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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Broken Arch Loop - Arches NP, UT

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Guide 10 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List UT > Southeast
2.3 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 2.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,202 feet
Elevation Gain 160 feet
Accumulated Gain 800 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 6.6
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
30  2016-07-03 Bradshaws
15  2016-05-18
Arches National Park
7  2014-12-27 Lucyan
7  2014-06-05
Sand Dune Broken Arch Trail
6  2009-06-04 nonot
Author nonot
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 236
Photos 1,969
Trips 476 map ( 4,511 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Sep → Any
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:02am - 6:22pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
If it ain't broke don't fix it.
by nonot

Likely In-Season!
Overview: A loop hike that can be done with a spur to see Sand Dune Arch. The Sand Dune Arch spur and distance is covered in this trip description.

Warning: Desert hiking is hot, bring water and a map.

Hike: From the campground restroom in the reserved area begin hiking northeast. After about 700 feet take a short spur trail to get a close up view of Tapestry Arch across the gulch. It isn't necessary to take this spur as you will have pretty good views of the arch later on, but it's a short enough hike that you can take the time.

Continue on the main loop clockwise following the trail until you reach the eastern point where you find Broken Arch. The arch is still standing, do not worry! The trail goes through the arch (yes, directly through it!) On the other side the landscape opens up into a broad field of daisies and you continue another 0.2 miles clockwise until you hit the spur for Sand Dune Arch.

In retrospect, Sand Dune arch is better done by stopping at the Sand Dune trailhead and hiking the short distance to the arch, but since there is a trail connecting the two, you can hike it approximately 0.25 miles each way. When you reach the Sand Dune trailhead, turn into the slot and hike uphill in the sand a hundred yards to see the arch. Return north until you rejoin the main loop trail.

Now back on the main loop, the trail will meander through rocky crevices in a remarkable route that doesn't gain or lose a great deal of elevation in total, until you pop out between the campsites back onto the campground road.

Tip: After hiking the loop, go to the campground amplitheater and check out sky line arch. It adds a few hundred yards of walking for a rather impressive arch.

Water sources: None, perhaps squeezing water out of a prickly pear?

Backpacking: Not allowed in Arches and the campgrounds are likely full (reserved by people who are not camping there, which is easy to tell since you are hiking through the campground!)

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2009-06-11 nonot
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Broken Arch Loop - Arches NP
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    Arches National Park
    Started the day at Devil's Garden Primitive Loop. The primitive loop is probably the only place on the park's established trails where you'll encounter the least amount of people. I did the loop counter clockwise. Once you're about 2 miles into the loop the fun really starts as the trail fades and you begin climbing up, down, and around giant sandstone rocks through a series of washes. The trail has an ample amount of cairns, but there were still a few times I found myself questioning if I was going the right way, or having to back track to the last cairn to look for the next one.

    I met a group of 3 girls from Florida near Double-O Arch who had backpacked/camped and it piqued my interest in possibly spending a night back there sometime. I hiked with them the rest of the way back and enjoyed the company. My favorite part of this trail is just after Double-O Arch where you climb up on top of a ~4ft-wide giant "rock fin" which you then walk across for about 100 yards. From here you get outstanding views of the park!

    Next I hit up Broken Arch Loop. There are a few arches which are neat along this loop, but other than that it is rather uneventful.

    Lastly, I hit up the one place I knew for certain was going to have swarms of people, Delicate Arch. The hike to the Arch was actually a little more difficult than I had anticipated. It's by no means "strenuous" but it definitely fits into the moderate category.

    Once I reached the Arch I encountered about 50 other people. I really wanted to get a picture of the Arch without any people in it, so I preceded to wait about 30 minutes while everybody and their sister just had to stand right under the arch to get a picture of themselves in various annoying poses. I saw handstands, flexing, "sexy poses", and "hands raised up like we just don't care!" Some people even chose to loiter around RIGHT NEXT to the Arch even though they were't getting their picture taken. I noticed I was't the only one who was becoming increasingly frustrated with the shit (crap) show, and I nearly gave up.
    Broken Arch Loop - Arches NP
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Parked in the camp ground and headed out going counter clockwise. The southwest leg of the loop is just a fun hike, if you aren't in the deep sand. Broken Arch is impressive, but you wonder how it is still standing. Headed over to Tapestry Arch and explored some of the one-day-to-be arches that are forming on either side. Then back to the truck. Lots of interesting camping rigs in the camp ground.

    Permit $$

    Arches National Park
    Vehicles: $10 (Good for 7 days) Fee Information

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Arches National Park is 3 miles north of moab on 191. It's 1 mile on your right after crossing the bridge over the Colorado. In the park follow the signs to the Devil's Garden Trailhead, except once nearing the trailhead, turn into the campground area. Go all the way to the end (into the reserved area) make the loop, and park at the restroom you see right there. The trail starts just southeast of the restroom.
    page created by nonot on Jun 10 2009 9:42 pm
    $17 3L Hydration Bladder
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