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FATMAP difficulty grade
Druid Arch is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.
The Arch "stands high above the far upstream end of Elephant Canyon, surrounded by slickrock benches and multicolored pinnacles," according to [AmericanSouthwest.net](https://www.americansouthwest.net/utah/canyonlands/druid-arch.html).
"The isolated, freestanding arch projects outwards at right angles from the Cedar Mesa sandstone cliffs and is notable both for its height (450 feet) and shape - sharply angular, with two main openings and one smaller," the writer continues.
"The formation is named because of the resemblance to Stonehenge in England, a place long associated with druids." While Druid Arch may be one of the most popular hikes in the Needles District, it's still quite a challenging excursion in the desert.
The out-and-back route as mapped here covers 10 miles round-trip with about 1,500 feet of elevation gain and loss.
The hike runs through a remote, desolate stretch of desert deep in the Canyonlands, and all hikers should be prepared to be completely self-sufficient.
Due to this hike's length and remoteness, it's not advised to attempt the route during the heat of summer.
The vast majority of the hike to the arch travels along the sandy wash of Elephant Canyon, alternating between benches above the wash and the sandy wash bottom.
The final quarter-mile of the hike is the most strenuous part, "requiring hikers to scale a ladder and then climb/scramble up a very steep boulder choked ravine to a sandstone bench," according to [Hiking & Walking.com](http://www.hikingwalking.com/index.php/destinations/ut/ut_se/canyonlands/druid_arch).
The final stretch to reach the bench has earned this hike a "severe" rating in FATMAP, but the vast majority of the hike would receive a "difficult" or "moderate" rating on its own.
For the adequately prepared hiker, the sight of Druid Arch is an incredible reward for a long day on the trail! Sources: https://www.americansouthwest.net/utah/canyonlands/druid-arch.html http://www.hikingwalking.com/index.php/destinations/ut/ut_se/canyonlands/druid_arch