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Five Easy Walks in Arches National Park

There is nowhere on earth like Arches National Park. Filled with world famous monuments like the Delicate Arch, Arches is home to some great walks through some amazing scenery. Thankfully there are plenty of choices for everyone to choose from. These are our five favorite easy walks in Arches National Park:

Sunrise in Arches National Park

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Delicate Arch Lookout Trail

Delicate Arch Viewpoint

Delicate Arch is the star attraction of Arches National Park. The main hiking trail to see Delicate Arch up close is a 3 mile round-trip with a steady incline all the way up (480 feet total elevation gain). If this isn’t possible, don’t worry as you can still enjoy good views of it from the Delicate Arch Lookout Trail.

delicate arch viewpoint with kids in arches national park

The Delicate Arch Lookout Trail is a much shorter alternative, clocking in at 0.75 miles (1.2km) and only 140 feet of elevation gain. There are actually two viewpoints available on this trail:

The first and most popular option is the longer walk of the two. It’s a short, uphill trail consisting mostly of steps made of stone. There are plenty of nice views of the valley below (which was nice and green in April) and lots of wildflowers, including a beautiful blooming cactus with red flowers. Due to it’s distance and climb, this viewpoint gets you closer to the Delicate Arch than the other.

easy walk to delicate arch viewpoint
Arches national park trails with kids

The second viewpoint is a very short and flat walk from the parking lot. We always prefer the option that gives us more exercise, but if you are unable to do option #1, this is a very good alternative. In our opinion, the views of Delicate Arch from the lower viewpoint are every bit as good as the upper viewpoint.

Delicate Arch Viewpoint

We saw both viewpoints in around 30 minutes. This is a typical pace with our two kids (aged 3 & 5). Without kids, we could have walked this trail in approximately 15 minutes.

Facilites:  There are washrooms at the trailhead, but no water stations.

Delicate Arch Lookout Trailhead

Double Arch Trail

double arch arches national park

The Double Arch Trail is a very short and flat gravel trail leading to a rare and very impressive double arch. The walk itself is nothing to write home about; it’s just a short walk through a scrub brush forest, but the double arch is so impressive that it’s one of the best things to do in Arches National Park.

Double Arch in Arches National Park

One you reach the end of the trail, you can climb up some slickrock to get underneath for a better view of the Double Arches, and as a bonus you will also see the nearby Windows arches as well. At midday, you can find some rare shade by hiding under the shadow of the arches; a real treat, making this is a great place to stop for lunch or a snack.

The return distance for this trail is only 0.7 miles (1.1km) with hardly any elevation gain. If you want to climb the slickrock under the double arches, you’ll need good shoes.

Facilites: There are washrooms in the parking lot (on the Windows Loop side), but no water stations.

Double Arch Trailhead

Windows Loop Trail

Windows Loop Trail in Arches National Park with Kids

The Windows Loop Trail conveniently shares the same parking lot as the Double Arch Trail.  The Windows arches are another of Arches NP’s most famous formations, this time with two arches side-by-side, instead of front-to-back like the Double Arch.

This trail is short and quite easy (0.8 miles / 1.3km return), but it’s quite fun. The trail begins with a moderate uphill walk up gentle stairs to the North Window Arch. Here you can climb up and under the arch, which also provides a good amount of midday shade. The views of Arches National Park looking through the North Arch are pretty incredible.

Windows in Arches National Park with kids
Windows Loop Trail in Arches National Park

The loop trail continues onwards to the South Window Arch. You can also climb up under this one, but it’s much steeper and not many people do (we didn’t). As we looped back towards the parking lot, we passed one last large arch – the Turret Arch.

There is a spur trail which allows you to get close to and climb under this impressive arch, but after a long day of hiking in the Utah sun, we were done.

Windows Loop Trail in Arches National Park with Kids

Facilites: There are washrooms in the parking lot, but no water stations.

Windows Loop Trailhead

Sand Dunes Arch

Sand Dunes Arch in Arches National Park with Kids

We visited Sand Dunes Arch based on a recommendation we received from another family while hiking the Devil’s Garden Loop Trail with kids. As you may guess, the Sand Dunes Arch is a small arch with a sand dune underneath it, making it the best arch for small kids within Arches National Park.

As a bonus, the sand dune is in a very shady area, perfect for a place to hide from the hot Utah sun for a while.

easy walk to sand dune arch in arches national park
Sand dune arch with kids

The sand underneath the arch is so deep, it’s actually like the kids are at a beach. Our kids had a lot of fun playing in the sand, but they almost seemed confused… like, where’s the ocean? Some families were so prepared that they had beach toys for their kids to play in the sand.

Want a good laugh? Look at the ground in the parking lot… it’ll be full of small sand piles from kids getting their shoes emptied before getting back in the car!

The walk to the Sand Dune Arch is a very short 0.3 miles (0.5 km) each way, with very little elevation gain.

Facilites: There are washrooms in the parking lot, but no water stations.

Sand Dunes Arch Trailhead

Park Avenue Trail

Park Avenue Trail in Arches NP with kids

Park Avenue Trail is one of the most impressive walks in all of Arches National Park. We had passed the trailhead several times in the car and each time we said “WOW!” – we knew we had to make time for this one.

The Park Avenue Trail runs through a gap between two absolutely massive stone walls (check out the shadow in Google Maps satellite view). Some of them are straight up, providing a really amazing effect. You feel so small walking beneath these giants. It’s a short hike in Arches National Park, but incredibly beautiful – a must do!

Park Avenue hiking Trail in Arches NP

This is the longest and hardest of the walks listed here, but it’s still quite manageable for anyone in reasonable shape. This hike is not a loop and is 0.9 miles (1.5km) each way.

Hiking Park Avenue Trail in Arches National Park Utah

If you start at the south end of the trail, it begins with a long set of stairs down into the valley and once the stairs end, the trail gradually declines the whole way to the north trailhead.

If you are doing a there-and-back walk and want it to be easy, start from the north end and walk south to the bottom of the steps, then turn around and go back. If you are doing it one way (someone will have to drive the car to the other trailhead), the easiest direction to walk is to start at the south and walk downhill all the way.

Facilites: There are washrooms in the parking lots, but no water stations.

Park Avenue Trailhead – South

Park Avenue Trailhead – North (parking is across the highway at the Courthouse Towers Viewpoint)

What to Bring

We have an entire post full of all our best tips for hiking with kids and this one with all the best hiking gear for kids.

Hiking with kids

Other Hikes around Arches National Park

Canyonlands National Park also has some fun and interesting trails for families to enjoy. A few other family-friendly hikes we enjoyed during our visit included these easy hikes in Canyonlands National Park and hiking the Slickrock trail with kids.

Moab’s National Parks with Kids

Moab, Utah is a great base for exploring Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. For more things to do, family friendly hotels and campgrounds, visit our Arches & Canyonlands National Parks with Kids post.

Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Utah National Parks Travel Guide

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These 5 easy walks in Arches National Park are great for families traveling with small kids. You'll get up close to the Arches and some even have fun features for kids. Don't miss these family friendly hiking trails in Arches National Park Utah! #archesnationalpark #hikingwithkids #familytravel #utah
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