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Landscape Arch

Arches National Park

April 13th, 2009

2.4 miles
300 vertical feet
Total Time: 3:00

Starting elevation
5135 feet
Max elevation
5248 feet

Rating: 7/10

Directions: From Moab, take Highway 191 North, then turn right into Arches National Park. Follow the park road for about 18 miles all the way to the end, and park at the Devils Garden trailhead.   View Driving Map

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GPX File

The Devils Garden trailhead still had some parking when we arrived around 11am. I'm not sure how often it actually fills up, since it has much more parking than the Delicate Arch trailhead. Still, there were lots of cars already parked, similar to the number at the Delicate Arch trailhead the previous day. Once again, we were looking at a very popular hike.

Heading in from the trailhead

There are bathrooms and drinking water at the trailhead. Bring plenty, as there's none at the trail (and precious little shade). The hike starts out level, immediately going between two towering slickrock formations, maybe 70 feet high. After perhaps two-tenths of a mile, there's a fork off to the right. We took this side trail, which heads steeply downhill, providing excellent views of the surrounding area to the east. There are more rock formations and desert brush. After a couple minutes of descending, the trail splits off to the left and right. We would take both paths, but first went to the right.

Looking down from the main trail to the side trails

Rock formation

Tunnel Arch

The right path shortly leads to Tunnel Arch, two holes in the rock wall high up to the right. We then turned around and headed back to the other trail, which leads to Pine Tree Arch. The opening of this arch is about the same size as Delicate Arch. However, instead of being a free-standing arch like Delicate Arch, Pine Tree Arch is really a hole in a large rock wall. And, like at Delicate Arch, you can walk right into the arch. You can walk out the other side, as well, although there's not a lot to see.

Pine Tree Arch

Pine Tree Arch

We backtracked our steps back to the trail intersection, then made the short ascent back up to the intersection with the main trail. Now we turned right back onto the main trail. The whole detour was about 0.6 miles. We now followed the main trail on our way to Landscape Arch. The trail goes slightly uphill, then downhill before flattening out the rest of the way. Along the way, there are more views of rock formations to the right.

Rock formations

A little less than a mile from the trailhead, we reached Landscape Arch. It spans over 300 feet but was almost invisible at first, as it blended into the background rock. A 1991 rockfall meant that the trail under the arch itself is now closed. So we had to view it from a distance. It's only a matter of time before the whole thing collapses.

Landscape Arch

We found one of the few shady spots next to a fence and settled down for lunch. Afterward we went up to the closest viewpoint of the arch, then turned around and headed back. The trail actually continues past Landscape Arch to more arches, but it makes for a much longer and challenging hike, going up some steep pitches of slickrock. Certainly not something suitable for a 3-year old.

Continuation of the trail up slickrock

Looking back at the trail to Landscape Arch

The return trip was uneventful, other than us finding that someone had found the gloves that Jean had dropped. They'd picked them up (probably near Pine Tree Arch) and put them at the intersection with the main trail. Whoever you are, thank you!

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