The Windows Trail is a short family-friendly hike featuring three massive stone arches in the heart of Arches National Park. The one-mile loop follows an easy well-constructed trail with very little elevation gain. This hike is perfect for hikers of all skill levels.

The Trailhead

The Windows Trail begins at the end of The Windows Road in Arches National Park.

From Moab, Utah:

  1. Drive north on Highway 191 for approximately 4.0 miles to the entrance of Arches National Park.
  2. Turn right onto Arches Scenic Drive and drive 9.1 miles to the turnoff for The Windows Road on the right.
  3. Turn right onto The Windows Road and drive 2.4 miles to the signed parking area for at the end of the road.

There is a $25 per vehicle fee to enter Arches National Park. Restrooms are available at the trailhead.

The Hike

From the parking area, follow the well-maintained trail east toward the two large arches known as The Windows which are easily seen from the trailhead. The trail is wide and easy to walk on with constructed stone steps through the areas of mild elevation gain. After about 200 yards, the trail splits. You can go either direction as the trail loops back to this point. Continue to the right as the trail climbs some steps before arriving at Turret Arch.

Beyond Turret Arch, the trail splits again. The short trail on the right leads to a nice viewpoint of the South Window. The main trail continues to the North Window, eventually leading back to the junction near the beginning of the hike. The main loop with the short diversion to the South Window viewpoint clocks in at about 1.0 mile round trip.

The Windows Trail may be extended by about 0.3 miles by following a primitive trail from the South Window back to the trailhead. This trail is not as well maintained as the main loop but offers great views of the Windows from the opposite side, including an opportunity to see Turret Arch through the opening of the North Window. Some sections of the trail are marked with rock cairns and require a little climbing over rocks and small obstacles but most healthy adults and children should have no problems.

Rules and Regulations

  • No pets allowed.
  • No littering.
  • Pack out trash.
  • Stay on designated trails.

Special Considerations

The Windows Trail is particularly beautiful in the late evening when the setting sun illuminates the face of the North and South Windows.


This trail guide is provided by Backcountry Post.