Visiting hikers come in all shapes, sizes, and abilities. Finding a trail that is suited to the hiker’s level will insure a more positive experience. Taking on a hike that is too difficult limits the hiker’s ability to enjoy the scenery, and walking a hike that is too easy becomes boring and lacks the desired challenge and exercise.
For entry level hikers, first time hikers, or trail seekers on a time crunch, feel free to read the article on easy hikes in Arches. This article will outline the shorter and easier hikes, as well as some moderate level ones. Here, we’ll outline some of the more difficult or lengthy hikes found in the unique park.
The Park Avenue hike starts at the designated parking area, and goes about a mile. This beautiful hike descends steeply into a gorgeous canyon and heads to Courthouse Towers. There are two options for finishing this hike. Either you can have a shuttle pick you up from the other end, or retrace your steps along the trail for a round trip hike.
The Tower Arch hike has a shorter hike, which is accessible only in certain road conditions, and a longer, 2-3 hour hike. This trail climbs a short and steep rock wall, then stretches through sand dunes and sandstone fins for a rewarding view of the Tower Arch.
For the experienced hiker, or for people who have a longer amount of time, the 2-3 hour Delicate Arch hike is spectacular. For this, though, water is a requirement, since there isn’t any shade. The first half of Delicate Arch is an easy, well defined path. When reaching the slickrock, there are stacked rock trail markers, called Cairns, that will guide you. The trail ascends gradually, then follows a rock ledge for about 200 yards.
A scenic 2-3 hour hike guides you to a few different arches. If you take the hike to Landscape Arch, and find that you are wanting more of a challenge, Double O Arch is farther down. This trail winds through sandstone slabs and rocky footpaths. Spur paths venture off to view the Partition Arch and the Navajo Arch. After seeing the Double O, keep following the trail for another half mile to see the Dark Angel Arch.
One of the most beautiful areas in Arches National Park, is also one of the most dangerous. In order to access the Fiery Furnace, you have to obtain a special paid hiking pass, or book a tour with an experienced guide. GPS doesn’t work on this hike, and even experienced hikers have gotten lost walking through the narrow sandstone fins and canyons.