with stunted pinon and juniper.

DEL007

Location: 38.7437515, -109.5037994

The trail winds through a wash punctuated by sandstone rock formations.

DEL008

Location: 38.7441847, -109.5020843

Hike along a narrow, slickrock catwalk that's cut into the walls of the cliff. Photo op: Snap photos of the sandstone rock formations that tower above the wash on the left.

DEL009

Location: 38.7439504, -109.4993484

Delicate Arch: Drop your packs and savor incredible views of Delicate Arch from this small sandstone amphitheater. This iconic landmark (featured on Utah's license plate) rises in front of the Cache Valley, the La Sal Mountains, and red rock canyons. Retrace your steps to the trailhead.

Delicate Arch

Location: 38.7439002, -109.4992626

Delicate Arch Trail

Location: 38.7364272, -109.5182312

Red Rock Cliffs

Location: 38.7368279, -109.5176086

Desert Views

Location: 38.7403019, -109.5116758

Slickrock Outcropping

Location: 38.7404943, -109.5084465

Views across Winter Camp Wash

Location: 38.7407287, -109.5067835

Slickrock

Location: 38.7430383, -109.5046055

Sandy Wash

Location: 38.7440173, -109.5035756

Slickrock Ledge

Location: 38.744147, -109.5019394