Monday, March 5, 2012

Photos/map of Arches’ Windows Trails

A set of paths collectively known as the Windows Trails gives day hikers a good sense of what Arches National Park is like without having to drive or traipse all over the desert. You’ll pass a massive hoodoo and three impressive arches all in a matter of a couple of hours of walking.

From the visitor center, drive along Park Avenue. At 9.2 miles, you’ll come to Balanced Rock. It’s worth stopping the car for a short jaunt around this hoodoo, atop of which sits a precariously balanced ball of stone. After you get your fill, drive another 0.3 miles and turn right. It’s another 2.5 miles to a loop at road’s end. Look for the trailhead on the parking lot’s southeast side.

Balanced Rock:

Windows Trail map:

Sunset bathes the North Window Arch in a warm glow:

North Window Arch up close:

Looking through one of the park's many arches:

Here's a full description of the trail.

Learn about other great national park day hiking trails in my Best Sights to See at America’s National Parks guidebook.