Willow Gluch Trail

Escalante, Utah

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The attraction that draws most hikers to Willow Gulch is the magnificent Broken Bow Natural Arch. This improbable sandstone formation rises boldly from a low plateau on the north side of the streambed, where it can be seen clearly from a distance of several hundred yards. The triangular-shaped opening easily reminds one of a bow bent nearly double, but actually that is not how the arch got its name. It was given its present name in 1930 after an Indian bow was found underneath it. Broken Bow Arch is located only 2.3 miles from the Willow Gulch Trailhead. It is a relatively easy hike to the arch, and many hikers turn around at that point. But in my opinion the hike from the arch on down to Lake Powell is almost as interesting as the arch itself. The character of the canyon changes dramatically in a surprisingly short distance, going from an open desert environment to a constricted environment of slickrock waterslides and sandstone narrows in less than a mile. Finally the canyon opens out again at the end, where a small plateau offers a fine view of Lake Powell.
Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails

by David Day (Rincon Publishing)

The attraction that draws most hikers to Willow Gulch is the magnificent Broken Bow Natural Arch. This improbable sandstone formation rises boldly from a low plateau on the north side of the streambed, where it can be seen clearly from a distance of several hundred yards. The triangular-shaped opening easily reminds one of a bow bent nearly double, but actually that is not how the arch got its name. It was given its present name in 1930 after an Indian bow was found underneath it.

Broken Bow Arch is located only 2.3 miles from the Willow Gulch Trailhead. It is a relatively easy hike to the arch, and many hikers turn around at that point. But in my opinion the hike from the arch on down to Lake Powell is almost as interesting as the arch itself. The character of the canyon changes dramatically in a surprisingly short distance, going from an open desert environment to a constricted environment of slickrock waterslides and sandstone narrows in less than a mile. Finally the canyon opens out again at the end, where a small plateau offers a fine view of Lake Powell.

©  David Day/Rincon Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Escalante
Distance: 7.2
Elevation Gain: 540 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Duration: 4 hours
Season: Year-round; best in spring and fall
Trailhead Elevation: 4,200 feet
Top Elevation: 4,200 feet
Local Contacts: Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Local Maps: USGS Sooner Bench, Davis Gulch
Driving Directions: Directions to Willow Gluch Trail

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Apr 2018