Eye of the Whale

Moab, Utah (Grand County)

Last Updated: 07/21/2021
4.6 / 5 ( 9 reviews )
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Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 9.48 miles
Highest Elevation: 5086 feet
Duration: About 2 hours, 15 minutes
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: North
Nearest Town: Moab
Nearest Town w/ Services: Moab
Official Road Name: Eye of the Whale
Management Agency: National Parks Service
District: Arches National Park

Highlights

Highlight: Eye of the Whale
Situated inside Arches National Park, this four-wheel drive trail is a must do for desert scenery, some amazing arches which seem to defy any other type of landscape in the US, and escaping the crowds in the busy park. This jeep trail gets you right up close to one famous arch called The Eye of the Whale, plus it puts you on the road to Tower Arch and Anniversary Arch. This is a very scenic trail with a few challenges for stock vehicles that provides many picturesque opportunities for those with an eye for photography. Combining this with Tower Arch makes for just over a half day of exploring and seeing the sights that most people don't take the time go see.

Video

Route Information

Technical Rating

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Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 mi)
The trailhead starts just under 2 miles off of the Tower Arch trailhead to the south. It is worth your time to head out to Tower Arch and snap a few pictures before continuing on to Eye of the Whale Arch

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Arches National Park Entrance Gate, Utah

From the park entrance simply follow the main park road to Salt Valley Road. Follow Salt Valley Road for 7.2 miles until the trailhead for Tower Arch. You must then run Tower Arch 1.9 miles to Waypoint 7.

Camping

Designated

Trail Reviews (11)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Fun, sandy, easy trail with great scenery!
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
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Truly beautiful and interesting drive. Already looking forward to doing it again.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
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Fun trail in Arches, easiest to run north to south as you go down more obstacles than up including a healthy rock slide. Had a lot of fun on this trail although we didn't realize how long it was and started pushing it being end of day.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This trail has really seen more use over the years, particularly the section from the park to the actual arch. Be sure to soak up the view of the various rock formations as you drive it as depicted here.
Author: Official Crew
Social Media:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This is a really fun trail in Arches! Lots of fun sections and amazing scenery. A stock 4wd vehicle will have a challenge, but nothing too bad. Great trail if you are in Arches and you are trying to get out for some wheeling.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great trail. Had some cool obstacles and sights. Took us about 2 hours to complete. Ran this from tower arch.
Author:
Status: Open
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This is a fun enough trail. Especially coming off Tower Arch, this is a nice side trail with a couple small obstacles.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
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Nice trial. Pretty easy, but still fun. Took us about 1.5 hours straight through from North to South, but we didn't do much stopping. There are only a few challenging spots in this trail, and there are multiple lines at each obstacle. The trail gives a good view of the La Sal mountains and the scenery is great as the trail goes though rocks, washes, and a lot of sand. I would recommend having the ability to air down (and air up) your tires. We ran about 18psi on our 32" tires on the whole trail and it made a lot of difference in the sandy wash area. You may be ok without that, but make sure to keep you speed up while running through the sand!
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We did this with our long bed extended cab Chevy. No issues with any part of the trail. I'm sure that could change depending on conditions. Mostly the sand could get bad. Most of this trail, I'd say 90% or more, is just nice smooth soft sand. We did this at the end of a loop starting with the Klondike, Klondike Escape and tower arch. This made for a nice calm drive back to pavement with the interesting Eye of the Whale arch near the end of it.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This was a really cool trail. Combined it with Tower Arch, and Klondike Bluffs to make a full-ish day. Although it was easy, it was very enjoyable. The arch is cool and the sand is very soft. Don't forget to air down!
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Had a blast running Eye of the Whale with daughter and friends from Colorado and Utah. I have been to Tower Arch before but was not aware of Eye of the Whale. This, combined with Klondike Bluffs and the KB Escape will be included on future Moab visits. These are such beautiful roads and scenery!

Questions & Answers (2)

Q: What's it like to do this trail from south to north? I've done quite a bit of off-roading/overlanding. 3rd gen 4Runner w/rear e-locker, OME 2.5" lift, 32" Discoverer S/T Maxx tires. Thanks
–Eric (07/13/2021)
–Overlanders (07/14/2021)
Q: Any chance this can be done in a dually? I have a large pickup truck for hauling a camper and want to do some super easy offroading.
–Doug Setzer (05/31/2017)
–TJ Bosworth (06/01/2017)

Writer Information

TJ Bosworth

Mapping Crew - Utah

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, he's only been off-roading since he was 16 but fell in love immediately. He attended college in Denver for Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management and wheeled in Colorado for 4 years, but ended up moving back home to Salt Lake City. He currently works in an off-road shop and spends his free time doing anything he can to stay busy, which is usually working on his jeep or playing music. Outside of off-roading, he is an avid whitewater rafter and outdoor cook. Camping at least every other weekend in any season is a normal year. The further from civilization, the better. Bring on the memories!
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