In early December, I was able to visit Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. It was my first ever visit to this totally-sweet-desert-paradise and it sure won’t be the last. By the end of one-and-a-half day trip I had hiked close to 15 miles, camped with a sweet view of the mountains, canyons and arches, took a spill or two (because its not a good hike if I don’t fall once or twice), and took some pictures that don’t even begin to do the park and terrain justice. Here is a little peak into my trip and some rad pictures to go with it.
Arches National Park was established on April 2, 1929. It preserves a total of 119.8 square miles of desert landscape, which includes over 2,000 sandstone arches. Some of the more famous arches in the park include Landscape Arch, Windows, Double Arch, and Delicate Arch. Luckily, you can visit these super sweet arches year-round… just like I did!
Hiking in Arches
Devil’s Garden Loop (with primitive trail) – 7.2 mi difficult
- Navajo Arch Trail – 0.2 mi
- Partition Arch Trail – 0.2 mi
- Dark Angel Trail – 0.4 mi
- Private Arch Trail – 0.3 mi
- Landscape Arch Trail – 0.0 mi
- Tunnel Arch Trail – 0.1 mi
- Pine Tree Arch Trail – 0.2 mi
I would consider Devil’s Garden to be a fairly difficult trail all-around. The first part of the trail that goes by Landscape Arch, Tunnel Arch, and Pine tree arch is much less difficult and has a well marked path. Once you pass the observation point for Landscape Arch, you are then on a mostly rock trail. The trail then leads to the Double O Arch and the Dark Angel Trail. You can chose to take the same way back as you came or you can keep taking the loop from the Double O Arch to the Primitive Trail. This part of the trail is a lot of scrambling and rock climbing with a few steep cliffs. This trail has so many awesome views of the arches and the surrounding landscape. I highly recommend this trial to anyone who is up for an awesome day hike in the desert.
The Windows – 1 mi easy
- Turret Arch Trail – 0.2 mi easy
Skyline Arch Trail – 0.2 easy
Double Arch – 0.5 easy
We did all of these trail on the afternoon/evening we arrived at Arches National Park. All of these trails are fairly flat and accessible for anyone, still will great views and awesome sunset watching.
Camping in Arches
Devil’s Garden Campground has 51 sites, potable water, flush toilets, picnic tables and fire pits with grill. We paid $25 for the tent site for one night. It got down to able 15 degrees F, but the view made it totally worth it. We cooked on my MSR Backpacking stove and slept in my REI Passage 2 tent. I have a 20 degree Kelty sleeping bag, but throw a sleeping bag liner or a fleece blanket inside it and you are good to go!
I hope this post about this desert gem will encourage you and your friends and family to take a visit!