Hike Sand Dune Arch to Broken Arch Loop Trail

If you're into less trafficked hikes, the Sand Dune to Broken Arch Loop is your go-to spot in Arches National Park. There are three distinct arches waiting for you on this 2.8-mile lollipop loop. In this blog post, I’ll give you a rundown of what to expect on this trail.

Hiking Info

  • 2.8 mile loop trail

  • Easy / Moderate

  • Elevation change: 321ft

  • Admission: This hike is inside Arches, so you’ll need a National Park pass. Arches National Park charges a fee to enter. For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/fees.htm.

  • Free Parking once you’re inside the park

  • Bathrooms at trailhead

  • No dogs allowed

  • Trail Etiquette: Respect the delicate ecosystem by staying on designated trails and avoiding unnecessary disturbances to the natural environment.

When To Go

The nice thing about this hike is it’s much less crowded than most, so any time of day is good to go. We only passed 2 people when we went in May 2022. The lighting is always better at sunrise and sunset for most arches.

The optimal months for visiting Arches National Park are during April to May and September to October, with daytime temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees. Summer months bring temperatures surpassing 100 degrees, making the exploration of park trails considerably uncomfortable and potentially dangerous.

Just For Fun Park Tees

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The Hike: Sand Dune Arch to Broken Arch Loop Trail

Start from the well marked trailhead in the parking lot. You’ll almost immediately take a small offshoot to go see Sand Dune Arch. This is definitely the highlight of the trail so if you’re limited on time you can go see this pretty quickly and skip the rest.

As you step into the narrow corridor between towering fins of Entrada sandstone, it feels like entering another world. The arch is framed by a massive, rust-colored wall, creating a picturesque scene that is a photographer's dream.

This is Sand Dune Arch below in all. It’s really stunning and uniquely has hues of pinks and purples, quite different that the more orangey-red colors in the rest of the park.

Continue back to the trail on a sandy path to see Broken Arch.

Broken Arch itself is not completely broken, but has a fractured appearance. On this trail, you’ll actually get to pass right through it to continue on the path.

At the end you can view Tapestry Arch. This arch often gets called a triple arch, but that's a bit of a misnomer. The arches are all on the same sandstone fin, but they don't touch at all. You can get much closer than we did to see than the image below, we just ran short on time.

If you have ample time to spend in Arches National Park, add this to your list. If you are limited on time, I’d recommend prioritizing Devil’s Garden Loop and Delicate Arch trails.

Know of any other good hikes in the region? Please leave them in the comments below.


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