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Chinese Arch – Promontory Utah

Promontory, Utah


Chinese Arch, transcontinental railroad path


About 1.8 miles roundtrip

Parking Lot Elevation

4735 ft

Summit Elevation

4785 ft

Elevation Gain/Loss

50 ft

Time Required

1+ hours


Allowed on leash

Water Info

Bring one liter of water if needed

Best Season

Spring, summer, fall


Open year round.

Sun Exposure

No shade

Trail Condition

Dirt and gravel road


At the visitor center

Visitor Center

Yes. At Golden Spike National Historic Site


Only allowed in designated spots only


Bring a snack if needed


Camera, sunglasses and a hat

GPS Coordinates:

Chinese Arch: 41.62834, -112.49166

Trail Map

Driving Directions

The Trail:

This hike is very easy for everyone of all skill levels.  I parked at the gravel parking lot and hiked the .9 miles to the arch.

Please note that you can also drive to the arch on the Golden Spike East Auto Tour so you do not need to hike at all – I chose to get out and enjoy the nice weather though!

Chinese Arch

You are walking on the same trail that the transcontinental railroad was once built.  On this day it was really clear and you could see all the way into Willard and Ogden.

Chinese Arch

I heard this jack rabbit running through the bushes

Chinese Arch

The road gains in a little elevation but it is very gradual and easily hiked (or driven!).  After about .9 miles you will come to this sign which tells you the history and geology behind Chinese Arch.

The arch was named in honor of the thousands of Chinese workers who labored for the railroad.  I learned something interesting from the Golden Spike National Historic Site website: The greenish qaurtzite that makes up the arch is only found here and in another local quarry and in China.  This is a pretty cool coincidence and an even cooler connection of the Chinese immigrants and workers to their native homeland!  Read more from the national park service website here.

As a side note, this arch was originally named China Man Arch but it has since changed to Chinese Arch.  Read this interesting article if you want to know the full reasoning why it was changed.

Chinese Arch

From this sign it is about 75 ft walk to the actual limestone arch.

The arch is probably 15 feet high from the ground and large enough for anyone to walk through it.

Chinese Arch

I really like the abrupt angles and dimensions of the arch.  It almost looks like two hands meeting together at the tips of the fingers.


You can see the rocket facility ATK in the background

Chinese Arch Chinese Arch Chinese Arch

The Return:

You can head back the same way you came or you can do the full loop which adds more than another mile to your hike.  It is still easy hiking and it is kind of neat to walk around on the old railroad.

Personal Thoughts:

This arch isn’t anything spectacular but the history behind this makes it a great find.

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The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek. If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

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About The Author
Jeff Johnson
Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you! JeffTJohnson@ymail.com

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