Tower Arch

Tower Arch is the destination of one of the lesser-known hikes in Arches National Park.


The easy-to-follow path to Tower Arch begins by heading south up a rocky trail marked with cairns. After 0.2 miles, a flat plateau looks out onto the La Sal Mountains. The sandy, pink trail then heads down into a bowl surrounded by large boulders and high, thin, pinnacles. Cross the bowl heading southwest and west over a small ridge. Be careful not to step on fragile cryptobiotic crust, patches of black crust made of moss, fungi and algae that prevent erosion, produces nutrients and absorb moisture. Other plants and ancient-looking tree formations pepper the landscape. After descending for a while, the trail heads up again through sand, which is a bit difficult to walk through. After a mile the path turns right along a large, shady boulder and climbs a little more. Walk northwest through the fist-and-finger rock formations. A sign with an arrow points the way toward the arch. Head into a skinny canyon of rock fins. Look to your left and you will see a small, semi-formed arch formation. Just around the corner is the thick, massive, Tower arch. You can eat lunch underneath it. Entrance fee: $10

Getting there: Enter the park and go 17 miles north of the entrance station until reaching a dirt road on the left. Travel the dirt road for just more than seven miles until you reach the sign for Klondike Bluffs. Turn left. From there, the trail head is a mile.


-- Jason Bergreen/The Salt Lake Tribune

Region: La Sal Mountains

Destination: Tower Arch

Distance: 2.6 miles

Time: 90 minutes

Elevation Gain: 277 feet

Dog Allowed: Yes

Restrooms: Yes

Biking: Yes

Difficulty: 3


First published 2009-05-22