Arch Trail Red Cliffs

Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
739
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This will be a compilation of several hikes down arch trail in the red cliffs national conservation area. This is one of my favorite winter hikes! Hiking this trail in the summer though would be insane, unless you were planning on taking a dip in the Virgin as well, Virgin River that is :p. This is in the Babylon section of Red Cliffs. Typically this trail doesnt see much traffic, on weekends there are a lot of ATV's on the roads but they cant drive on the trails. There is quite a bit to do on this trail. Lots of opportunity for exploring up the washes, into the reef, summit the mountains (sandstone, sand, etc) and swimming in the Virgin River.

My first time I my brother and I picked a trail up sandstone mountain and were amazed with spectacular views of Washington Country. In one direction we saw Red Cliffs, and Pine Valley, another direction was Zion National Park, another...
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After finding a way up and down the mountain we gradually worked our way down through a maze of sandstone until we found the arch.
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Another trip happened in early spring. It was late afternoon, and for photography my favorite trip of all time. This time we immediately went to the arch, and then explored the maze of sandstone between the arch and the reef (called the east reef?) This hike could be made by just about anyone and would be a great one for a family.
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My last trip out there was a couple weeks ago. I took my longtime friend and his wife down to the arch. He had lived in Southern Utah his entire life repeatedly said "I cant believe this stuff is down here" It is an amazing and relatively unknown trail (well compared to the Red Cliffs Recration Area on the other side of the freeway) We hiked to the arch, explored, went down the river (I was hoping to see a great blue heron which are often found in the Virgin River, but didnt)
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Tyler

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Jan 18, 2012
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I'll have to get over to that side of Red Cliffs. Thanks for posting.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
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The Babylon area of Red Cliffs is pretty neat. There is this trail, several petroglyph panels, dinosaur tracks and old silver mines (all blocked off from what I have seen). It was called babylon by the LDS people living in the area because of the bars, brothels, etc that were common in mining communities.
 

pixie1339

Desperately Seeking Sandstone
Joined
Jan 21, 2012
Messages
1,692
The Babylon area of Red Cliffs is pretty neat. There is this trail, several petroglyph panels, dinosaur tracks and old silver mines (all blocked off from what I have seen). It was called babylon by the LDS people living in the area because of the bars, brothels, etc that were common in mining communities.

Nice report Matt! This place has been on my radar for a while, but it seems like everytime I'm in the area I have my car, and from what I understand you need clearance to access this area.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
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Nice report Matt! This place has been on my radar for a while, but it seems like everytime I'm in the area I have my car, and from what I understand you need clearance to access this area.

Not true! If you take your time most cars would have no problems. Last week I saw a camry make it all the way to this trailhead. I will admit that past the sand cove trailhead it gets a little rough.
 

pixie1339

Desperately Seeking Sandstone
Joined
Jan 21, 2012
Messages
1,692
Not true! If you take your time most cars would have no problems. Last week I saw a camry make it all the way to this trailhead. I will admit that past the sand cove trailhead it gets a little rough.

Sweet! I drive a Corolla. I have no problem taking my time, but I do value my car so I avoid anything where I hear you need clearance. Thanks for setting me straight.:)
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
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is the trailhead easy to find? And you only need HC to get there?
That would be a hike for me when I'm there in less than two weeks. :twothumbs:

High Clearance makes the road much more passable! Trailhead is super easy to find! There are only three real trailheads on the road and i believe it is the second one called sand cove trailhead. http://www.redcliffsdesertreserve.com/pdf/maps/Babylon.pdf this website is a great resource for the red cliffs. http://www.redcliffsdesertreserve.com/trail

Sweet! I drive a Corolla. I have no problem taking my time, but I do value my car so I avoid anything where I hear you need clearance. Thanks for setting me straight.:)

Conditions change and some someone trashed the road while it was wet and deepened the ruts considerably...but I was there two weeks ago and saw cars cautiously driving down it!
 
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