When you think of Arches National Park in Utah, the most likely landmark to come to mind is likely the famous Delicate Arch. However, probably the 2nd notorious arch in the park is Landscape Arch. This amazing geographical wonder spans over 290 feet and is the 5th largest in the world.
As the largest arch in North America, it is a must do while in Arches National Park. This hike is easy and relatively short, so it is great for all levels of hikers.
The Landscape Arch Trail is a small part of what there is to see and do in Arches National Park. In our downloadable itinerary for Arches National Park we also cover the best hikes, recommendations on where to stay, what to pack and what else to do in the area. Be sure to download it ahead of your trip!
PARKING AND TRAILHEAD FOR LANDCAPE ARCH TRAIL
Devil's Garden (Landscape Arch) Parking area, courtesy of the National Park Service
The Devils Garden trailhead is located off Devils Garden Road which is an extension off the Arches Scenic Drive. The parking area is at the absolute end of the road, so it is hard to miss. There is a loop for turning around, and at the far end of the loop is the best spot to park (if you have a choice) to be close to the trailhead.
- Directions from Arches National Park Visitor Center to Devils Garden Trailhead. This drive should take right around 35 minutes.
- Directions from Moab to Devils Garden Trailhead. This drive is around 50 minutes, but traffic can get quite bad in Moab so plan for a longer drive if leaving Moab during rush hour.
The parking lot for the Landscape Arch Trail has enough spots for 150 cars. There are no other parking options nearby and quite a few nearby hikes, so spots can fill fast and stay full. To ensure you get a spot for parking, hike this trail early in the morning or in the evening in the most popular times of year. This will keep the heat and crowds down. Expect for parking spots to open every couple minutes.
Restrooms are available at the trailhead and can have quite a line of people waiting to use them. There are no bathrooms on the trail.
LANSCAPE ARCH: TRAIL SURFACE AND ACCESSIBILITY
- Trail surface. This trail is mostly composed of hard packed sand and gravel. There are no steps on this trail or technical parts unless you decide to continue on the loop past Landscape Arch.
- Accessibility. The trail is wheelchair accessible, but keep in mind that some parts of the trail have moderate incline and sand, so it is important to have someone assist you on this trail.
PREPARATION FOR HIKING THE LANDSCAPE ARCH TRAIL
This hike is moderate in length being around 1.9 miles and has sparse shade so it important to bring a couple things with you. Here are some things that we would recommend:
- Water. Arches National Park gets quite hot in the summer and it key to your safety to bring water on this trail. 1 Liter per person should be sufficient, even if it’s really hot outside.
- Sun Protection. It is important to protect yourself from the sun's rays on an open trail like this. Wearing sunblock is important to your skin's health, or if you so not like to wear sunblock wear long sleeve pants and shirts and a large hat to reduce sun exposure.
- Hiking shoes. The trail itself is nice and flat so any footwear works. The trail is quite sandy so to reduce sand in your boots/shoes we would recommend the dirty girl gaiters, they keep sand out of your socks and boots very well.
- Camera. You're not going to want to forget your camera for this hike, since this arch is probably one of the most spectacular ones in the park and makes for great family photos.
HIKING THE LANDCAPE ARCH TRAIL
Landscape Arch Trail Map courtesy of the National Park Service
Once you are parked you will be able to easily find the trailhead-just look to the right of the restrooms. The trail should be easy to follow due to the wooden fences. At the trailhead you will be able to see the trail information sign.
This trail first goes through a narrow slot between the rock formations. These provide shade for a short period of time when the sun is not straight overhead. The trail takes you 0.3 miles to the first intersection. If you continue to the left you can hike to the Landscape Arch, but if you go to the right you will head onto a small spur to Pine Tree Arch (left at the second intersection) or right to Tunnel Arch. We would recommend going on this spur trail either at the beginning or the end of the hike as it never hurts to see more of the beautiful arches!
If you visit the Tunnel Arch or Pine Tree Arch or are continuing to Landscape Arch, continue along the main trail for the next 0.5 miles. Here you will reach an intersection, and to get to Landscape Arch you should continue to the left. Keep an eye out for some of the resident wildlife in the juniper bushes, whether it be a lizard or skink. Also don’t be afraid to look up occasionally as you might see a peregrine falcon flying high. If hiking in the evening, bats or even owls may be in the air as well!
Keep walking 0.1 miles down the trail, where you will start to see Landscape Arch. At the trail intersection keep left for both turns when you’ll arrive at the best viewing spot.
On your way back just keep taking every right turn and in 0.9 miles you will be back to your car.
This hike is simply a must do in the park and is great if you have youngsters or older family members with you.
HOW LANDSCAPE ARCH WAS FORMED
Most arches are created by several different factors, these include water, temperature, and wind. Landscape Arch was formed though the repeated act of wind and erosion forming rock shelves along the sandstone. When winter comes water seeps into the cracks and freezes. This causes the rock shelves to slowly break off and one by one these shelves start to open an arch in the sandstone.
This erosion has continued to happen. In 1991, someone was lucky enough to capture part of the arch collapsing. Check out the video below (at 1 min, 13 seconds you can see rock falling!).
LANDSCAPE ARCH TRAIL: TOP LIKES AND DISLIKES
- An Easy Hike. This hike has very little elevation gain (around 250 feet) and has a good walking surface.
- Awesome Views. Simply put, Landscape Arch is a classic view at Arches National Park that can't be missed.
- Crowds. As iconic as this trail is, it brings in quite a lot of people and it can be crowded.
- Heat and Lack of Shade. This trail can get hot. We hiked it in the evening and found it to be a pleasant temperature, but if you are here in the middle of the day, it can extremely hot.
THINGS TO DO NEAR THE LANDSCAPE ARCH TRAIL
Many of the things to do in this park are easy to access. Here are a few things nearby we would recommend checking out.
- Broken Arch. Despite the name this arch is standing tall it is a great arch to visit
- Sand Dune Arch. This arch is unique with it being in a sandy pass through two rock formations, you should check it out.
- Tapestry Arch. This arch is a short and easy hike to visit so if you have half an hour to kill, you should check this arch out!
- Fiery Furnace. We loved our hike with a park ranger through fiery furnace, it was an amazing experience!
FURTHER INFORMATION ON ARCHES NATIONAL PARK FROM JUST GO TRAVEL STUDIOS
- We loved our trip to Arches, and we will definitely go there again in the future. If you want to know more about our favorite hikes in Arches, you can read our blog on 8 Best Hikes in Arches National Park.
- If you loved landscape arch you will absolutely love hiking to Delicate Arch. You can read about it in our blog Delicate Arch Hike in Arches National Park.
- Be sure to check out our Arches National Park posters.
- After your trip, send us a photos and we’ll create a vintage-style travel poster from one or more of your photos. If you love remembering your trips, this is a great way to do so forever!