Oct 16

Delicate Arch Trail:

Delicate ARch close to sunsetThe Delicate Arch Trail is the quintessential hike in the Arches National Park complex located in Utah.  If you are going to do one hike this is the one to do.  Make sure you take the hike around sunset so you can make best use of the light.  Since it is the hike that most people are there to do, do not get the impression that you are going to have solitude.  Despite the large numbers of people, especially in the busier summer months, it is still worth the time and energy it will take to get to the top.
Wolfe RanchThe hike is around three miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of 500 feet.  The first part of the hike starts out at Wolfe Ranch.  The trail is heavily walked and well maintained.  It goes up a series of switch backs that can seem very steep if you have been walking all day.  Make sure you take your time and bring lots of water especially if it is the heat of summer.  I have seen people along the way get sick from the heat.  If you take precautions it really is not a bad hike at all.  In fact, I have seen very small children make the entire hike without any trouble.
LizardOnce you make it past the series of switchbacks you will make it to a somewhat steep sandstone hill which is also called slickrock.  Do not let the name fool you it is not very slippery unless it has rained recently, which should not be a problem since Arches in the middle of a desert.  After you make it past the incline of the slickrock just follow the cairns, which are the small flat rocks stacked on top of each other, and they will guide you on your way.
Karen on the TrailJust before you reach the top you will follow an incredible 200 yard ledge that will wind around the back of Delicate Arch.  Just follow the ledge and you will be taken to Delicate Arch.  The first time I saw Delicate Arch it literally took my breath away.  I just got up to the ledge and sat down and took it in with all its splendor.
Delicate ArchDelicate Arch is beautifully situated with the La Sal Mountains behind it.  Make sure you take this hike if you are ever in Arches National Park.  You will not be disappointed.
Viewing Arches from the Observation Point


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