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Tower Arch Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.7 (16)

This remote run rewards users with dramatic scenery and rarely-seen rock formations.


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Map Key

1.6

Miles

2.5

KM

85%

Runnable

5,236' 1,596 m

High

4,971' 1,515 m

Low

289' 88 m

Up

291' 89 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views

Inquire about road conditions at the visitor center before heading out here- these sandy, washboarded roads often wash out and become impassable. The eastern trailhead can usually be accessed with 2WD when conditions are dry.

Runner Notes

Exposed and sandy!

Description

Although the Tower Arch Trail can be started from either end, most users complete it as an out-and-back, beginning at the eastern end and utilizing the more established Klondkike Bluffs parking area off the upaved Salt Valley Road. The western end of the trail can be accessed with 4WD using the Herdina Park Jeep Road (also called Park Road 19).

From the Klondike Bluffs parking area, start by climbing up a steep, jumbled hillside. Look for rock pile cairns that mark the correct route. Upon reaching the flat top of this mesa, partake liberally of the sweeping views that include Salt Valley and the colorful Klondike Bluffs. This is the high point of the trail. Next, descend into the open, exposed valley surrounded by impressively red rock walls. To the south, you'll notice that the eroding thin sandstone spires known as Marching Men resemble soldiers in a row.

Continue through the valley, eventually slogging though a steep sandy hill and turning north to enter a valley of thin fins and slickrock. Keep a look out for sneaky Parallel Arch on the right after descending a short rock spine. If you miss it on the way in, don't despair, it is more visible on the return. About 100 yards after Parallel Arch, turn the corner and be surprised by the appearance of massive Tower Arch. Although it is "only" 92 feet long, its knobby tower at the northern end makes it distinctive. You can scramble up under the arch for shade or to capture the perfect combo photo of the arch + tower.

Between Parallel Arch and Tower Arch a sign points the way to the seldom used 4WD Herdina Park Jeep Road parking area. It is another 0.3 miles to this spot, and not worth the trip unless you're getting picked up from there. For people doing the out-and-back from the Klondkike Bluffs parking area, just retrace your steps once you're finished admiring Mother Nature's work on these two unique arch formations.

Shared By:

Megan W

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 16 votes

#254

Overall
  4.7 from 16 votes
5 Star
81%
4 Star
6%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#33

in Utah

#254

Overall
30 Views Last Month
3,152 Since Mar 5, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Tower Arch
Oct 12, 2017 near Moab, UT
Tower Arch
Mar 9, 2015 near Moab, UT
Tower Arch
Dec 24, 2019 near Moab, UT
Tower Arch
Oct 14, 2017 near Moab, UT
Under Tower Arch.
Oct 12, 2017 near Moab, UT
Snow covered La Sal Mountains from the first plateau on Tower Arch Trail.
Dec 24, 2019 near Moab, UT

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