Our Hike to the famous Delicate Arch in Utah’s Arches National Park

Daniel officially retired from the US Navy in September of 2017, after serving for 20 years. A month before his official retirement day, we decided to use his terminal leave to travel with the kids while they were in their summer vacation.

We packed up, attached the toy hauler to our truck, and hit the road for 30 days. Yes, 30 days, about 10,000 miles! Delicate Arch was on our bucket list, and that’s why Arches National Park in Utah was one of the highlights of our road trip. 

💡Serves as the symbol of the state of Utah, Delicate Arch is the largest free-standing arch in the Arches National Park, and it is one of the world’s famous geologic features. No wonder why this arch is on the top of many visitor’s to-do lists when visiting Arches National Park. 

For those of you who wish to hike the Delicate Arch in Utah’s Arches National Park, here are some tips for you.
The hike starts at the Delicate Arch Trailhead off at the Wolf Ranch turn-off in the Moab area of southern Utah. You'll find a large parking area at the trailhead where you can safely leave your car. 
The hike to see Delicate Arch is approximately 3.2 miles, roundtrip, and climbs 480 feet (146m). See map above. Make sure to bring lots of water with you. I suggest taking at least 1 liter of water per person. 
Along this steadily uphill trail, you'll pass the Wolfe Ranch cabin and a wall of Ute Indian petroglyphs. Worth checking. 
The temperature can go as high as 100°F+. There is no shade on the trail, so I suggest starting your hike in the morning, or towards the afternoon when the air temperature is bearable. I was told that it is best to hike in spring and fall when the temperatures are cooler. 
Delicate Arch is quite famous among tourist so be prepared to fall in line when getting photos at the arch.

Our Hiking Story:

“It’s only half a mile”, I said. That has been a family joke for almost 2 years now. Let me tell you why.

It was mid-day, blazing hot, over 100 degrees.

I did some research before our hike. I know I did. And for some reason, I have been thinking that the hike was only half a mile. Not sure why but I thought I read it somewhere. Upon arriving at the park, each of us grabbed 1 bottle of 500ml water. We thought that the 500ml bottled water was going to be enough since “it’s only .5-mile hike”. Oh boy, I was so wrong.

I almost died. Yes, I literally almost died.

It was hot, and we ran out of the water before we even made it to the top. I was so glad that some of the hikers, who noticed us, gave some of their extra water to us. They were so nice, and they kept on checking if I was okay. I was slightly embarrassed but thankful for the kindness that I was getting from strangers.

The hike was 1.6 miles (3.2 miles round trip). Yup, I know I was wrong. The elevation was roughly 4,800 feet and the hike was steep. It took me almost 5 hours to complete the hike due to my sciatic nerve pain. I almost cried. I almost gave up, but Daniel kept pushing me to finish the hike.

It was a long and painful hike, but extremely worth it. The views of the arch and the surroundings were awesome. It truly stuns anyone who stands on that spot.

I learned a lot from this hike. You only fail when you stop trying. But if you keep moving forward, no matter how slow your pace is, you will make it there. My determination and Hubby's undying support brought me to the top, next to the Arch.

Thank you for reading. Have you been to the Delicate Arch? How was your experience?

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