Yellow Van Travels

Delicate Arch Overlooks in Arches National Park

I’m sure I made it abundantly clear in my last post on the Delicate Arch Trail that I absolutely love this iconic and natural wonder, and I would recommend to everyone to go and see it. But what if you can’t go hike to Delicate Arch because you have accessibility concerns, or you can’t make the hike with your kids, or you just don’t have that much time in Arches, or the weather is too bad to hike the trail? There are a lot of reasons you might not be able to make it out to the arch, or maybe you did hike it, but like me you really wanted to see it again before you leave Arches National Park for good.

Title card showing the yellow van with the Delicate Arch landscape

This is where the Delicate Arch Overlooks come in. The Overlooks give you the chance to see Delicate Arch from a distance without the physical exertion and mobility required by the hiking trail to arch itself. That being said, if you are questioning whether you can make the hike up to Delicate Arch please read through our post on that hike and really consider it because being up inside the arch itself is not to be missed if you can possibly make it. It is not overly difficult, but not as simple as some other hikes in the park.

How to Get There:

Arches is not a difficult park to navigate since there are only a few roads to go to most of the top destinations, and the Delicate Arch Overlooks are no exception. Stay on the main road until you come to the road to turn right to the Delicate Arch Trail, take this road until it ends which will be in the overlooks parking lot.
Once you get to the parking lot you will see that there are bathrooms and plenty of parking. You will then have the option of which overlook you want to go to, what you choose will depend on your reason for coming to the overlooks in the first place. If you came for accessibility concerns you will need to stay with Overlook 1 which is about a one minute walk from the parking lot and fully accessible as long as you don’t mind pushing your wheelchair or stroller on a dirt path.

The second overlook is significantly more difficult to get to and will take you about 15 minutes. You take the left side of the fork in the path to get there, you have a short flat walk and then you begin a fairly steep assent (walking, no climbing) to take you to a high point where you can get a very clear view of Delicate Arch.

Ben on a rock at the top of the second overlook trail.
Ben on a rock at the top of the second overlook trail.

What You Will See:

From either lookout you will be able to see Delicate Arch. The view is not much different form one overlook to the other, except that you are more on a level with Delicate Arch from the second one because it is so much higher.

the whole Delicate Arch landscape as seen from the second overlook

The view is nice and affords you more of a perspective on the area surrounding the arch then you get when you hike up to the arch itself. It is less awe-inspiring though because you can’t actually get a grasp on Delicate Arch’s enormity from so far away.

Outside of looking at the arch there is not much else to do here. There are some boulders along the trail that you could climb on (like I did in the picture above).

Sum Up:

If you cannot make it out to Delicate Arch then be sure to make the overlooks a stop while you are in Arches. Nobody should leave the park without having seen this truly incredible piece of nature. If you are able to do the whole hike to the arch then this isn’t a must-stop, but its a nice little stop over if you just want to see Delicate Arch from the other side.
Delicate Arch Overlook Summary Card, Location: Moab Utah; Season: any; Time: five to 30 minutes; Price: Free with park admission; People: anyone, including strollers and wheel chairs; Weather: Sunny, Cloudy, Windy.