Sunday, May 26, 2013

Delicate Arch Trail

Moab, UT

Last Thursday (5-23) Joe and I were out the door bright and early...destination... Delicate Arch Trail in Arches NP. The trail is about 11 miles from the entrance to Arches.
Delicate Arch Trail is 3 miles round trip. There isn't any shade so go early. Also, the parking lot is not very big. This is a popular hike so spaces are limited. Unlike Devils Garden, there is no overflow area for parking.
We first visited Wolfe Ranch. John Wesley Wolfe settled in the location in 1888 with his oldest son Fred. He chose this tract of more than 100 acres along Salt Wash for its water and grasslands. The Wolfe's built a one room cabin, a small corral. and a small dam across Salt Wash. For more than a decade, he and his son lived there alone. In 1906, Wolfe's daughter, Flora, her husband and children moved to the ranch. Flora convinced her father to build a new with a wood floor! 

After a look there, we crossed a suspension bridge over Salt Wash.

Continuing on, we took a short spur trail that leads to a wall of petroglyphs. These petroglyphs are identified as a Ute hunting panel and are easily dated after 1500's, the date Spaniards introduced the horse to the New World.

future photographer!

    From there we headed up a winding trail...


...until we reached the base of a slickrock incline. The tiny spots at the top of the slickrock are people!

The trail completely disappears and cairns mark the way.

           As the pictures show, this is a slow, steady climb...
...until we reached an area of sandy washes and rock outcroppings. We were careful to stay on the trail, but there didn't seem to be a clear path here.

The last part of the trail is a narrow ledge. There is a nice view of Frame Arch on your left.
Frame Arch

Up until this time, Delicate Arch has not been visible.


But just as we walked around the ledge, Delicate Arch came into view...a WOW moment for sure!


Delicate Arch is a 65 -foot tall freestanding natural arch. It is the most widely recognized landmark in Arches NP and is depicted on Utah license plates. The Olympic torch relay for the 2002 Winter Olympics passed through the arch. 

A beautiful view of the La Sal Mountains looking through the arch.

A look in the other direction is a view of the main road that winds through Arches.  After lots of pictures and visits with other hikers, it was time to go.

The hike back to the parking lot was not so bad...we entertained ourselves by finding and naming a few rock formations...

 We named this rock "porta potty"!

And this one "Pig".
We sure enjoyed this hike! 
Hope you had a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Thanks for stopping by.




  1. Love the picture of the mountains through the arch! Safe travels:)

  2. You guys must be really in great shape after all these hikes you've been doing. Way to go. Isn't it beautiful there???

  3. Great pics..............Thanks for sharing


  4. Thanks for taking us along on your hikes, enjoying places we have never seen yet.
    Awesome pictures.

  5. I love the Arches....we never made it there so it was wonderful to have you share your experiences with everyone...Beautiful!

  6. Beautiful hike. The crowd doesn't look bad at all. The area around the arch is pretty empty. We had that same type day. I can't believe how much snow there still is on the La Sal mountains. Sure makes for a beautiful photo.

  7. Looks like you had a perfect day for this hike--not too crowded, blue skies, snow-capped mountains, and hopefully not too warm. I am impressed with your knowledge of technical term to describe your journey such as sandy washes and porta potty. :>)