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Willow Springs Road

Arches National Park

Moab, Arches + La Sal Mountains, Utah

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Willow Springs Road

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  • Willow Flats and the eastern stretch of the 4-mile road.- Willow Springs Road
  • Panoramic views looking east toward Willow Flats, the Windows Section, and the La Sal Mountains.- Willow Springs Road
  • Interesting formations off of the Willow Springs Road.- Willow Springs Road
  • Interesting formations off of the Willow Springs Road.- Willow Springs Road
  • The rocky area at the crest of the road above Willow Flats is a beautiful and secluded area.- Willow Springs Road
  • Enjoying the view off of Willow Springs Road.- Willow Springs Road
  • Perfect wind patterns on the sand along the road.- Willow Springs Road
  • Desert flower on the side of the dirt road.- Willow Springs Road
  • Heading to the west edge of the park.- Willow Springs Road
  • Views along the way west of the park, looking southwes toward Canyonlands National Park.- Willow Springs Road
  • Dinosaur tracks west of the park boundary along Willow Flats Road.- Willow Springs Road
  • Dispersed camping along Willow Springs Road, east of Highway 191 and west of the Arches National Park boundary.- Willow Springs Road
  • There are a few hidden gems, and the road is a good launching off point for fun in Moab.- Willow Springs Road
  • Shade is a commodity here.- Willow Springs Road
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Dinosaur prints. Access to Arches without having to pay the entrance fee. Bikeable and hikeable. Dispersed camping outside of the park boundaries.
Cons: 
Need a very high-clearance car to access. Can be impassable in heavy weather.
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Region:
Moab, Arches + La Sal Mountains, UT
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Willow Springs Road is a backdoor road into Arches National Park that avoids the toll gate assuming you walk, mountain bike or drive a four-wheel drive vehicle along the rocky and sandy road for the 4-mile stretch that ends at Balance Rock and the paved road. Willow Springs Road begins by turning east off Highway 191, which is west of the park's borders. You will eventually see a large sign marking the spot when you have entered the national park. Past the sign you must obey all of the park's rules.

Along the way sits a giant set of rocks sticking out of the desert landscape west of Willow Flats that overlook the Balance Rock and Windows Section in the distance. The best part is there is really no one out here other than the occasional passing Jeep. The solitude is rare treat in one of the more popular parks in the country. There are some beautiful and unusual sights to see along this road that are not seen by most people visiting the area.

Just west of the park's marker are dinosaur tracks though what was once mud and what is now hardened slickrock. There is a ton of dispersed camping along both sides of the road west of the park's entry sign. There are several mountain biking trails in multiple directions along the low rolling hills outside the park boundaries and are well marked. Overall this is a pretty cool spot in terms of how much it offers, however desolate the terrain. As usual in the desert, stay off the cryptobiotic soil and be careful about exposure and dehydration.

Two-wheel drive and lower profile cars can drive east on Willow Spring Road relatively easily until the sign that signifies the park boundary. East of there is the Jeep trail. While there are some deep sandy spots along the way, it is a fun ride overall.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(59 within a 30 mile radius)

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