Delicate Arch is one of the most famous arches, if not the most famous, in Arches National Park. If you’re not hiker, or just plain lazy, you can catch a glimpse of this magnificent arch from below. Two short walks from the parking lot offer lower and upper viewpoints. But if you can muster the energy, skip the viewpoint, and huff and puff for three miles (round trip) to the base of Delicate Arch.
It is totally worth it.
The elevation gain is only 500 feet, but most of it is condensed into a short one mile. Bring plenty of water and just remember: There’s a beautiful arch at the end.
The hike starts out on a dirt path. As we walked past a log house, I thought, “this isn’t so hard.” I admired the exotic desert flowers and oddly shaped trees.
After a half a mile, the trail peters out into steep slick rock. Sporadic cairns to guide the way, but we simply followed the stream of hikers in front of us.
A small arch to tempt your appetite before you see the real thing.
One minute, I’m hiking, and the next minute…… I’m standing in awe. Mouth open, eyes bulging, drool trickling. For this, I would hike 10 miles if I had to.
In peak season, you’ll have to contend with a throng of other tourists taking photos under the arch, but people are pretty good about not hogging the spotlight. When my turn came, I eagerly inched my way underneath the gigantic miracle. Suddenly, it seemed overwhelmingly large. I felt like I was standing at the edge of the world. Maybe, because I was.
I am just a tiny spec in the pictures. You can barely see my goofy, triumphant grin. But rest assured, it is there.