Arch Canyon

Blanding, Utah

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1 Review
5 out of 5
A little-known box canyon on Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service land suitable for a long day hike or two- to four-day backpacking trip, using the extra time to explore the numerous side canyons. Although Arch Canyon receives little use compared with the better-known Grand Gulch and Dark Canyon Primitive Areas, it offers outstanding scenery and numerous ruins; also, it is comparatively easy to get to by car. The high, forested massif of Abajo Peak and the rest of the Blue Mountains are drained by numerous canyons, many of which are not only fascinating to explore but also difficult to reach by road. For this reason, the area offers more solitude than other, better-known parts of Utah’s redrock country. In addition, spring snowmelt in the mountains above ensures a steady flow of water in many canyons, making desert backpacking less of a chore than usual. The Ancestral Puebloan Indians found the area ideal, and most south-facing alcoves contain evidence of their culture, from petroglyphs and three-bushel granaries to multilevel apartments and kivas.
Hiking Utah

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Utah

by Bill Schneider Edited by Ann Seifert (Falcon Guides)

A little-known box canyon on Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service land suitable for a long day hike or two- to four-day backpacking trip, using the extra time to explore the numerous side canyons. Although Arch Canyon receives little use compared with the better-known Grand Gulch and Dark Canyon Primitive Areas, it offers outstanding scenery and numerous ruins; also, it is comparatively easy to get to by car.

The high, forested massif of Abajo Peak and the rest of the Blue Mountains are drained by numerous canyons, many of which are not only fascinating to explore but also difficult to reach by road. For this reason, the area offers more solitude than other, better-known parts of Utah’s redrock country. In addition, spring snowmelt in the mountains above ensures a steady flow of water in many canyons, making desert backpacking less of a chore than usual. The Ancestral Puebloan Indians found the area ideal, and most south-facing alcoves contain evidence of their culture, from petroglyphs and three-bushel granaries to multilevel apartments and kivas.

©  Bill Schneider Edited by Ann Seifert/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Blanding
Distance: 18
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: One to four days
Season: Late spring and early fall
Trailhead Elevation: 5,000 feet
Top Elevation: 5,200 feet
Local Contacts: Monticello Field Office, BLM, Monticello Ranger District, Manti-LaSal National Forest
Local Maps: USGS South Long Point, USGS Hotel Rock, National Geographic Trails Illustrated Grand Gulch Plateau Map
Driving Directions: Directions to Arch Canyon

Recent Trail Reviews

5/22/2007
2

Arch Canyon is a great trail for those looking for a lightly used, easy hike in classic utah canyon country. The trail''s terrain is very easy, mostly rolling hills as the trail (an old jeep trail) weaves its way back and forth across the creek. Overall elevation change is minimal. The trail itself is mostly sand rather than rock or soil. After around 10 miles you will find two campsites just before the first arch from which the canyon takes its name. The first campsite is well shaded with a stellar view, very close to the junction of texas canyon. The second campsite is appx. .25 miles furthur,with a larger and more open area - better for a larger group of hikers, or a better view of the sky. ATV usage is allowed, but if hiking is your preference, its is not typically a problem; although for ATVers the trail offers a great amount of fun terrain and a couple larger areas that are suitable for nights stay with room for gear, vehicles etc. Mulpiple Pueblo ruins exist: at the beginning, the end of the canyons entering from the east, and couple cave dwellings, so keep a sharp eye. Overall, an unforgettable trail suitable for about any skill level of hiker - highly recommended.



Trail Photos

Activity Feed

Apr 2018