Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Journey to the Tower Arch at Arches National Park

We decided to take a Jeep trail called Tower Arch to see the Tower Arch at Arches National Park on Memorial Day. I felt it was worthy of it's own blog entry since we made such an effort to get to it.

Access to the Tower Road Jeep trail is off of Salt Valley Road, which is drivable in a 2-wheel drive vehicle. The Tower Road trail gets much harder. Here is one view from Salt Valley Road, which we drove on for about 6 miles.

It's hard to capture what the rocks actually looked like that we drove the Jeep Rubicon over with no problem at all. The rocks look very slippery, but you actually get good traction with the right vehicle. This trail is rated "moderate" but there are some difficult spots that I wouldn't suggest anyone try without enough clearance in their 4-wheel drive vehicle. The park has information about the trail, but we read about it ahead of time in the book Moab, UT Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails by Charles A. Wells. We checked this book out at the library, but we own the books by this author for the trails around Telluride.

Approaching the Tower Arch, it was obvious that we would have to do more hiking to actually get to it. What?! The hike was short, but pretty primitive and took a little bit of scrambling and using our hands. Maralee had to have major help from Jay.

A couple of closer views.

Jay and the kids climbed up into the arch and I stayed back to take pictures.
Another view of the trail as we drove out; again, not really able to capture what the road really looked like.

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