Rattlesnake Canyon Arches


Jan 17, 2012
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

It’s been awhile since I’ve hiked to the arches in Rattlesnake Canyon and I have wanted to return again so that I could try and get some better photos of them. I figured that sunset would probably be the best time to go, and that I should have plenty of time to reach them after work before the sun went down. Last week I had originally planned on hiking to them after work on two separate occasions, but as I left work on those days the sky was completely overcast which wouldn't have made for any good photos, so I cancelled the hike. Finally on Tuesday the conditions were looking good, so I grabbed a quick dinner and drove to the upper trailhead after work. I actually arrived in about an hour, which was quicker than I thought it would take. I got on my pack and started hiking into the canyon. There was no one else around and I would not see anyone else all evening...I had the place to myself. It’s great to be able to get to places like this not far from home to enjoy some solitude in the middle of the week.

Start of the trail.

Ratlesnake Arches Trailhead by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

View from the trailhead over the Grand Valley in the distance.

Above the Valley by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I made it to the end of the trail rather quickly which left me with plenty of time before sunset to take some photos. I went right to Rainbow Arch, also known as Cedar Tree Arch, at the end of the trail since I knew the light on that arch would be better earlier in the afternoon. Unfortunately, I was too late to catch it at the right time. I might have to return to this arch in the fall or winter for better light.

Cedar Tree Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Since I was at the end of the trail I turned around and hiked back past the other arches and took a few photos along the way, but I spent most of my time at Hole in the Bride and East Rim arches as the sun dipped low into the western sky.

Looking up though the small Overhang Arch.

Overhang Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

It sure would have been nice to have a few clouds in the sky, but the low-angle light on the arches was still pretty nice.

The unique double arch known as Hole in the Bridge, or just Bridge Arch.

Hole-in-the-Bridge by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

East Rim Arch is the largest along the trail...maybe that's why it's known by three separate names including Akiti Arch and Centennial Arch.

Akiti Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

East Rim Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Once the sun had dipped down below the horizon I started my hike back to the Jeep. I managed to reach the trailhead just before it was dark enough for me to get out my headlamp. I finished the drive out in the dark and was home around 10pm. It was a nice way to spend an evening after work.

The last light of the day strikes the top of the canyon as I hiked back out to my Jeep.

Last Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> Rattlesnake Canyon Arches Photo Gallery

Featured image for home page:


Jan 24, 2012
Great pics. I had no idea Colorado had arches of this magnitude. Next time I go thru Grand Junction I'll have to make time for a side trip.


May 19, 2012
Great shots Randy. The B&W image is stunning.


Jan 21, 2012
Just saw a photo of Hole-in-the-Bridge Arch elsewhere and came here looking for info. Looks great, can't wait to visit.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Wanderlust073 Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness / Rattlesnake Canyon maps Trip Planning 6
Desertratgal 3-Day Rattlesnake Arches Area Adventure Backpacking 4
mtthwlw Cedar Mtn. Backpacking With My Kids: Rattlesnake to Ashdown Gorge Trip Planning 2
regehr Rattlesnake Creek / Ashdown Gorge this week? Trip Planning 7
tomcat32 Rattlesnake Arches- Fruita, Colorado Hiking & Camping 3
Nick Gear Review Utah Rattlesnake Avoidance Training for Dogs Gear Reviews 17
BJett Part 1 - Tour de Canyon Country. Cedar Mesa. Hiking & Camping 0
Gretchen Millward Trachyte Creek via Woodruff Canyon, April 2023 Backpacking 2
F Grand Canyon hermits rest to granite rapids to bright angel Trip Planning 10
gnwatts Stillwater Canyon On The Water 11
shredhiker Kings Canyon July 2022 Kearsarge, Rae, & Sixty Lakes Backpacking 8
J Info needed: Bown's Canyon, Long Canyon Trip Planning 7
Gretchen Millward Cheesebox Canyon, Oct. 2022 Backpacking 14
Stickerbumper Fold Canyon Middle Exit Trip Planning 6
Janice Professor Creek / Mary Jane Canyon - mid April? Trip Planning 0
D Horseshoe Canyon or San Rafael Swell? Trip Planning 9
scatman North Ridge of City Creek Canyon - February 4, 2023 Hiking & Camping 17
scatman South Ridge of City Creek Canyon - January 28, 2023 Hiking & Camping 4
NorthwestWanderer 8 Day High Sierra trek : Humphreys Basin, Star Col, Granite Park, Lake Italy & Piute Canyon 6/25-7/2/22 Backpacking 7
T Amazing Discovery in Utah-Glen Canyon Trip Planning 64
Titans What’s your unfinished business? Hard canyon access, mtn peak, you name it! General Discussion 54
SteveR Big Spring-Elephant Canyon dayhike. With free bonus vacation pix! Hiking & Camping 13
Stephanie B Dirty Devil River Impassible at Poison Springs Canyon Off Road 0
LarryBoy Is there anything technical in White Canyon above the Black Hole? Trip Planning 16
dennisrodman A week in the Grand Canyon / Boucher / Hermit / Tonto Trail Trip Planning 4
XID_AZ Kanab Creek Wilderness - Sowats Canyon - Mountain Sheep Spring Trip Planning 6
travel2walk Yellowstone: Bechler Canyon, Aug 12-15 2022 Backpacking 21
balzaccom Mok Canyon Solitude for my birthday Backpacking 0
XID_AZ FiftyMile Canyon Sand slide Trip Planning 0
chandlerwest Hells Canyon - Jet Boat On The Water 0
futurafree Grand Canyon norovirus General Discussion 6
H location of thirteen faces-horse canyon Utah Hiking & Camping 4
Bob Teton Canyon Bear General Discussion 3
scatman Big Willow Canyon - June 11, 2022 Hiking & Camping 33
TrailScot Dripping Canyon to Grand Gulch, Cedar Mesa, Utah - March 2022 Hiking & Camping 7
Janice Cottonwood Fluff in Canyon Country General Discussion 4
H Horse Canyon needles district Utah Off Road 0
Nethos Into Dark Canyon Backpacking 12
D Fox Canyon Escalante? General Discussion 6
Bob Slickhorn Canyon System - 6 days Backpacking 22
Kerrie at Thru We Go Grand Canyon Backpack/Packraft Loop at New Hance Backpacking 11
SeanIsADesertRat Old guys backpacking in Dark Canyon Backpacking 17
H Access to Grand Gulch via Water Canyon Trip Planning 2
montanaclimber Bechler canyon as an out-and-back Trip Planning 9
M What's your rain forecast comfort zone for canyon hiking? Trip Planning 4
M Grand Canyon NP, Royal Arch Route Backpacking 0
VegasHikeLife Paria Canyon 2022 Trip Planning 1
T Snow Canyon Loop Hiking & Camping 1
westy Grand Canyon-Parashant NM, Parashant canyon Hiking & Camping 4
fossana Yellow Rock, Pollock Arch, Hackberry Canyon loop (GSENM) Hiking & Camping 8

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.