Single hike. Double the arches.
Double Arch is an incredible formation of arches within the Windows area of Arches National Park, an area with the largest concentration of natural arches in the entire world. Double Arch takes its name because of it consists of two arches that share the same stone as a foundation for both of their outer legs. Double Arch was formed by downward water erosion from atop the sandstone, rather than from side-to-side water erosion.
To get there, drive 9.2 miles up the Arches Entrance Road, and then take the first right after Balanced Rock into the Windows section of the park. You will follow this road 2.7 miles to its end at a circle for the Windows Trail. The Double Arch Trailhead is located at the north end of the circle at the far north of the parking lot.
While here, visitors might as well enjoy the surrounding sites; the trail to Double Arch is so short, and there are so many attractions packed into such a small area as the Windows. The Parade of Elephants, Turret Arch, the Windows, Cove Arch, Ribbon Arch, Elephant Butte, and the Cove of Caves are all within half a mile of each other.
Double Arch Trailhead(38.688556, -109.538409)
There is ample parking here for the many visitors that frequent the Windows section of the park.
Double Arch(38.691773, -109.540573)
Both of these arches sit at the lower end of the southwest fin that trails below Elephant Butte.
The Windows(38.686468, -109.532721)
Also known as the Spectacles, these two arches stand side by side, though separated by some distance, cut from the same sandstone fin. Directly southwest of the Windows sits Turret Arch with its vigilant tower standing beside. The whole Windows area is full of unique and captivating stone formations, with many arches among them.
Parade of Elephants(38.689918, -109.540528)
To the south of Double Arch lies a lone section of sandstone, the remnants of the fin to which Double Arch used to belong. The rock formation appears to be a herd of elephants, holding each others’ tails, traveling single file. The formation consists of a few small arches within the elephants’ ranks that seem to give the impression that they were actually carved to appear as the pachyderms.
Elephant Butte(38.695814, -109.540159)
Elephant Butte is the highest point within Arches National Park—at 5653 feet above sea level—rising over 600 feet above the road. Elephant Butte is a popular climbing destination, and is considered an easy climb as far as technical routes go.
Click here for more information about Arches and the surrounding area.