Arches National Park: Tapestry Arch, Broken Arch, and Sand Dune Arch

Date hiked: 04/13/16

Mileage: 2.7 miles; 1 hour

Head Count (how many other hikers I saw): While the trail gets crowded near the campground and at the southern trailhead near Sand Dune Arch, I only met two others in-between.

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Down the road from the Devil’s Garden Trailhead, just a few miles of easy hiking unearths another three landmark arches.

First up, Tapestry Arch sits flush against a cliff one-third of a mile from the Devil’s Garden campground. The trail starts out along the shrubbed expanse of dry desert soil before cresting the exposed slickrock at the foot of the arch. Closed in from behind, it bears resemblance to an elegant stage on display with its two grand balconies ready for spectators.

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A closeup reveals the desert varnish on the wall behind which influences the arch’s moniker.

Doubling back to the main trail, Broken Arch comes with another half mile of hiking, where fins and pinnacles of the lower reaches of Devil’s Garden front views of the distant La Sal Mountains and the sandstone capped buttes of Utah’s own Bookcliffs.

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The Bookcliffs

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La Sal Mountains

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Broken Arch

In a ruse of false advertising, the name may inadvertently turn some tourists away, but the arch is still in fact standing to this day. Rather, the title originates from the crack in the arch’s high point, which makes the two halves only appear to be bolstering each other.

Passing beneath Broken Arch, the .6 mile route over to Sand Dune Arch steers clear of the slickrock before ending in the small slot between two lengthy fins.

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A slice of the waxing moon.

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Sand Dune Arch faces the shadowed sign the left.

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Sand Dune Arch

And last but not least, the longest – one mile – stretch of the loop bordering Devil’s Garden Road will take you home.

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The backside of Broken Arch

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A look towards the parking lot and the Devil’s Garden Campground.

Trail Map

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Directions

(From Main Street and E. Center Street in Moab): Drive North on U.S. 191 for 4.6 miles. Turn right onto the Arches National Park Entrance Road, which turns into the Arches Scenic Road after .8 miles as you pass through the fee station. Follow the scenic drive 16.3 miles, where it becomes the Devil’s Garden Road. After one mile, turn right onto Campground Road. The parking area is beside the bathrooms on the left side of the road, right before it loops back around near campsite #39.

The loop on the return enters the campground near site #51. Follow the short stretch of road near the dumpster to complete the loop.

23.2 miles; 45 min

Fees: $25/car to enter Arches National Park

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