Delicate Arch Hike

Delicate Arch is THE arch, the one that's on the Christmas ornament we bought and on just about everything else. You have to go all the way to the end of the trail to see it and it's worth it.

We were worried about parking until we saw the expanded gravel lot. 

The trail starts off flat but quickly get into a big slickrock climb that’s the hardest part of the hike. It’s not terribly steep but it’s a unrelenting uphill and there is no shade at all. 

There are interesting landscape views and close-ups of rock and plant life in the slickrock as you hike, but this is definitely one of those hikes where the payoff is at the very end. It’s all about the destination not the journey.

After the slickrock climb you hike around the back of a rock fin. The trail is narrower here but well-maintained and there is some shade. 

You round the last bend …

… and there it is! The famous arch. Along with a few hundred people enjoying the view. We managed to get a shot without most of them.

There are interesting rock textures in the area but the arch is the highlight. Going back down we encountered more crowds on the ledge. The slickrock is easier going down than up but it’s hard on the knees and there’s still no shade. 

You can also see the arch from a viewpoint though you can’t get as close.