Skyline Arch in Arches National Park is short and sweet, the trail leading you to a must-see arch in the park. It’s the only arch in the Park to have a skyline view; that is, you see only sky through the arch, rather than rocks or mountains, etc. The trail should be totally accessible year-round. Since it’s less than half a mile round trip, it will only take a few minutes out of your day (maybe 10-20 minutes to make the walk itself) to view one of Arches’ classic examples of its most famous geologic feature.
Image: Alaskan Dude/Flickr
How to do this hike:
1. From the entrance, drive 16.9 miles northward into the Park until you reached the trailhead. Parking is on the east side of the road.
2. The trailhead itself is located right in the middle of the parking lot. Head along it, northeast.
3. Follow the flat, sandy trail. Voila, you’re there! The trail isn’t too exciting or memorable, but upon reaching the arch itself it becomes clear why this short jaunt really should be undertaken.
Tips on doing this hike:
1. Avoid midsummer, unless you go very early am or possibly an evening sunset stroll. Exposed, hot trail.
2. Camping in nearby Devils Garden and arrived late in the day? Skyline Arch is nearby and provides an excellent way to stretch your legs and see a small but lovely part of the Park before you retire for the evening.
Random facts about this hike:
1. Skyline Arch may be seen from most viewpoints within Arches, particularly the Salt Valley. Apparently, it can also be seen from I-70, although I personally have never noticed it. (Must mean I need to actually look the next time I drive that section.)
2. In November 1940, a big old chunk fell out of Skyline Arch. This natural event instantly doubled in size the opening of the arch. Cool and scary at the same time. So far as is known, there were no human witnesses.
Feature image: Bruce Tuten/Flickr