One of the best trails in Arches is the Windows Section Loop Trail. Best visited during sunset, this incredible trail is home to several different naturally occurring rock windows, arches, and sweeping views of the La Sal Mountains. In this guide to hiking the Window’s section, we’ll dive into all the juicy details.
You’ll find the famous Windows Section within the boundaries of Arches National Park. Just 5 miles north of Moab, enter Arches National Park at the main entrance. You’ll have to pay the park fee unless you have an America the Beautiful Annual Park Pass (highly recommended for multiple national park visits).
Continue along the main road inside of arches until you reach The Windows Road, the first right past Balanced Rock. Here you’ll find ample parking and a few short trails to walk, giving you the best views of these beautiful rock formations.
It takes 30 minutes to an hour to experience the beauty and wonder of these stunning formations. At the Windows Section, you’ll find a variety of rock formations, from lumpy towers of sandstone to picture-perfect sandstone windows, and even a double arch!
Bring your camera, some water, and good walking shoes for this trail. Overall the hiking is well marked and fairly easy to manage. There is accessible parking and a toilet at the trailhead, but only the first 100 yards or so of the trail has handicapped access.
Take the 0.3 one-way trail to the double arch formation along with the Parade of Elephants Trail. Here you can get up close and personal with these beautiful archways. Return the way you came and head across the parking lot to the 1.2-mile Windows Loop Trail.
Again, this wonderful trail passes through gravity-defying sandstone windows. These picture-perfect holes in the rock let you catch a glimpse of the nearby La Sal Mountains. The North Window is a quick 5-minute detour along the main trail while the South Window can be seen easily from the main trail.
Don’t forget to stop by Turret Arch, a small trail in between the North and South Windows. You’ll find yourself taking a slower pace through this beautiful landscape, so be sure to book in some extra time for photographs and exploring.
Pro Tip: Always pay attention to signs and obey any rules in Arches National Park. It can be tempting to crawl across the sandstone spires, but this is not allowed. Stay on the marked trail.
Although this is a quick stop compared to some of the other hikes in the area, there is plenty to do in the Windows Section.
Along the Parade of Elephants Trail, you can crawl up underneath an arch to truly get a sense of just how large these landscapes are. One of the best things to do in the Windows Section is to stop for sunset. Make your way around this unique landscape during the last hours of the day for a real treat.
You can watch as the sun sets near the Windows formations. There’s a magical quality to the light as shadows dance along the Parade of Elephants formations. The red rock contrasts nicely against the purple backdrop of the nearby La Sal Mountains.
Astrophotographers and stargazers alike should watch the stars peek through the Double Arch. This is a magical scene like no other, so pack an extra jacket and check out the night sky.
Overall, the Windows Section is a must-see on any Arches National Park itinerary. Best enjoyed in the fading light of the evening, this stunning area provides some easy walking with killer views.