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Eye Of the Whale Arch - Arches NP, UT

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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,984 feet
Elevation Gain 200 feet
Accumulated Gain 800 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.5
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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4  2009-06-04 nonot
author avatar Guides 101
Routes 249
Photos 2,067
Trips 509 map ( 4,866 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
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Preferred Oct, Apr, May, Mar
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:27am - 7:20pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

A whale in the desert??
by nonot

Overview: This is a description of a hike you can do in your car withOUT ripping the oil pan off in the middle of the desert. If you have a high clearance vehicle you can likely drive 80% of this hike.

Warning: I attempted to drive the 4x4 road in my car and didn't get far. I wouldn't recommend you attempt it in yours. I seriously doubt that a rental could get there either, it's just too rough a road for a low clearance sedan. The first half mile is really the toughest

Hike: From the balanced rock parking area, drive the unadvertised dirt/gravel road across the road as it heads west approximately 0.5 miles past some park buildings/utilities and reaches an intersection. There is a sign here that reads something like: Only 4WD vehicles recommended past this point! For the road to eye of the whale arch, they really mean it! Attempt to park here, keeping out of the way of any vehicles that will be using the road. There are currently no "no parking signs" in the area so as long as you are courtious and do not affect people using the road hopefully you can park here instead of back at the balanced rock parking area.

Get out of your car and hike the road that heads north. It climbs over a ridge near a barbed wire fence and heads west. You will hike about 1.8 miles of road each way to the signed TH for eye of the whale arch. Once at the sign, follow the previous footsteps to the obvious arch. The daring can climb up and through the arch to look at it from the other side. There are rumors of dinosaur tracks embedded in the slickrock in the area, but I was not able to locate them.

This was a rather peaceful hike as only one jeep was driving the road or in the area and none of the tourists seem to know about it as there are no signs for the road. Other than the fact that you are walking a road, it's not a bad hike. The road is easy to follow and the arch and TH are easy to spot. This may be one of those things you save for after you've done all the other stuff in the park, or else do it if you get sick of shuffling around with Gomer and all the other slackjawed tourists and want to feel a little bit of solitude again.

Water: none

Camping: not allowed in Arches

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2009-06-11 nonot
    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.

    Permit $$

    Arches National Park
    Vehicles: $10 (Good for 7 days) Fee Information

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    Arches NP is located 3 miles north of Moab, 1 mile north on 191 once you cross the bridge over the Colorado River. Once in the park, follow the road until you see the balanced rock parking area. Turn left (north) and follow the gravel road half a mile until it splits at the cattle gate. If you have a car, park in the area out of the way of other cars.

    I do not recommend attempting the road to the eye of the whale arch in a car, you will likely damage your vehicle.
    page created by nonot on Jun 10 2009 10:23 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated

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