Arch Canyon Trail

San Juan County, Utah

Elevation Gain1,452ft
Trailhead Elevation5,628ft
Elevation Min/Max4980/5628ft
Elevation Start/End5628/5628ft

Arch Canyon Trail

Arch Canyon Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in San Juan County, Utah. It is 8.0 miles long and begins at 5,628 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 16.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,452 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking. Along the trail there is a viewpoint.

Arch Canyon Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Utah (Falcon Guides)
Bill Schneider Edited by Ann Seifert
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"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."

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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.

Arch Canyon Trail Photos

Trail Information

San Juan County
Nearby City
Monticello Field Office, BLM, Monticello Ranger District, Manti-LaSal National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS South Long Point, USGS Hotel Rock, National Geographic Trails Illustrated Grand Gulch Plateau Map
Local Maps

Trail Log