Sand Dune Arch is named for its location in a sandy slot canyon between two fins. The sand here is particularly fine and pinkish-red in color. The main trail, which also gives access to Broken Arch and Tapestry Arch, drops gently for .1 miles through desert sage and blackbrush to a spur for Sand Dune Arch. Turn right and follow the sandy path through a narrow slot that opens into a pleasantly shaded clearing. Then continue in the slot to Sand Dune Arch. It will be on the right.
If you have children, this is one stop within Arches you won't want to miss. The deep, pink sand provides the perfect place to build sandcastles and dig your toes in to the soft, fine sand. The tall fins in the area create shade and cooler temperatures, making this a good spot for families to spend time on visits in peak summer months. If you are curious, the slot continues for a short distance beyond the arch but becomes impassable.
The bottom of the fins resembles a sandy beach leading up to Sand Dune Arch. There are places to play hide and seek along the way, and plenty of things to explore. Under the arch, on the left, is a small ledge where you can climb up and take a trail leading behind the arch. Children and some adults might require help to reach this spot. The second option is to walk directly under the arch and follow a route up the slick rock to the base.
There are two rules to be aware of at Sand Dune Arch. One, you can NOT climb on the arch. It is against park policy. Two, you cannot "write'' or carve your name in the sandstone. Unfortunately, you will see that others have recklessly defaced areas at this location.
The entrance to Arches is located 5 miles north of Moab,UTalong Highway 191. The Sand Dune Arch Trailhead is located 16.2 miles north of the main Park Entrance Station.
Sand Dune Arch Information:
Distance - Round-Trip Length is 0.4 miles
Skill Level - easy for all ages
Hiking Time - in and out in 15 minutes, an hour or more to appease children.
What to Bring - Nothing specific.
Start - End Elevation - 5,169feet to 5,198 feet
Elevation Change - 29 feet net elevation gain
Pet Regulations - No Dogs Allowed
A fact about some of the vegetation you hike through: One of the bushes is called Blackbrush, it is named for branches that turn black when wet or from age. The tips of the branches are usually spiny, and the flowers are small and yellow. This plant is a member of the rose family.
One August 2009 reviewer said, "Just a few minutes' walk from the parking area, this arch is easy to reach. It's also small enough that visitors can climb on it. Finally, it's reasonably shaded by large surrounding sandstone walls, so on a hot day, it's nice to visit.
Based on size alone, it's not impressive, but the other factors make it a must visit for families.''
This June 2009 reviewer said, "This arch is close enough to the road that almost anyone can reach it easily, which means you won't be alone there. For better or worse, the arch is an invitation to both climb on, and play in the sand under. If you have small children this is a good stop, but don't come here to commune with nature. As part of the loop with Broken and Tapestry Arches, this is a nice contrast and a good hike.''
Read about other Moab tourist attractions:
- Fiery Furnace - Arches National Park, Utah - Geological Feature
- Island in the Sky - Canyonlands National Park, Utah - National Park Feature
- Broken Arch - Arches National Park, Utah - Geological Feature
- Park Avenue Trail - Arches National Park, Utah - National Park, hiking trail, geological formations
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