Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
944.00 ft (287.73 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
3.60 mi (5.79 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

You may have heard of Corona Arch. In fact, if you’ve done any research about hikes in the Moab area, this Moab Most Wanted feature has probably popped up on list after list due to its accessibility and uniqueness. 

However, if you’re looking to get away from the crowds for a partial loop hike only a little longer and just as stunning, the 45-foot tall Jeep Arch should definitely be on your “Desert Do” list. Jeep Arch (aka Gold Bar Arch) is a mere two air miles away from Corona Arch, but is accessed through an entirely different adjacent canyon system.  

To begin your hike to Jeep Arch, drive a a quarter-mile past the Corona Arch trailhead to a smaller, but still pretty obvious parking lot on the right side of the road (if traveling from Moab). Start your hike by passing through the sub-railroad culvert leading north directly out of the lot. On the other side of the culvert, follow a slightly overgrown trail, being careful not to miss the point where it hooks right and takes you up and over a small rise and into the canyon bowl. If you accidentally go straight, you’ll find yourself on the railroad tracks themselves.

The Jeep Arch trail is considered by the bLM to be a primitive trail, which means it isn’t maintained or signed.  Despite that, that trail is quite easy walking, and even with the slickrock traverse that covers much of the first mile, there are plenty of cairns to guide you on your way. That said, please do not build decorative cairns as they serve a genuine purpose on this trail. Please practice Leave No Trace principles. In between the slickrock slabs, you’ll see a lot of black cryptobiotic crusts, or areas where the soil is literally a living being. DO NOT tread over these areas.

After approximately one mile, the trail will start to climb just slightly and you’ll come to a fork that signifies the beginning of a partial loop you make to the arch itself if you don’t want the whole hike to be an out-and-back. Either direction is fine, though most people opt to go left, taking the loop in a clockwise direction.

Continue up a slightly steep 17% grade section of scree past a freestanding desert tower and work your way around the backside of a long red rock amphitheater. At the back of the amphitheater sits Jeep Arch acting like a picture-perfect window to the usually snowy La Sal mountains in the distance.  Take advantage of the views and the only bit of shade you’ll find on the hike in the shadow of the wall.  You can climb right under the arch and sit for a quiet picnic before beginning the hike out. 

The most difficult part of the hike is descending down the other side of the arch to complete your loop.  Turning north, or to your right as you are passing through the arch, the drop from the ledge at the base of the wall is steep and requires some mild scrambling. Those that aren’t comfortable on such terrain can instead turn around and hike the way they came, making it a true out-and-back.  For those that do opt to go down this way, the trail quickly eases off once more and meanders along sandy, desert scrub terrain back to the initial slickrock section on which you hiked in.

For a full value day (in case one hike is not enough for you) one could easily do this hike in conjunction with a few other very short ones nearby, including Corona and Bowtie Arches, Pinto Arch, and Middle Earth Waterfall.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Low crowds. Easy but interesting terrain. Unique geological features.

Cons

Little shade. No water. Generally hot.

Trailhead Elevation

3,968.00 ft (1,209.45 m)

Highest point

4,896.00 ft (1,492.30 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Geologically significant
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

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