“A dramatic canyon featuring arches and plenty of stream crossings.”
— Eric Ashley
River/Creek · Views
The only way to reach the trailhead is by a very rough 7.5 mile road. As such, it's recommended for 4WD and capable high-clearance vehicles only.
Conditions change rapidly with weather events and during spring runoff. Check with the Monticello Ranger District for updated information.
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A faint trail, stream crossings, and plenty of exploring makes this more of a scramble than a run.
The Arch Canyon Trail travels along the bottom of a canyon next to and repeatedly through a perennial stream (plan on wet feet and bring appropriate footwear). This trail is infrequently maintained and can be difficult to follow. The grade is generally mellow but steepens progressively as you run.
If you're not put off by the challenge of both reaching and traveling this canyon, you'll be rewarded with dramatic cliff faces towering over a forest of scattered ponderosa pines. There are also three arches to enjoy; Cathedral Arch is reached in the first quarter mile, Angel Arch in less than a mile, and Keystone Arch around the four mile mark. Lastly, you'll also pass the Butts Canyon Trail (465)
at 1.4 miles.
Keystone Arch is a good turnaround spot if you're looking to shorten your journey or skip some elevation gain. Otherwise, keep going until you reach the end at a spill-off near the five mile mark.