Friday, August 13, 2010

Tunnel Arch (Arches National Park)

Tunnel Arch

Tunnel Arch is one of many arches that can be accessed from the Devil's Garden trailhead in Arches National Park. It is only about a quarter of a mile from Pine Tree Arch, which makes it convenient to see these two Arches on the same trip. The close proximity is a bonus for families with small children who may not be able to hike long distances, making it possible for them to see more of nature's wonders. Tunnel Arch is actually a double arch comprised of a larger hole towards the center of the fin, and a smaller hole on the upper-left. The fin in which this arch was formed is relatively thick, which creates the illusion that it is more of a tunnel than an arch, hence the name.

Note: There is a park entrance fee of $25 to enter Arches National Park.


  • From Moab Main St (HWY 191) head North

  • About 1.8 miles from the bridge over the Colorado River you'll come to the gate to Arches National Park

  • Follow the National Park Road to the Devil's Garden trailhead

  • You'll receive a park map upon entrance which will help you find this and other trails

GPS: N38 47.132 W109 35.782
Distance: 0.4 miles
Difficulty: 1
Hike Time: 30 - 45 minutes
Trail Condition: Well marked and well maintained
Season: Early Spring to late Fall

Detailed Description:
The trails in Arches National Park are very well marked and well maintained, and there are a lot of people who enjoy these trails. Begin at the Devil's Garden trailhead and continue along the path, following the signs as you go. There are two forks in the trail as you approach Tunnel Arch. The first branches off the main path to the right taking you to Tunnel Arch and Pine Tree Arch. At the next fork, you'll see that Tunnel Arch is to your right, and Pine Tree Arch is to your left. Follow the signs and you can't go wrong. Plus, you'll receive a park map when you enter Arches National Park which will help you find these arches.

Be prepared to meet a lot of people on the trail as Arches is one of the most popular national parks in the country. Again, the trail is well maintained and well marked, and there are some slight inclines as the trail goes over some fairly hilly terrain. There are some remarkable views of sandstone "fins" stretching out across Arches National Park, and of the La Sal mountains to the east of Moab.

In the summer months, the temperature in Arches National Park can get fairly hot, so be prepared with extra water and sun protection, especially if attempting these hikes during midday. However, the best time to photograph Tunnel Arch is in the morning.



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