Willow Gulch and Broken Bow Arch Trail

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah

Distance1.8mi
Elevation Gain984ft
Trailhead Elevation4,199ft
Top4,199ft
Elevation Min/Max3830/4199ft
Elevation Start/End4199/4199ft

Willow Gulch and Broken Bow Arch Trail

Willow Gulch and Broken Bow Arch Trail is a hiking trail in Kane County, Utah. It is within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It is 1.8 miles long and begins at 4,199 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 984 feet. The Willow Gulch and Broken Bow Arch Parking is near the trailhead. The trail ends near the Broken Bow Arch.

Willow Gulch and Broken Bow Arch Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Grand Staircase-Escalante & the Glen Canyon Region (Falcon Guides)
Ron Adkison
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"Willow Gulch offers one of the best short day hikes, also suitable as an overnight trip, in the lower Escalante Canyons. The scenic route follows slickrock gorges sliced into a domed landscape of Navajo Sandstone. Interesting narrow passages, a ribbon of riparian foliage, beaver ponds in the small stream, and large Broken Bow Arch are major attractions. A well-worn path begins behind the trailhead register, descending a moderate grade down the sandy slope. The beautiful canyon, embraced by desert-varnished walls of Navajo Sandstone, opens up 150 feet below. Within moments you pass an interesting slab-crowned hoodoo, then bend east and descend slickrock and sand into the broad wash below. An intriguing stretch of narrows lies a short distance upcanyon, where the wash boxes up in an alcove decorated with hanging gardens. Once you reach the canyon floor, follow the sandy wash downcanyon, shortly passing a line of seepage fringed with the delicate fronds of maidenhair fern."
100 Classic Hikes Utah (The Mountaineers Books)
Julie K. Trevelyan
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"Although just driving to the Willow Gulch trailhead can be a significant endeavor in itself, it is a trip well worth making to see the gorgeous Navajo sandstone domes, walls, and arches of this canyon, particularly distinguished Broken Bow Arch."
Best Easy Day Hikes: Grand Staircase-Escalante and the Glen Canyon Region-3rd Edition (Falcon Guides)
Ron Adkison/JD Tanner/Emily Ressler-Tanner
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"Willow Gulch offers one of the best short day hikes, also suitable as an overnight trip, in the lower Escalante canyons. The scenic route follows slickrock gorges sliced into a domed landscape of Navajo sandstone. Interesting narrow passages, a ribbon of riparian foliage, beaver ponds in the small stream, and the large Broken Bow Arch are major attractions. A well-worn path begins behind the trailhead register, descending a moderate grade down the sandy slope. The beautiful canyon, embraced by desert- varnished walls of Navajo Sandstone, opens up 150 feet below."
Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails (Rincon Publishing)
David Day
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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."

Willow Gulch and Broken Bow Arch Trail Trip Reports

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3/16/2007
A very remote, beautiful hike with few other people on the trail. Broken Bow Arch is spectacular. Continue a half mile past the arch to encounter a narrow slot canyon with knee-deep water. A fun, relatively easy hike.
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Trail Information

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Nearby City
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Easy
Skill Level
Hiking
Additional Use
Views
Features
USGS Sooner Bench and Davis Gulch; Trails Illustrated Canyons of the Escalante
Local Maps

Trail Log