Tower Arch

Moab, Utah (Grand County)

Last Updated: 06/04/2018
5/5 (1 review)
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 3.4 miles
Highest Elevation: 5185 feet
Duration: About 2 hours
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Moab
Nearest Town w/ Services: Moab
Official Road Name:
Management Agency: National Parks Service
District: Arches National Park
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles


Highlight: Tower Arch

Situated just outside Moab is Arches National Park. Arches is a major tourist destination known for its many sandstone arches that seem to defy the laws of nature. However, most of these famous arches are easily accessible from the main paved road and that’s typically where the crowds flock. Arches is not widely considered a Jeeping destination because it does not contain many off-road trails within its boundaries. In one sense that’s a bummer, but another way to look at it is that all the Moab Jeep fanatics and big outfits won’t put Arches on their radar, which means that what is available may be wide open for the taking. A short hike over to Tower Arch, Parallel Arch, The Marching Men, and Anniversary Arch make this trail a must do.



7 day forecast for Tower Arch

Route Information

Technical Rating:

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1. Trailhead

Starting from this point is directly off of the Salt Valley Road. The trailhead is well marked and you can't miss it. The first 1/2 mile is in soft sand with plenty of room to pass.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 38.795236, -109.658232

Starting Point: Eye of Whale Trail

This is the easier ride, but note that it is significantly longer. The turnoff for the first trail is located just before Balanced Rock, about seven miles from the park entrance and indicated by a large brown sign. If you pass the parking area for Balanced Rock you’ve gone too far. This dirt road is called Willow Flats or BLM 378. Drive for just a few minutes along it due west, about a half-mile, until you see the turnoff for Tower Arch on your right. From Salt Valley Road Take either Arches Entrance Road to Salt Valley Road just shy from Devil's Garden, or take Salt Valley Road in from 191. The trail entrance is well marked.


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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!


Questions & Answers (2)

Q: Can a Dodge 2500 long bed make the trail?
–Mark (04/30/2017)
Q: When entering salt valley road from the north, what is the road condition to Tower Arch trailhead?
–Reg (03/23/2017)

Trail Reviews (5)

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Great trail without too much traffic (we ran it pretty early, like 8am). NOTE: The trail is within the boundaries of Arches National Park, so familiarize yourself with any particular rules regarding 4x4 travel within National Park boundary and STAY THE TRAIL! There are a lot of bypasses that are being used to get around some of the obstacles, but be advises, that these are not legal (we found the "no motorized vehicles" posts thrown into the bushes). I'm not sure about the trail rating on this one... 3 seems a bit too light for this trail. I would give it a 4 or 5 probably (maybe I'm just bad a wheeling!) Although nothing about the obstacles is particularly "hard," there are lines in which you could definitely sustain body, frame, or drive train damage, especially going uphill, so pick your lines accordingly. We had 2 vehicles, and we both needed spotters are a few obstacles. That said, this one of the most fun trails I've done in a while. It was short, moderately challenging (at least for our lightly modified vehicles), and had great views. The walk to the arch at the end was enjoyable and easy for everyone. Don't leave without checking it out!

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Not sure if it’s due to erosion during the last winter, or other factors, but the trail was more difficult than anticipated to get to eye of the whale trail. Going up the hill with obstacles, there was at least a few spots that required stacked rocks to lessen the ledge height, and there is a very well used system of bypasses that are in place to get around the current obstacles. I have a full set of skid plates and rock sliders on a no lift Tacoma, and put them to use quite a few times on this trail. Based on current conditions, you probably should have at least 33 inch tires and a lift kit to do this trail.

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We did this with our long bed extended cab Chevy. A few spots were tight and we had to get out to do some spotting in a few places. Other than that, no issues. This is a scenic and fun road to do. You could make it more challenging depending on the lines you choose. The Tower arch itself is really neat too. We didn't take the time to look around much for Anniversary arch. I will say I don't think is where the way point from this guide shows it.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Living in Salt Lake, Moab makes for a great 3 day weekend. After debating on trails to run for the weekend, we decided on spending most of Sunday running Klondike Bluffs, Klondike Bluffs Escape, Tower Arch, and Eye of the Whale. Tower Arch is an amazing trail with a few fun little challenges on the way to a not very popular arch. The arch itself is very large and will probably remain standing for quite a long time. I didn't however make the small hike over to Anniversary Arch. The weather was typical for early March, but provided a great getaway from the constant cold and snow in Northern Utah.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
I have not been to Tower Arch since 2008; the trail has not changed dramatically, it is much like I remember it. This is an easy trail with a few ledges but nothing a stock 4x4 cannot handle. It was great fun to include Tower Arch with others such as Eye of the Whale. Both are easy and close to Arches National Park.