The Windows in Arches National Park: Hiking tips, trail info, and best photo spots
The Windows in Arches National Park: Check out tips, best photography spots, and useful trail information for an unforgettable hike.
When visiting Arches National Park, The Windows section is a must-see as it is among the most scenic locations of the park and has a large concentration -all within a 2-mile radius – of photogenic arches and rock formations. These include The North and South Windows, Turret Arch, and Double Arch to name a few.
The Windows (sometimes called The Spectacles because of their close resemblance to a pair of glasses) are formed from the same local sandstone found around the park and offer great hiking, photography and stargazing opportunities.
Tip: The trail to visit The Windows and Turret Arch is 1-mile roundtrip (1.6 kms) and it can take you between 30-60 minutes.
Getting to The Windows is really easy: You need to drive a bit more than 9.2 miles up from the park’s entrance, then take the first right after Balanced Rock and follow this road for 2.7 miles.
Remember this is the one of the busiest National Parks; the parking lot can get really crowded as The Windows is a very popular destination within Arches. Therefore, head to The Windows early or alternatively park in the Double Arch parking lot where you will have a greater chance of finding parking.
The first 100 yards of The Windows trail is flat, but the rest includes stone steps, uneven surfaces, and elevation gain. However, don’t get discouraged – it’s not difficult at all.
Tip: Bathrooms are available at The Windows parking, but this is the extent of the amenities. Bring your own water – especially if it’s a hot day. We recommend bringing the Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle and fill it in at the hotel before heading to Arches.
Other things you can do:
Photograph Turret Arch from the North Window: If you are feeling adventurous, photograph Turret Arch from the frame provided by the North Window.
The trail was a bit scary for me, but it will give you a chance to have a unique picture of Turret Arch.
Hike the Double Arch trail: Located a short walking distance from The Windows, Double Arch takes it name because it’s composed of two arches that share the same foundation. The Double Arch trail is short and easy and there is hardly any elevation. The total roundtrip distance is 0.5 miles (0.8 kms).
Tip: The best time to photograph Double Arch is in the morning.
The larger opening has a span of roughly 144 feet (49 meters) which is the third longest in the park and a height of 112 feet (33 meters) – the highest in Arches.
Throughout the years, Double Arch (not to be confused with the Double O Arch) had many names, inlcuding Double Windows, Twinbow Bridges, and the Jug Handles (my favorite!). You’ll see lots of people have fun climbing up the rocks located below the arch, and of course do not forget to photograph this amazing arch from underneath.
Time needed: 15-30 minutes
Tip: Bring comfortable shoes for your visit to Arches. You will need them if you are planning to go hiking. We recommend The North Face Men’s Ultra 109 Waterproof Trail Shoe for men and the Salomon OUTline GTX Mid Women’s Hiking Shoes for women.
Head to Turret Arch: Located southwest of The Windows, you’ll find Turret Arch – a relatively young arch with a rock formation that resembles a tower. One of the most impressive features, other than its height, is that the fin where this arch is carving away is over 100 feet wide. There is also a smaller arch which can be found directly to the right of Turret Arch. Turret Arch is known as a great spot to watch the sunrise, so make sure to experience this stunning event.
Look for the Parade of Elephants: If you look South from Double Arch, you will notice a lone section of sandstone. Amazingly, these rock formations resemble a herd of elephants holding each other’s tails. Do not miss the opportunity to take this picture.
We are part of several affiliate programs including Viator and Amazon which means that we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through the links included in this post.