Arches National Park located in Moab, Utah is one of my family’s favorite travel destinations. Arches is home to one of the most unique landscapes on Earth that includes more than 2,000 natural stone arches and other amazing rock formations. You almost feel like you are on another planet when you visit this place! The natural red sandstone rock creates a true wonderland that your family must go and see for yourselves.
The park is open year round, 24 hours a day and the entrance fee is $10 per vehicle. The Visitors Center is open every day except Christmas Day. We love that you can drive your own vehicle into the park and spend as much time as you want exploring the area. There are campgrounds located inside Arches National Park, however we usually stay in the nearby town of Moab. Request a free Moab travel guide that contains a directory to lodges, campgrounds, outfitters, services and attractions. One thing I can guarantee you is that if you love the outdoors, you will never get bored in Moab.
The Delicate Arch Hike
Many of the beautiful Arches rock formations can be seen from car accessible scenic viewpoints. There are also several hiking trails that are an Easy level of difficulty. My family’s favorite Arches hike is the Moderate level hike to the Delicate Arch, a 65-foot arch that is one of the most recognizable arches because it is featured on Utah’s license plate.
This is a 3.2 mile long round trip hike with a 480 foot elevation change. The hike is very popular and may be crowded during peak season weekends and holidays. Spring and fall are the best time to hike this trail because the mid-summer temperatures can be super hot!
Can a family with young children do this hike? Yes, it is possible. We took our 11-month-old baby, 2-year-old, 4-year-old and 8-year-old on the Delicate Arch hike successfully. Our youngest rode in a baby hiking backpack the entire way. Our 2-year-old was a super trooper and actually out-hiked his older brothers most of the way, although I did carry him on my shoulders on the steeper parts.
What To Bring:
- Water bottles(at least 1 quart of water per person)
- Sunscreen – There is NO SHADE along this trail. You may even want to bring a hat.
- Comfortable Shoes for hiking
About the hike: Starting Point: Wolfe Ranch parking lot. The first part of the hike is a trail you will have no problem staying on for about half a mile. Then the trail switches to “slick rock,” which is rock that is naturally smooth. (It’s not slippery unless it is wet.) Follow the rock cairns for the next part of the trail that gradually increases in elevation. The last 200 yards of the trail has a rock cliff on the left side and a sheer rock wall to your right. The trail is about 3 feet wide here, so you don’t feel too unsafe. There are amazing desert views all along the trail, but you don’t get a view of the Delicate Arch until the very end.
Heading up the Slick Rock part of the Delicate Arch Hike
The last 200 yards has a rock cliff on one side and a sheer rock wall on the other. A little scary – watch the kids on this part!
We made it!!!
Be sure to take pictures once you get there! You can hike right up to and underneath the arch for a stunning photo opp. Once you are ready to leave, follow the trail back the way you came. The way out seems easier since it’s all downhill.
Have you ever visited Arches National Park? Feel free to leave a comment and share your suggestions for a great family trip.
Check out our day trip to see the Great Salt Lake, Utah at Antelope Island State Park.
We also had a really fun family summer vacation at Steamboat Springs, Colorado.