Arches National Park
Delicate Arch, Arches
The world's largest concentration of stone arches is located in this spectacular park, just five miles north of town. An 18-mile paved road offers a good intro to Arches' natural attractions, which were created by the slow erosion of red sandstone. But a better way to see this unique landscape is on foot. Here are some of our hands-down hiking favorites:
- Sunset Hike to Delicate Arch. You've seen it on license plates, in movies, on stamps, and in calendars. Now, you can experience the iconoclastic Delicate Arch up close. Making the moderate three-mile hike to Utah's most-photographed red rock monument is a must-do. The best time to go is sunset, when you can see Mother Nature's artistic handiwork in its best light.
Not surprisingly, this popular hike has become a nightly ritual among tourists, locals, and photographers alike. The trail climbs 480 feet from the Wolfe Ranch parking area and is best for kids over 7 with previous hiking experience. Budget two hours roundtrip. If you go during the day, wear sunscreen and carry at least a quart of water per person -- there's no shade along the way.
Traveling with tiny tots? You can still see the arch. Just drive to the Delicate Arch Viewpoint and make an easy 50-yard dash to the rock.
- Sand Dune Arch. The park has lots of short, easy trails, perfect for little kids. One of their favorites is the 4/10-mile roundtrip from the parking lot to the arch through tall sandstone fins and deep sand (a perfect natural sandbox). It's located in the Devil's Garden Area, 16 miles from the park entrance