Delicate Arch Viewpoint

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.8 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4324 - 4489 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 45 mins.
Trailhead: Delicate Arch Viewpoint
Fee: $25/vehicle
Attractions: Scenic arch




The Delicate Arch Viewpoint is located in Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. The site offers a wide hard packed lower trail that is wheelchair accessible as well as a more primitive upper trail. Each trail leads to viewpoints that provide different angles from which to get a good look of the iconic Delicate Arch. While neither trail provides access all the way to the arch itself the viewpoints are nonetheless important for those that are either unable to handle the challenge of the Delicate Arch trail or unable to find room to park at its very busy trailhead.


The Arch Viewpoint trailhead is about 14 miles from the Visitor Center and 8 tenths of a mile from the Delicate Arch trailhead at Wolfe Ranch.


The lower trail has a hard packed surface and is mostly level. Wheelchairs may require a little assistance.


It is less than 500 feet to the lower viewpoint.


From the lower viewpoint the arch is clearly visible about 3/4 of a mile away.


With a little bit of a zoom you can get a decent picture even from this distance.


The upper trail starts out along a wide easy path.


After a short distance the trail begins climbing and becomes much more primitive.


Stairways of rock slabs make the climbing a little easier.


The trail levels off and comes to an end at the upper viewpoint. It is perfectly fine to hike beyond the sign but as in all areas of Arches National Park when wandering off the trail you must remain on the slickrock and avoid stepping on the cryptobiotic soil. You will also want to take care around the steep drop offs.


From the upper viewpoint Delicate Arch is only about 4/10 of a mile away separated by the precipitous cliffs of Winter Camp Wash.


Once again, zooming in will give you a decent picture. All of the people that like to stand around the arch and end up in your photo aren't nearly as annoying from this distance.


There should be enough pictures in the slideshow at the end of this post to show what you can expect when hiking the upper trail. Back at the trailhead you will notice that besides the restroom there is also a picnic table. A trip to Arches National Park might not seem nearly as complete if you don't get to see one of its most famous arches. Since it can seem impossible at times to find a place to park near Wolfe Ranch, from where the Delicate Arch trail begins, you can at least still get a pretty good look at it from either the lower or upper viewpoints. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.