Broken Arch from Devil’s Garden Campground

Broken Arch Trail - Arches National Park

Since we managed to grab a spot at Devil’s Garden Campground in Arches National Park a night early, we got to explore the area a little that afternoon.  Our first hike was Broken Arch Trail from the campground.  Once we got camp set up we headed up to the trailhead near the restroom next to campsite 42.  The goal was to do an easy loop encompassing Broken Arch and Sand Dune Arch then come back to camp for dinner.

We headed out on the short leg to Broken Arch and my wife and I were immediately distracted by a sign for another arch that wasn’t on the map.  Just outside camp there is a sign for a side trail to Tapestry Arch about 300 yards off the main trail.  It’s an easy little hike and marked well with cairns.  Tapestry Arch is a pretty cool arch and a nice detour from Broken Arch Trail.  There are great views out to the La Sals from the arch.

Continuing on the trail to Broken Arch has you crawling over lower rock fins and sandstone slabs, then slogging through loose, fine sand.  The trail is pretty easy and the route to Broken Arch is barely a mile.

When you approach the arch there is a sign that reads “trail continues through arch” and it’s awesome.  Camp was full that evening but we still managed to have the arch all to ourselves for some time.  My wife and I both approached the arch taking pictures and worked it for a while taking advantage of some nice late afternoon sun bringing out the vibrant color of the rock and creating crisp shadows in the stone’s texture.  I could have wandered around photographing this one arch for hours, it has great character and shouldn’t be missed.

We continued down the loop trail and took the turn out another half mile toward some tall fins where we would find Sand Dune Arch…

Moderator’s Note:

The Broken Arch Trail loop is accessible from two points in the campground (sites 42 and 51) and is 1.5 miles round-trip.  The trail can also be accessed from the parking area for Sand Dune Arch and is about 1.2 miles round-trip from this point.  You can also park at Devil’s Garden Trail parking lot and hike the extra .6 miles to the trailhead in the campground.

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