Windows Primitive Loop, Windows Trailhead, Arches National Park, Utah

Windows Primitive Loop - 1.2 miles

Windows Trailhead

Windows Arch (GPS: N38 41.125 W109 31.990)

Windows Arch (GPS: N38 41.125 W109 31.990)

Round-Trip Length: 1.2 miles
Start-End Elevation: 5,160' - 5,160' (5,275' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +115' net elevation gain (+170' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Windows Primitive Loop - 1.2 Miles Round-Trip

The Windows Primitive Loop circles North and South Window Arches, with easy access to Turret Arch via a short spur. The initial approach to these arches is often crowded, however the backside of the loop - or 'primitive' portion - sees minimal traffic and is arguably the area's main attraction. From it you'll enjoy vivid panoramas of a technicolor landscape, and additional perspective on these most unusual arch formations.

The North and South Window Arches are immediately visible from the trailhead, but your vantage improves greatly as the trail rises gently toward them. You'll reach the first of two spurs for Turret Arch in.12 miles, then another spur for the North Window in .25 miles. Turret Arch can be satisfactorily observed from this distance, though it's a nominal excursion for those wanting a closer look. The South Window and second Turret Arch spur is reached in .35 miles; follow signs to the base of South Window Arch for closer inspection before embarking on the primitive loop segment (.4 miles : 5,225').

No sign marks the segue, however the trail intuitively continues counter-clockwise around the greater Windows Arch formation, sometimes referred to as The Spectacles for its resemblance to eyeglasses perched on a nose. Crowds will thin as you glide around the formation to its backside.

The trail, which is anything but primitive, yields sensational views to the north and northeast of Arches' richly painted, topographically convoluted backcountry. You'll enjoy favorable angles of both Windows as you traverse a level rock-sand path that curls back to the trailhead and parking area.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N38 41.228 W109 32.198 — Window Arches Trailhead
  • N38 41.158 W109 32.102 — Turret Arch Junction
  • N38 41.088 W109 32.005 — South Window Arch Junction
  • N38 41.094 W109 31.946 — South Window Arch
  • N38 41.306 W109 32.001 — Travel on backside of Windows Primitive Loop
  • N38 41.228 W109 32.198 — Window Arches Trailhead

Worth Noting

  • Be courteous to others taking photographs; allow fellow visitors a clear view of the attractions.

  • This is a very popular trailhead. Arrive early for parking and a measure of solitude

Directions to Trailhead

Drive 9.2 miles north of the main park entrance station and visitor center to the turnoff for the Windows and Double Arch Trailheads. Make a right turn and travel another 3 miles to the Windows and Double Arch parking area.

Contact Information

Arches National Park
PO Box 907
Moab, Utah 84532-0907
Headquarters Phone: 435.719.2100
Fax: 435.719.2305
Phone: 435.719.2299 (recorded information)
Camping Reservation Line: 877.444.6777

Trip Reports

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