Hiking Park Avenue and the Courthouse Towers is one of Moab’s best hikes, you’ll be amazed at the natural beauty you'll find here. This iconic, 1.8-mile out-and-back trail lets you get up close and personal with some of the most amazing sandstone features in Arches National Park.
With just a small amount of elevation gain and plenty of paved walking paths, this is one of the easiest, most accessible hikes in the Moab area.
Take the main road into Arches National Park. You’ll see a sign for the Park Avenue Overlook as one of the first pullouts in the park. Simply hike from Park Avenue to the Courthouse Towers Lookout then back again.
Distance: 1.8 miles out-and-back
Elevation gain: 286 feet. There are about 60 steps to navigate to get to the bottom
Accessibility: Both ends of the trail have paved sections to both the Courthouse Towers and Park Avenue Viewpoints. The trail between the two overlooks is well maintained over slick rock.
Dog friendly?: No
Did you know that Arches National Park used to be an underwater landscape? Once the seas moved on, the area was left with stunning sandstone cliffs. Wind, rain, and snow gradually wore away at the sandstone, creating fantastic rock features that seem to defy physics.
Arches are carved from small pebbles and wind, while the towering rock formations along Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers were formed from water eroding the fragile sandstone. The result is stunning rock formations that tower over the valley below.
This area gets its namesake from the famous Park Avenue in New York City. Except substitute man-made skyscrapers with towering desert cliffs - a true city of rocks.
The hike through Park Avenue to the Courthouse Towers offers a mellow jaunt through this jaw-dropping landscape. Along the way, you’ll spot several world-famous rock formations.
Courthouse Towers is actually the name given to several different formations of rock found throughout the hike.
Make your way down to the bottom to fully grasp the scale of these monoliths. One of the most exciting parts about this landscape is feeling so small against giant slabs of rock. See if you can spot these named formations:
The Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers hike is a must-do on any Moab itinerary. The hike makes for a perfect early-morning warm-up or a great way to close out a day in Arches National Park.
Don’t expect much shade along the Courthouse Towers Trail. Hiking in the desert requires a few key pieces of gear. Remember: stay on the trail, don’t bust the cryptobiotic crust (black, soil that juts above the ground), and pack these essentials: