Friday, September 19, 2008

Armijo Arch Trail

The Armijo Arch Trail is an unofficial route following one of the many side roads in Canyon Rims Recreation Area in southeast Utah. The Canyon Rims area features terrain similar to nearby Canyonlands National Park.

I found a place to park near a small gravel pit that is about 2.3 miles past the Wind Whistle campground. The 4WD road trail connects to the main road about 100 feet south. The information on this hike comes from "Natural Arches of the Moab Area (South) " by Chris Moore. There is no specific information for this hike in the park area though visitors are encouraged to explore on their own.

After about 1.8 miles and about 40 minutes the road ends at a canyon rim. I think the area below is called Hart's Draw, but it looks like a very impressive canyon. To the south the Blue Mountains near Monticello, Utah dominates. The cliffs below this overlook spot are very steep.

The Armijo Arch is visible to the north as an alcove at the top of the reddish sandstone layer and just below the white sandstone layer. From this angle you can't see any light through the opening.

It is possible to move north along the rim follow some cattle trails, get down to a lower level and get a closer view up to a point where the drop off gets scary.

Even at closer range the opening is not visible. Apparently the opening is from the top and you have to get below and view upwards. It looked to hazardous to go any further. It took me 1:40 hours to make this about 4.0 mile walk.

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