Tower Arch, Arches National Park


I took my family to Tower Arch as part of our weekend adventure in the Deadhorse Point/Moab area last summer. I have always been aware of this trail, but ironically have never bothered to take it. Probably because I've always seen the lineup of RVs and cars to get into Arches and figured "forget that."

But this time we didn't have a group to go rock crawling with, so we decided to try something easier, and with the HAM locked into the local Repeater, I figured it would be pretty safe to venture off alone.

The trick is to get into Arches early before the masses come. The turnoff for the trail is at the Balanced Rock overlook, take the dirt road to the west and follow the signs. Then you'll meander 13 miles until you reach the Arch. Describing the trail won't do it justice in words, but I've got quite a bit of footage in my brief trail overview below.

As far as terrain is concerned, the trail is similar to Fins and Things, but more like a Fins and Things LITE. Despite being significantly easier, I honestly thing I prefer this trail as I feel the scenery is far superior. In any event, if you are planning an adventure in the Moab are, or a simple day visit to Arches in your 4wd and want to escape the crowds, then this is a trail to consider.

EDIT: Added the review of the alternative routes: Willow Springs and Salt Valley. For any considering Tower Arch, I highly recommend adding Willow Springs and the Dinosaur Tracks to your plan.

Last edited:

Recommended books for Overlanding

Dreaming of Jupiter
by Ted Simon
From $16.29
Motorcycle Messengers: Tales from the Road by Writers who...
by Lois Pryce, Mark Richardson, Carla King, Sam Manic...
From $9.99


Yeah, we toyed with the idea of running it the other direction later in the year when we started at Salt Valley Road, but we didn't have as much time. I need to get out and do Copper Ridge, that's the only one in the Arches area I haven't really explored. I took footage of Willow Springs and I'll upload that later. For those that aren't familiar with the Arches area, Willow Springs is another off-road trail in the park that drives by a swatch of sandstone that has a bunch of ancient dinosaur foot prints embedded in it, it's kind of cool to walk and the kids love it.

Doc Fluty

New member
This is a great video... i went to this spot about a month ago and also let my oldest daughter (12) try to video me on the exact same spot you let your daughter try on. It's really funny to hear the commentary the kids provide... I didn't find out till later she was hoping i wouldn't make it up that rock lol

Good stuff bud.


The Credible Hulk
That's a fun trail, done it a couple of times. You can access the south trailhead via Willow Springs road from US 191, avoiding the main gate lines completely.
Last edited:


Supporting Sponsor / Approved Vendor
This is what Mars will look like after terraforming.

Well done narrating. Looks like a lot of fun. "The sand is hot."

- David


@VORSHEER , yeah I got a good laugh out of that comment when reviewing the footage!

I just compiled a report on the alternate entrances which can be tied to the Tower Arch trail: Willow Springs and Salt Valley. Both are significantly easier. I was going to do a new trip report/review thread, but my group was itching to get home so my footage isn't as good as I would have liked for a stand-alone review. Viewed in context with Tower Arch though, it works pretty well, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area and considering accessing the arch.

My favorite route is by far taking Willow Springs and stopping at the Dinosaur tracks, then moving on to Tower Arch.


Recommended books for Overlanding

Don't Go There. It's Not Safe. You'll Die.: And other mor...
by Jared McCaffree, Jessica Mans, Kobus Mans
From $19.99
The Essential Guide to Overland Travel in the United Stat...
by TeriAnn Wakeman
From $64.95
The Longest Line on the Map: The United States, the Pan-A...
by Eric Rutkow
From $13.96