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Sand Dune Arch – Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park – near Moab, Utah


Sand Dune Arch


About .32 miles round trip.

Parking Lot Elevation

5192 ft

Summit Elevation

5310 ft

Elevation Gain/Loss

118 ft

Time Required

Less than a 1/2 hour


Not allowed


There are entrance fees into Arches National Park

Water Info

Bring 1 liter of water



Sun Exposure

About half in shade and half in sun

Trail Condition

Very clear trail.


Nearest restrooms are at the Delicate Arch or Devils Garden parking lots

Visitor Center

Yes, near park entrance




Bring snacks as needed


Good hiking shoes, hat, sunglasses, bag for food and water

Sand Dune Arch is a great little hike that is perfect for families.  It is short and provides amazing views of sandstone “fins” and an arch.

GPS Coordinates

Trailhead:  38° 45.885’N, 109° 35.001’W
Sand Dune Arch:  38° 45.859’N, 109° 34.857’W

The Trail

Driving Directions:

The Trail:

Sand Dune Arch Trail

Sand Dune Arch Trail

The trail starts at the same parking lot as Broken Arch just before Skyline Arch.  The trail is very wide and easy to follow for the majority of the hike.

At about 300 feet from the parking lot you will come to a fork in the path.  The left fork continues straight and eventually goes to Broken Arch.  The trail to the right goes on to Sand Dune Arch.  Take the right fork and continue on the trail.

Getting inside the sandstone fins

Getting inside the sandstone fins

I enjoy this little hike because from the parking lot you are quickly enveloped inside sandstone fin structures that tower up above you.  You feel a little claustrophobic as these giant fins seem like they will fall on top of you as you pass through.

Mini slot canyon

Mini slot canyon

Just as you get inside the sandstone fins you will be hiking on top of very fine sand.  You will travel another 500 feet or so until you turn the corner and see Sand Dune Arch hiding towards the back.

Sand Dune Arch

Sand Dune Arch

Sand Dune Arch is named because there is a large pile of sand just underneath it.  The shape of the arch is intriguing as it appears to be two sandstone pieces coming from both sides of the walls that are fused together.

Size comparison

Size comparison

It really isn’t that big of an arch but it is still quite impressive.

If you continue hiking to the east after Sand Dune Arch you will be treated with a larger canyon opening that is fun to rock crawl around.  But unfortunately this is a dead end so you will need to turn back.

Dark Angel in the distance

Dark Angel in the distance

As you are heading back towards your car you can actually get an incredible view of Dark Angel in Devils Garden.  It is still pretty far away but it is stunning how the opening of the mini slot canyon is exactly lined up with Dark Angel.

The Return:

Head back towards your car

Personal Thoughts:

If you want a quick exciting little hike than I suggest you take a look at Sand Dune Arch.   It is a surprisingly rewarding little adventure.

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The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek.  If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

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About The Author
Jeff Johnson
Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you! JeffTJohnson@ymail.com

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[…] parking lot is the same for Sand Dune Arch so if you have an extra half hour and want to see another amazing arch go see […]