|Delicate Arch Viewpoint
Length: 1.8 miles round trip
Description: Short, easy trails lead to viewpoints where you can see and photograph spectacular Delicate Arch, in Arches National Park.
There are actually two official viewpoints along the trail, the upper and the Lower. Both of them use the same trailhead, though the spur to the Lower Viewpoint branches off from the main after less than 1/10th of a mile. The Lower Viewpoint Trail gains only 50 feet in elevation, but the Upper Viewpoint Trail gains almost 200 feet. The Upper Viewpoint is located atop a cliff that stretches for nearly half a mile to the east, giving many unofficial vantage points from which to photograph the arch.
Delicate Arch Viewpoint Trailhead
The parking lot at the end of the Wolfe Ranch/Delicate Arch Road marks the trailhead for the Viewpoint. The Wolfe Ranch/Delicate Arch Road forks from the Arches Entrance Road 11.5 miles beyond the park entrance. Drive past Wolf Ranch (the trailhead for people hiking to the arch) and continue to the end of the road to access the viewpoint trails.
For those who do not have the time or physical capability to climb the slope to the Upper Viewpoint above, the Lower Viewpoint still offers a great, if not intimate, vantage of the arch. The trail is just under a half-mile roundtrip from the parking lot to the Lower Viewpoint and back.
The viewpoint sits atop the cliffs to the south of Winter Camp Wash, only half a mile as the crow flies from the famous arch itself. It offers a great panorama of the Arches lands, with Delicate as its focal piece. There are no trails from these viewpoints to the arch itself. If you want to hike right up to Delicate Arch, return down the road to the Wolf Ranch Trailhead.
This stone spire rises 200 feet above Winter Camp Wash, the deep valley that sits between Delicate Arch and its viewpoints to the south.
Delicate Arch has graced many magazine covers, mantle pieces, coffee tables, stamps, license plates, and a variety of other media. It is an international attraction, and has drawn its fair share of abuse over the years, including (now illegal) climbing, and ignorant pyrotechnics.