RATING: Easy Hiking
LENGTH: 1+ hours
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
MAPS: THE WINDOWS SECTION, UT;
SEASON: Any, although summers can be hot.
The Windows trail offers more bang-for-its-buck than most of the other trails in Arches National Park. The trail visits North and South Window Arches, as well as Turret Arch all in a short less-than-a-mile outing. The hike to the arches is easy and suitable for most, while an optional loop back to the trailhead that goes behind North and South Windows offers just enough scrambling and fun that kids will love the small challenges.
This is a must do when visiting Arches. Be sure to also visit Double Arch while in the area.
|Tue Hi:86 Lo:69||Wed Hi:90 Lo:68||Thu Hi:92 Lo:69||Fri Hi:96 Lo:69||Sat Hi:97 Lo:70|
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From the visitors center, follow the main park road 9.1 miles to just passed the Balanced Rock pullout. Turn right onto The Window Road and follow it to its end in 2.5 miles. This is both The Windows Trail and Double Arch Trailheads.
From the trailhead, follow the trail to the first junction. I recommend going right here, which visits Turret Arch first. Turret Arch stands apart from The Windows. From Turret, it is easy to get great views of The Windows as well as Elephant Butte, the highest point in Arches (just to the north), and the La Sal mountains in the distance to the southwest.
From Turret, head back to the main trail and go right a couple of minutes to South Window, with North Window just north of South Window. Those wanting a very short an easy hike can follow the main trail from North Window directly back to the trailhead.
Looking for a bit more? Instead of going back to the trailhead from North Window, go back to South Window and follow the trail as it passes behind the Windows and loops back to the trailhead via a primitive loop trail. This makes for a 1.2-mile total loop with just a few minor obstacles along the way and is, in my opinion, the best way to experience the Windows.
12S 627285mE 4283101mN
N38° 41' 15" W109° 32' 11"
12S 627439mE 4282780mN
N38° 41' 04" W109° 32' 05"
12S 627643mE 4282828mN
N38° 41' 05" W109° 31' 57"