Desert vistas, unusual rock formations and, of course, arches make Arches National Park one of the most beautiful places to visit in the United States – and you can now visit with Culture Trip by joining our action-packed small-group Colorado and Utah tour, led by our local insider. The snow-capped mountains of Colorado make an astonishing backdrop to this fiery landscape. One of the best ways to explore the park is on foot. We’ve collected the best hikes in Arches National Park, passing sandstone fins and rocky skyscrapers. Go to Visit Utah for more details on each hike.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Locals have called this arch Cowboy’s Chaps and Old Maid’s Bloomers, but the current name stuck after the Arches National Monument Scientific Expedition in 1934 described it as “the most delicately chiselled arch in the area.” It now ranks among the more recognizable geological features in the world, and is the largest free-standing arch in the park. From Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint, walk 100yd (91m) to see it in the distance, or head to the Upper Viewpoint for an 880yd (805m) hike to a better view. Alternatively, trek a shadeless 3mi (5km) that finishes with a tight squeeze along a narrow rock ledge to reach the arch itself.
Follow a flat, gravel trail through sandstone fins for about 1mi (1.6km) and the sky fills with a view of one of the longest spans of stone in the world. Landscape Arch stretches 306ft (93m) between two bands of sandstone, tapering to just 11ft (3m) at the centre, shaped by the wind and rain. The Devils Garden area also includes side trails to Tunnel and Pine Tree arches.
This 2mi (3km) loop trail crosses a large meadow, traverses slickrock and climbs over dunes — and passes right through the arch itself. Expect some scrambling and to follow rock cairns over the terrain. The trail passes through the Devils Garden Campground, so it’s poised to provide an adventure right out of your base camp.
Loop around a string of arches in the Windows Section, considered one of the crown jewels of the park. A gravel pathway turns to stone steps that lead up to the North Window, which is then followed by the South Window and Turret Arch. Return the way you came for a 1mi (1.6km) out-and-back. Alternatively, loop around to the backside of the arches on a primitive trail to see the nose-like shape that has prompted these arches to also be dubbed the Spectacles.
Just like a stroll through downtown Manhattan, the Arches iteration of Park Avenue will also have you staring skyward, marvelling at all that looms overhead. This trail descends into a canyon cutting through these desert skyscrapers and continues down the wash to Courthouse Towers. The trail connects at either end to the main road, so you can trek out and then back (2mi/3km in total), or set up a car shuttle to hike it one-way.
The tapered figures and white, shield-like circles on the wall at Courthouse Wash were painted by a series of the first inhabitants in the area. The trail starts just north of the bridge on the Arches Entrance Road. It’s a 5.5mi (9km) hike to the Courthouse Wash – either walk the same distance back or arrange for a shuttle to collect you.
The Devils Garden is a playground of red sandstone fins and pillars, carved by rain and snow. The sand here was once the sea floor, 300m years ago. After a well-groomed start near Landscape Arch, the Primitive Trail takes off to the south, with the option to loop back for 7mi (11km) and chances to spot eight arches. Feeling adventurous? The route has opportunities for scrambling over rocks, hiking near steep drop-offs, crossing a basin that may fill with water, plodding through stretches of deep sand, and following a trail marked only by a string of rock cairns.
Past Landscape Arch, the unmissable span of stone, this 4mi (7km) trail starts climbing over sandstone slabs and venturing further into the backcountry. Steep slopes on a surface that’s called slickrock for good reason takes you out to Double O Arch. A side trail makes for a short detour to Partition Arch and Navajo Arch that adds nearly 1mi (1.6km). Loop back on the Primitive Trail or stay to the main trail for an out-and-back.
Despite the name, inside the Fiery Furnace, the canyons are so narrow that sun rarely reaches their bottoms and temperatures stay cool even on warm days. Traveling through the 2.3mi (3.7km) long Fiery Furnace means negotiating a maze of small canyons, squeezing through tight spaces, jumping across gaps and braving drop-offs. You’ll move down the trail in parts by bracing yourself against sandstone walls with your hands and feet as you inch forward. Navigating this labyrinth of sandstone slots without getting lost or damaging the sensitive ecosystem is best achieved on a ranger-guided hike.
Reaching Tower Arch, one of the most remote arches in the park, doesn’t demand a long hike, but it will be a challenging one. The trail climbs steeply up a bluff, cuts across a valley with the red Klondike Bluffs lining the horizon, then slices through sandstone and dunes with a surprisingly tough sandy stretch near the finish. The trail takes you right under Tower Arch, which sits in a cluster of sandstone spires and takes in views south to the La Sal Mountains. Afterward, retrace your steps back to the start, making it a 2.4mi (3.8km) round trip.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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