For those frustrated with the crowds present on the popular hikes in Arches National Park, there is a remedy. Take a well-maintained dirt road for 8 miles through Salt Valley to the Klondike Bluffs parking lot, where there won’t be any tour buses, and prepare for a wonderful hike to one of the most impressive arches in the park.
The trail from the parking area first climbs quite steeply up and over a ridge, where the terrain completely changes from the wide valley to a wonderland of red rock formations. After dropping down off the ridge the trail crosses a lot of rock ledges and eventually starts to climb up sand dunes with the formation called Marching Men on the left. Continuing through sandstone fins, the trail suddenly reaches the magnificent Tower Arch. The scale of the arch is awe inspiring, and the surrounding rocks provide excellent viewpoints for photos. It is difficult to fit the entire arch into a picture, though! It is possible to make a longer loop by continuing at the signed junction below the arch to the four-wheel drive road and back to the parking lot, but most people just retrace their way back down the trail the way they came. If the hike is timed to reach the top of the sand dunes facing the Marching Men formation just before sunset, there are great photographic opportunities here.
NOTE: There are warning signs about recent rock falls in the Tower Arch area, so the park service does not recommend walking under the arch.