Arches National Park
Several arches and features
25 miles point to point
$25 park entrance fee
Pack your own
Rough and sandy 4x4 road
At Devils Garden
Arches is known mainly as a hiking park. Moab itself is best known for its off roading. Most people don’t know there is a very nice off road trail in Arches that takes you to Tower Arch. The trail gets pretty rough in spots but with a spotter I was able to navigate everything in a stock half ton truck, but this is still not a trail to take lightly. There are several tire eating rocks, and many places to get stuck in the sand if you aren’t an experienced driver. I personally thought it was easy and fun, but we passed a family in a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon far superior to my truck and they were terrified and didn’t think they would make it. Like anything else, make sure you go prepared and you will have a great time! Due to the deep sand the park service recommends only driving the road in a counter clockwise direction. This allows you to take the worst parts going downhill. You enter the road on the Salt Valley Road which is just before the Devils Garden trail head. The first few miles are doable in most any car. Just be on the watch for deep sand. As you start out be sure to look back toward the main road for pretty views of Skyline Arch.
The road follows a small sandy wash that could give 2×4 vehicles issues during really dry times.
You will soon see the Klondike Bluffs. This is where the trail head is for the general hike to Tower Arch. Past this point the road is 4×4 only.
The route is well signed.
The road climbs through several rock obstacles. Here are some photos to give you an idea what to expect.
Here is a short video showing the largest obstacles on the road.
There are beautiful views of the Arches scenery.
You will have to take a right hand turn on a short spur road to get to the arch and then backtrack later. There is a small parking area. Even on a busy day in the rest of the park we only ran into two other vehicles.
From the parking lot you get your first view of Tower Arch. It is 92 feet long making it one of the longer spans in the park. I believe it is third longest, but I could be wrong.
I highly recommend taking the 1 mile round trip hike to the arch because the distant view doesn’t do it justice. The hike is pretty easy going through this small valley.
Once down in you will get better views of the arch and the formation on top of it giving it its name.
Just to the south is a second smaller arch.
Once up to the arch it is a very impressive sight.
Once you are back to your vehicle backtrack until you see the signs pointing you to balanced rock. This next few miles was a lot of fun. I didn’t take any photos because I was having too much fun taking the deep sand wash fast. Eventually you will see Eye of the Whale Arch.
The road ends right by the parking lot for Balanced Rock.
I thought this was my favorite part of Arches. The arch itself is cool, but the adventure getting there is what I really loved and is unique in Arches.