“A trip through this spectacular canyon is a treat - do the sandstone towers remind you of Manhattan?”
— Megan W
This is a short point-to-point or out-and-back that gives the family a taste of what's to come at Arches NP!
Either arrange a pickup at the northern parking lot, or simply do an out-and-back. Either way, this trail is sure to captivate new arrivals to the park.
The Park Avenue Trail is usually traveled as an out-and-back, but can also be done without retracing your steps if you arrange for a pickup, or have a car left at one end, or trade keys with a friend in the middle. The path can be traveled in either direction, but most folks seem to leave from the south and head north.
From the southern trailhead, follow the paved beginning of this trail to the end of the Park Avenue overlook. From here, step down the stone stairs onto the dirt trail in the mouth of this unique canyon. The remainder of the trail is a gentle, enjoyable descent along the canyon bottom. Towards the end, the trail peters out as it crosses sandstone slabs, but you won't lose your way - it's marked by rock pile cairns.
The named formations are: Courthouse Towers, Queen Nefertiti, Queen Victoria Rock, Tower of Babel, The Three Gossips, and the Organ. A beautiful trip any time of the day, enjoy the sunlight/shadows on the enormous sandstone walls. Late afternoon is thought to be the best time to photograph Park Avenue, Garden of Eden and the Courthouse Towers for the best color. Early morning is best for photographing The Three Gossips. Note: bikes are not allowed on this trail.