Established trails lead to many fine arches and overlooks that can't be seen from the road. You're free to wander cross-country, too, but please stay on rock or in washes to avoid damaging the fragile cryptobiotic soils. Wear good walking shoes with rubber soles for travel across slickrock.
The summer sun can be especially harsh on the unprepared hiker—don't forget water, a hat, and sunscreen. The desert rule is to carry at least one gallon of water per person for an all-day hike. Take a map and compass for off-trail hiking.
Be cautious on the slickrock; the soft sandstone can crumble easily. Also, remember that it's easier to go up a steep slickrock slope than to come back down.
You can reach almost any spot in Arches National Park  on a day hike, though you'll also find some good overnight possibilities. Areas for longer trips include Courthouse Wash in the southern part of the park and Salt Wash in the eastern part. All backpacking is done off-trail.
A backcountry permit must be obtained from a ranger before camping in the backcountry. Hiking regulations include no fires, no pets, and camping out of sight of any road (at least one mile away) or trail (at least a half mile away) and at least 300 feet from a recognizable archaeological site or nonflowing water source.
For those who are able, the hike to the base of Delicate Arch is one of the park's highlights (round-trip distance is three miles with an elevation gain of 500 feet; carry water). Shortly after the trail's start at Wolfe Ranch, a spur trail leads to some petroglyphs depicting horses and their riders and a few bighorn sheep. Because of the horses, which didn't arrive in the area until the mid-1600s, these petroglyphs are believed to be the work of Utes.
The first stretch of the main trail is broad, flat, and not especially scenic, except for a good display of spring wildflowers. After about half an hour of hiking, the trail climbs steeply up onto the slickrock and the views open up, spanning across the park to the La Sal Mountains in the distance.
Just before the end of the trail, walk up to a small arch for a framed view of the final destination. The classic photo of Delicate Arch is taken late in the afternoon when the sandstone glows with golden hues.
Rangers lead three-hour hikes into the Fiery Furnace twice each day. Unlike most ranger-led activities, a fee is charged for these hikes ($10 adults, $5 children 6-12 and America the Beautiful Senior Pass holders). Group size is limited, and walks often fill a day or two in advance. Make reservations online at www.recreation.gov  or in person at the visitor center up to seven days in advance.
A full tour of Devils Garden (7.2 miles round-trip, 4 hours) leads to eight named arches and a vacation's worth of scenic wonders. This is one of the park's most popular areas, with several shorter versions of the full loop hike that make the area accessible to nearly every hiker. Don't be shocked to find quite a crowd at the trailhead—it will most likely dissipate after the first two or three arches.
The first two arches lie off a short side trail to the right. Tunnel Arch has a relatively symmetrical opening 22 feet high and 27 feet wide. The nearby Pine Tree Arch is named for a piñon pine that once grew inside; the arch has an opening 48 feet high and 46 feet wide.
Continue on the main trail to Landscape Arch, which has an incredible 306-foot span (six feet longer than a football field). This is one of the longest unsupported rock spans in the world. The thin arch (106 feet high) looks ready to collapse at any moment. A rockfall from the arch on September 1, 1991, worries some people who fear the end may be near. The distance from the trailhead is two miles round-trip, an easy one-hour walk.
The trail narrows past Landscape Arch and continues to the remains of Wall Arch, which collapsed in August 2008. A short side trail branches off to the left beyond the stubs of Wall Arch to Partition Arch and Navajo Arch. Partition was so named because a piece of rock divides the main opening from a smaller hole. Navajo Arch is a rock-shelter type; perhaps prehistoric Native Americans camped here.
The main trail continues northwest and ends at Double O Arch (four miles round-trip from the trailhead). Double O has a large oval-shaped opening (45 feet high and 71 feet wide) and a smaller hole (9 feet high and 21 feet wide) underneath. Dark Angel is a distinctive rock pinnacle a quarter mile northwest; cairns mark the way.
Another primitive trail loops back to Landscape Arch via Fin Canyon. This route goes through a different area of Devils Garden but adds about one mile to your trip (three miles back to the trailhead instead of two). Pay careful attention to the trail markers to keep on the correct route.