Sand Dune Arch and Broken Arch

Trail Head: 38.764932, -109.583673

Trail Type: Hiking

Length: 1.7 miles round trip

Difficulty: Easy

Sand Dune Arch, as its name implies, has quite a bit of sand around it, the accumulation of wind-driven sand at its base. The arch sits in the shade for most of the day, flanked by two large sandstone fins. Many hikers take their shoes off and enjoy the cool (hot in the summer sun) sand between their tired toes. Sand Dune Arch lies only 0.2 miles from the Broken Arch Trailhead (south), on a little spur trail.

Broken Arch is not really broken at all, though it is wearing thin along the lintel. It is still standing, and likely will be after the majority of our buildings have rusted and crumbled away. Broken Arch lies along the east end of the Broken Arch Trail, 0.83 miles from the (south) parking lot on the road.


The trailhead is located at the north end of the parking lot, directly east of the formation of fins that Sand Dune Arch is a part of.


The trail up to Sand Dune Arch becomes quite narrow for a few hundred yards, a small slot canyon. It continues past the arch for a little way before choking up and becoming impassable.


The trail goes directly under the span of Broken Arch before swinging west towards the Devils Garden Campground. There are two short trails leading north towards the lesser renowned Tapestry Arch, about half-way between the campground, and Broken Arch.


This is a popular place to spend the night at Arches, with restrooms, showers, and lots of hiking just right around the corner. The campground also hosts the Broken Arch Loop Trail, which runs past Tapestry Arch, and Broken Arch, and then swings south towards, though not passing, Sand Dune Arch and then back up past Skyline Arch before returning to the campground.


This arch sits high atop the rocks of the Devils Garden, visible from many areas of the park. It is easy to hike up to the arch, but requires some scrambling and rock-hopping skill in order to approach closer.

Click here for more information about Arches National Park and the surrounding area.

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