Sandy Slog to Snakey Arch
First, take more water than you think you need, the deep sandy nature of this hike is exhausting. Please sign in at the register due south of carpark. Near the register, there is a sign stating the hazardous nature of the Middle Route Trail that descends a steep, slick route into the middle part of Buckskin Gulch--not the goal of this hike. A fee is required if you are heading down into Buckskin Gulch.
From the trailhead go about a 1/5 of a mile to a drop-off, hop or walk over the fence to the right and find a cairned route that descends a small bench then south down a crack that contours down to the bottom. It's a little tricky with loose rock, so take your time. Once on the bottom find a cairned route through the slickrock and make your way down to the flatter, sandier area near Buckskin Gulch to the south. Stay low and about 1/4 to 1/8 of a mile from Buckskin to avoid too many ups and downs in the deep sand dunes. There is a faint cow/hiker trail that can be followed, but remember too keep going east.
The ridgeline you originally descended extends south to a point, then back north in a horseshoe shaped valley, then south to another point as you hike along. At the 2nd point you will see a sandslide and strange red rock formations to the right or south of the sandslide. Cobra Arch is at the eastern end of these red rock formations, that look similar to the Wave area, due south of the arch and across Buckskin Gulch. If you go past the red rock, and don't see Cobra Arch, turn back and re-search the area. Enjoy the unique arch, return the way you came.
Side trips possible south to Buckskin Gulch overlooks, which are about a 1/2 mile from arch.
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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