As one of the most iconic geologic formations in the world, a very popular hike in Utah, and the state license plate, I couldn't believe I hadn't been to Delicate Arch after living in Utah for a year and a half. My dad and brother were in Utah visiting, so on our Moab trip we chose Delicate Arch as our Arches NP hike.
At 3 miles round trip, this hike shouldn't be underestimated. The elevation gain is only 480 ft, but you pretty much climb this all at once. If you come from somewhere like Tennessee where the height above sea level is 740 ft, you're going to struggle. Luckily I've acclimated to much higher elevations that Moab, so it wasn't an issue for me. Take a break when you need it and BRING WATER. We went on a day that started rainy, cloudy and in the 70s and ended at 99 and sunny. The heat can kill you. Delicate Arch is a popular place for ranger rescues due to hikers underestimating the difficulty and dehydration. If you're physically fit though, this hike should be a breeze.
Follow the "trail" signage until you reach a narrow pathway. Delicate Arch is just a around the corner! (I took most of the photos on the way back down, so imagine coming up this instead!)
There isn't a shortage of people at the arch. If you are patient, you'll be able to catch a photo without 50 people in it. You can also walk down under the arch, but we opted to just sit and enjoy. We hung out on some rocks and took it all in for about an hour before heading back down.
The views you are rewarded with are amazing!
There are vault toilets, trash, and recycling at the parking lot. We went on a rainy Tuesday afternoon, and the parking lot was pretty full. Try to avoid weekends and arrive early on weekdays. Also, Arches is closing the park every weeknight at 7pm for road construction. Keep that in mind before starting any late afternoon hikes.