Landscape arch arches national park utah

Landscape Arch Hike: One Of The Best Hikes In Arches National Park

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One of the most iconic arches at Arches National Park, aside from Delicate Arch, is Landscape Arch!  Have you ever read arch more in one sentence?  This is the really long, skinny arch you see on the park maps that you get at the entrance.  I had hiked to Landscape Arch on our winter road trip, but it was a pretty gray and icky day so I wanted to go back when it was sunny and what better time than our four days in Moab!  Plus, it’s just one of those bucket list worthy sights.

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Since the park is always super busy, we made sure to get up early and get into the park before 8 AM.  That way there would be a place to park and fewer people on the trail.  We headed straight to the Devils Garden area and got cozy because it was freezing and only early October.  All bundled up, off we went.

Pretty close to the beginning is the turnoff down to Pine Tree and Tunnel Arches, but we just waited at the top for my dad since I’ve seen them quite a few times.  We did get to see a deer from the top of the hill though, so that was cool!  I’ve never really seen deer in the desert, just pronghorns.

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The trail is pretty easy and made up of packed dirt.  There are a couple of places with small hills, but there isn’t much elevation gain on the trail.  As we went it got a little warmer but not warm enough to take my jacket off.  Most of the trail to Landscape Arch is pretty straightforward, but once we got down into the fins, closer to the arch, it’s a little confusing.

On the way there we found it fine, but on our way out we took some weird way that may not have actually been a trail.  I think most will get you back to the main trail though, so you should be fine.  Just pay a little more attention than me and you should be fine.

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We decided not to go on to Navajo or Double O Arches because the trail gets a lot harder to follow and just harder from there.  I would like to someday, but not that time.  I would say this is definitely a hike you should do on your next trip to Arches.  It’s not the wildest hike in the park, but it’s really cool to see such a big arch.

The arch is one of the longest in the world stretching 306 feet, but it’s only about 11 feet thick in the center.  You used to be able to hike up under it, but in the 1970’s some people were relaxing under it when a huge slab fell off the side.  Thankfully it didn’t hit them, but they did get pictures and you can see them along the trail.

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Where is Landscape Arch?

Landscape Arch is in the Devil’s Garden area of Arches National Park.  It’s the arch you see on the park map you get at the entrance and the third arch on the Devil’s Garden trail.  It’s a pretty easy hike with a few moderate up and down areas.  There are no major elevation changes, though.

How long is the hike to Landscape Arch?

The hike is 1.6 miles round-trip.  I would plan 2-3 hours for the whole hike, depending on how fast you walk, how much you stop, and if you stop to see Tunnel and Pine Tree Arches on the way.  It was a little slower going in the snow the first time we hiked to it because the trail was a little slippery and we had to be more careful.  I think two hours should be plenty.

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Camping in Arches and Moab

There is one campground in Arches National Park and has 51 sites.  They can be reserved up to six months in advance for visits between March 1 and October 31.  You will want to reserve it if you plan on staying between then because it’s full almost every night.  If you can’t get a spot, there are plenty of other campgrounds around Moab, free and paid.

There is potable water, vault and flush toilets, picnic tables, and fire pits in the sites.  There are no showers or services (like stores or gas) inside the park.  You’ll need to go into Moab for any of that.  As far as other camping areas, you can find a few campgrounds along Highway 128, Highway 313 up to Canyonlands, in Canyonlands, in Deadhorse Point State Park, Willow Springs, and on BLM land.

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What to bring camping in Utah

NatGeo National Parks Book – This is one of the best national park guidebooks and I take it on all my park trips.  Plus, it’s got the nice glossy pages.  Buy the book here.

Hiking poles – These will be helpful on longer hikes that are on the steeper side.  They’ll be good if you have bad knees for when you’re going downhill and will give you something to lean on going up the hills.

Snacks – These are more important for long hikes, but you never know when you’ll get hungry!  I like EPIC bars (kind of like beef jerky but different), Sahale nut mix things, and Moon Cheese.  There’s always the good old Clif Bars and trail mix, too.

Water bottle – It’ll be hot and humid and you’ll need to stay hydrated.  A Hydro Flask will keep your water ice cold all day long.

Sunscreen – If you plan on being outside, you’ll want sunscreen.  I like the Neutrogena a lot, but if you’ll be visiting a beach soon, you’ll want a reef-safe sunscreen.

Hat – You’ll want some kind of hat to keep the sun out of your eyes.  A baseball hat should be fine but a bucket hat or sun hat could help keep the sun off your neck.

Sunglasses – This is a must, especially with the strong desert sun.  Sunglasses are best paired with a hat on those really bright days.

Light Jacket – Because you just never know.  Weather can change quickly depending on where you are and if you’ll be in any slot canyons, they can get cool depending on the time of day and season.  I usually use my rain jacket for this.

Headlamp – I tend to carry my headlamp around all the time when we’re hiking.  This isn’t the exact one I have, but it’s similar and if I needed to replace mine, I’d probably get this one.

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Tent – I love the REI Passage 2 tent for one or two people.  It’s small and fairly light.  If you need a four-person tent, I’d go with this one, the REI Half DomeYou can check out my tent here.

Sleeping pad – Gotta make the tent comfy!  The one I have isn’t available anymore but this one is similar.  It’s self-inflating and just needs a little help filling all the way.  Buy the sleeping pad here.

Sleeping Bag – I have the Nemo Viola 35 and love it because it’s not as restrictive as the mummy bags.  It has ventilation slits for those warmer nights.  Check out my sleeping bag here.

Puffy quilt – If you’re a really warm sleeper and visiting in the summer, a puffy quilt might be a better option.  I prefer this for hotter nights.  Check out the Rumpl camp quilts here.

Pillow – If you’re just driving, I’d just bring a regular pillow, but if you’re flying then renting a car, you might want a smaller pillow.  This is a good non-inflatible option.  Here is a good inflatable option.

Camp chairs – If you plan on doing a lot of camping outside of this trip, and backpacking especially, the REI Flexlite chairs are great choices.  Check out the camp chairs here.

Lantern – I love having a lantern for in the tent at night, reading in the dark, or going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  The LuminAID is my favorite and you can charge your phone on it.  Buy the LuminAID lantern here.

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And in case you’re visiting Arches in the winter, which you totally should, here are some things you should definitely bring!

Warm hat – You’ll definitely want a warm hat for a winter Gooseberry Falls trip.  I have a different color of this hat and love it.  Check out the hat here.

Gloves – If you plan on being outside all day, you’ll probably want thicker gloves, but these are perfect for a few hours.  Buy my gloves here.

Hand and toe warmers – If you don’t want to get thicker gloves, bring some hand warmers.  If your feet get really cold really easily, definitely bring toe warmers.  They’re a game-changer.  Buy hand warmers here.

Warm socksSmartwool socks are always a good choice, but I also love my Farm to Feet socks.  I usually just get hiking socks and might wear a lighter pair underneath.  Check out warm socks here.

Warm bootsI love my Sorel boots.  They’re cute, comfy, and warm.  Plus, there is room under my toes for toe warmers.  Buy my boots here.

Cozy Sweatshirt – I have a few different Patagonia sweatshirts and love them all.  They’re great for layering in cold weather.  I have two Re-tools, a Better Sweater, and a Synchilla.  Sometimes you can find them on sale on REI or Backcountry.  I also like to keep an eye out for them on Poshmark (use code REDAROUNDWORLD for $10 off your first purchase) and Mercari (you can save $10 with that link as well!)  I’ve found some really good deals on both.

Long sleeve shirt – I just have one that’s like Underarmour but not.  I think I found it at TJ Maxx.  I also just like these from Parks Project.

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Other things to do in the Moab area:

Have you hiked to Landscape Arch?  Do you want to?  What is your favorite arch in the park?

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