“Truly a great 'bang-for-the-buck' trail, it visits two giant arch spans joined at one end.”
— Megan W
A short, flat out and back to some stunning geology that's easily done with the whole clan!
This short out-and-back features one of the most interesting pieces of geology in the park, the famed "Double Arch
A flat, sandy trail leads to the base of this stunning twin arch formation. At 112-foot tall, with a 144-foot wide span, the larger of these two arches is the tallest in the park and the third widest. The smaller of the two is 67 feet wide and 86 feet tall. As you can get up close and even under these arches, it is usually possible to wring some shade from the desert here. Take some time to experiment with the angles and lighting to get the perfect photograph.
Geologists believe this marvelous span began as a pothole of water on the surface overhead. The collected water broke down the rock, forming an alcove, which eventually created both arches. Nice job Mother Nature! On your return to the trailhead, look along the west side of this route for the large formation called Parade of Elephants- recognizable with some imagination and the right viewing angle (line of elephants holding each others tails with small well-placed holes).
This is such an easy, quick approach that you're likely to have to share this special spot with others unless you visit early or late in the day. Early morning is thought to be the best time to photograph Double Arch
for the best color. Note: bikes are not allowed on this trail.
Flora & Fauna
Sagebrush, pinyon and juniper.