Utah’s iconic Delicate Arch in Arches National Park

Ever wonder what arch is on all of Utah’s license plate? It’s the Delicate Arch. This arch brought the public’s attention to the beauty and diversity of the world of arches in Utah. It is by far the most recognizable arch. Although I’ve seen pictures of the Delicate Arch countless of times, it was still amazing to get to see it in person. If you are in Utah, you cannot miss out on this hike. It will be like visiting New York city without seeing the Statue of Liberty or driving by Los Angeles without seeing the Hollywood Sign. This arch is truly spectacular and it is one of the must do’s for everyone.

Tourists admiring the Delicate Arch


Length: 3 miles out and back, 300 elevation gain

Difficulty: Easy to moderate. The trail is largely flat with one big uphill

Navigation: A lot of people do this trail and you will have no problem finding it using cairns and signage

Trailhead: From the park’s visitor center, you will drive further into the park and make a right toward Delicate Arch viewpoint, the sign is obviously marked. Park at the Delicate Arch trail. There is a restroom at the trailhead.

The hike: The hike is pretty easy as you follow the obviously marked trail passing a historic ranch that was built prior to the existence of the park. You will then walk up a large slid rock. The trail disappear but there are cairns that will guide you to the arch. The hike is easy, a lot of people do it, and it’s spectacular. I loved the hike despite it being extremely hot. This trail is heavily used and you will never find solitude here, but that does not take away all the beauty surrounding this arch.

The hike up toward the arch. It is quite steep, so make sure that you wear decent shoes.
panorama of the Arch
The Delicate Arch




  1. Delicate Arch is one of those places that actually meets one’s unreasonable expectations. Gorgeous. However, I would stress that when I went here in the summer, a LOT of people turned around. The southwestern dry heat takes a toll on Easterners. Still, given the distance of the hike, you don’t have to be in super shape to make the hike. Just take your time and have enough to drink along the way. And, of course, go at sunset or sunrise for warmer colors. Just don’t expect to get any time with the arch to yourself.

    1. i completely agree. This arch is used for all of utah’s tourism marketing and people who like to hike and are interested in the outdoors probably have seen this arch countless of times. Yet, this arch completely blew me away. it was beautiful.

      Also echo you that the hike is 100% exposed and is VERY HOT. 3 miles can feel like ages when the sun is beaming on you. There is also very little shade if any at the arch, so it might be difficult to enjoy due to the heat.

What do you think about this cool place?

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