Round Trip Distance: 1.6 miles
Elevation: 5159 - 5275 feet
Elevation Change: 420 feet
Cellphone: 0-4 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Facilities: Vault toilet
Trailhead: Windows Section or Double Arch
Fee: $5 individual - $10 vehicle - $25 annual pass
Attractions: Geology, scenic views, wildflowers
View Arches Windows Section in a larger map
The Windows Section in Arches National Park is one of the funnest trails for seeing some arches close up without a great deal of effort. Visitors to the Windows Section have the option of doing a short loop that will take them to Turret Arch and North and South Windows Arches. The length of the hike can be doubled by incorporating the primitive trail that loops around the back side of the Windows arches. The primitive loop requires a little minor scrambling in a few places and also has a short stretch of loose beach like sand.
The parking area for the Windows Section and Double Arch are closely adjacent to each other. At whichever lot you can find a parking spot you can use a connecting trail to get to the other. There are restrooms located at the Windows Section.
The improved section of the trail is bordered by sandstone slabs encasing packed gravel. Something about the span of the steps makes them a little awkward to ascend but the improvement makes the trail accessible year round in most any weather.
The short loop begins after a hundred yards or so. The left fork leads up to North Windows Arch and the right leads over to Turret Arch.
The steepest sections of the trail are from the fork up to Turret Arch and from the fork up to North Windows Arch. Turret Arch can be seen in the above picture.
The hike from Turret Arch around to South Windows Arch provides some stunning views of various rock structures with the La Sal mountains framing the distant horizon.
North Windows Arch is situated so that you can walk right up and stand in the middle. Kind of a walk-in picture window.
From South Windows Arch you can follow the short loop back to the trailhead or set off on the primitive loop that goes around the back side of the arches before returning to the trailhead.
Parts of the primitive loop are like secret garden areas.
The picture above illustrates one of the spots that requires a little bit of minor scrambling.
The last section of the primitive loop provides some nice views of the area around Double Arch. This stretch of the trail has a sandy bottom.
Visitors can't go wrong with a stop at the Windows Section of Arches National Park. Whether you take the short loop or the longer primitive loop you will be treated well for your effort. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.