Hiking Trails National Parks Travel

Arches National Park: Balanced Rock, Garden of Eden, Double Arch, And The Windows

Arches National Park: Balanced Rock, Garden of Eden, Double Arch, And The Windows

After seeing Delicate Arch first thing in the morning, Julia and I continued our exploration of Arches National Park by making our way towards Balanced Rock. Balanced Rock is listed as a hike by some, but at only .3 miles and virtually no elevation gain, I’ll just list it as a site to see. The walkway from the parking lot circles the precariously balanced rock, giving the viewer many different angles to question the possibility of such a naturally occurring  structure. The total hieght of balanced rock from the ground to the top is 128 feet, with the rock portion standing 55 feet in height. The rock is the size of three school buses!


Arches National Park: Balanced Rock, Garden of Eden, Double Arch, And The Windows
Balanced Rock

The parking lot for Balanced Rock was pretty crowded, so we made our way on the road towards Double Arch and The Windows. On the road to these two park attractions, there is a parking area for the Garden of Eden. We didn’t get out to do any hiking here, but we did make sure to take in the incredible morning views. It was pretty fun to see rock climbers making their way up one of the rock towers. The temperatures were still close to freezing, so I can only imagine how their exposed hands felt on the icy rock.


Arches National Park: Balanced Rock, Garden of Eden, Double Arch, And The Windows
Garden Of Eden

Double Arch was our next stop, and was also another great opportunity to get a little walking in. Much like Balanced Rock, Double Arch is listed as a hike in places, but it’s really just a .5 mile walk with little to no elevation change. I was really starting to enjoy the quick approaches though. I’m so used to taking hikes that require me to hike 7 or more miles and climb at least 4000ft to get to a mountain peak, and it felt great to see so many incredible sights with so little effort.

If you’ve never been to see Double Arch but it’s looks familiar to you, you’re probably remembering the opening scene to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Double Arch is a pothole arch, meaning that it formed by water eroding it from above, and not from the side like many other arches in the park. The hike leading to Double Arch is one of great anticipation, as you can see the massive arches grow closer with each step. What makes this site especially fun, is that you can climb right up and underneath the arches to really take them in with all their glory.


Arches National Park: Balanced Rock, Garden of Eden, Double Arch, And The Windows
Looking Out From Underneath Double Arch
Arches National Park: Balanced Rock, Garden of Eden, Double Arch, And The Windows
Double Arch
Arches National Park: Balanced Rock, Garden of Eden, Double Arch, And The Windows
In My Roadtrip Sunday Best

We spent quite a bit of time at Double Arch enjoying the views before walking up to the one mile trail for The Windows. The parking circle for Double Arch is the same one used for the Windows, so we only had to walk on a little asphalt to reach the trailhead. The one mile loop hike for The Windows (also known as The Spectacles) gains 150 feet and takes you to see the North Window and the South Window.

We started towards the South Window on a series of gravel steps. It was long before we were standing in the eye of the South Window with brain stretching vistas of Arches National Park. From here, there are two choices to continue. You can backtrack and head towards the North Window, or you can do like us and pass through the South Window onto the primitive trail loop. The views from the backside of the South Window were some of my favorite in the park, but are missed by many.


Arches National Park: Balanced Rock, Garden of Eden, Double Arch, And The Windows
Backside of South Window
Arches National Park: Balanced Rock, Garden of Eden, Double Arch, And The Windows
On The Trail
Arches National Park: Balanced Rock, Garden of Eden, Double Arch, And The Windows
Towards Turret Arch

Close to The Windows is Turret Arch, just a short walk away. We made our way over and spent a little time hiking in and around the area. The late morning sky was starting to transition into the perfect backdrop for photography, with a deep blue sky broken by wispy white clouds.


Arches National Park: Balanced Rock, Garden of Eden, Double Arch, And The Windows
Peaking Through
Arches National Park: Balanced Rock, Garden of Eden, Double Arch, And The Windows
What We’re Made Of

After seeing so much in just one morning, Julia and I were feeling a bit tired and hungry. We made our way back to Moab to grab some lunch, and we began planning some adventures for a full afternoon back in Arches National Park.


I’m Drew, creator of Trail to Peak. Trail to Peak brings content to life on the web through breath-taking photography and captivating video. I launched Trail to Peak in 2014 with a goal to inspire readers to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. I have traveled to 19 countries, walked Camino de Santiago, hiked the John Muir Trail, trekked through the Andes of Peru, and am constantly seeking new adventures in my home state of California. Joining me on my weekly adventures is my partner, Julia, our son, Owen, and our two goldendoodles, Isla and Lilly.

17 comments on “Arches National Park: Balanced Rock, Garden of Eden, Double Arch, And The Windows

  1. Stunning pictures. I love the warm colors of beautiful Utah.

  2. Wow, what an incredible rock formation. Rugged and beautiful landscape.

  3. wow, stunning images! Utah looks gorgeous!

  4. Love this place! Great photos.

  5. Just awesome. Went when I was 15, but definitely need to make it back.

  6. Cannot ever get enough of this place. Glorious.

  7. As beautiful as your photographs are, I can imagine the views and formations were even more spectacular in person. Wow! On my bucket list for sure.

  8. Have just got my flights for next year. Wow I hope we have those amazing skies and colours in your beautiful pictures. Your blog has given us some fantastic ideas as we will be 4 weeks on a road trip round the Circle.

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