Wonders never cease in Arches National Park. For proof, hike Double Arch Trail, which visits two grand arches joined at a common pillar at a 90-degree angle. The 0.8-mile round trip hike passes a unique sandstone formation known as the Parade of Elephants while ascending 125 feet to the Siamese spans.
The start of Double Arch Trail is just a few hundred feet from the trailhead for the Window Arches and Turret Arch, making it possible to visit five arches in less than an hour.
The Parade of Elephants
Start down the level desert trail toward Double Arch. To the left are distinct rocks that bear an uncanny resemblance to elephants. Pass the elephants and continue to Double Arch, which looks like part of a gyroscope embedded into a sandstone cliff. The trail passes directly beneath the bigger of the two arches, a monumental 112-foot tall, 144-foot wide span, which is the tallest in the park and the third widest.
Ascend the rock amphitheater behind the first arch up to the adjoining span, a smaller 67-foot wide and 86-foot tall arch. Geologists believe this impressive span began as a pothole of water on the surface overhead. The collected water slowly broke down the rock, forming an alcove, which eventually created both arches. Science aside, the twin arches seem like an improbably natural wonder, created solely to amaze. The inspiring configuration went by a few other names over the years, like Double Windows, Jug Handles, and Twinbow Bridge. Whatever you name Double Arch, you will call it impressive. This short hike should not be missed.
Looking out from Double Arch
To get to the trailhead: From the visitor center, drive 9.5 miles up Park Avenue (0.3 miles past Balanced Rock) and turn right toward the Windows Section. Drive 2.5 miles to the loop at the end of the road. Pass Windows Trailhead and follow the circle to the parking area at the start of the trail to Double Arch.
Trailhead address: The Windows Section, Arches National Park, Moab, UT 84532
Trailhead coordinates: 38.688215, -109.538457 (38° 41′ 17.57″N 109° 32′ 18.44″W)
Use the map below to create your own directions:
This one-mile loop presents three arches in close proximity, the North and South Windows and Turret Arch.
This quarter mile loop circles a perilous block of sandstone balancing near the center of Arches National Park.
This 3-mile hike visits this most iconic arch in the world, a beautiful span that should not be missed.
|More trails in Utah|
Explore other hikes in Arches National Park and elsewhere.
|Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park|
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| Morning Glory Bridge in Moab|
This 6-mile round trip hike travels through a scenic canyon to a 243-foot long natural bridge.