Porthole Arch/Squaw Window

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 7.3 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 4145 - 4504 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 3 hrs.
Trailhead: Kokopelli Trail/Dewey Bridge
Fee: none
Attractions: Natural arches




View Porthole Arch in a larger map

Porthole Arch and Squaw Window are two natural arches located along the Kokopelli Trail in the Dewey Bridge area northeast of Moab, Utah. The arches are located 8-10 miles east of the Arches National Park. While Arches National Park contains over 2,000 arches there are many more that are outside its boundaries that are very worthwhile seeing and Porthole Arch and Squaw Window are among them.


Porthole Arch and Squaw Window don't have an official trailhead. Near mile marker 30 of Highway 128, on the north side of the Colorado River, at Dewey Bridge, the Kokopelli Trail crosses the road. We turned in here and drove about 3 tenths of a mile to a parking area at a curve in the road. It appears that the Kokopelli Trail is passing through private property when you first turn off the road as there are some no trespassing and no parking signs. There is a wide spot to park along the road right before it begins getting too rough for passenger cars. The trail doesn't have any restrictions as to whether you are in a jeep or on a mountain bike but travel beyond where we parked would require a high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle. Parking is also available at the Dewey Bridge trailhead and at the campground. Those would be good places to park if you are on a mountain bike or an ATV.


The Kokopelli Trail is all double track through here.


Within about a half mile the trail passes through a gate. As you can see the trail is pretty rough and rocky at this point. The gate might mark the boundary between the BLM and the private property or it might just be a stock gate.


A short distance beyond the gate the trail becomes hard packed dirt with a few sections that are a little sandy and a few that are a little rocky.


Just before Porthole Arch a short side trail leads over to a massive alcove.


The easiest way over to Porthole Arch is probably to follow the wash that is just below it. At some point you will have to climb out of the wash to get to a spot where you can see through the porthole.


To get real close you can scramble up the slickrock to get a better look.


From Porthole Arch you need to get back out onto the road and continue west. Squaw Window is in a fin that protrudes out from a distant cliff.


The road doesn't pass all that close to Squaw Window so to get closer you have to either follow a wash in that direction or cut across country. This photo was taken several hundred yards away with a zoom lens.


Besides the arches there are other views that most everyone will find appealing. The contrast between the snow capped La Sal Mountains and the redrock sandstone of various hues usually attracts the gaze of anyone in the area.


There are about 8 other arches in this area that aren't inside of Arches National Park. If you are interested we have plotted most of the arches in the Moab area on a map. We also have them in a GPX file that we have loaded into the waypoints area of our GPS. When seeking out an arch that we haven't been to we generally print out a couple of maps and pinpoint them on one of our larger topographic maps then with our GPS in hand we set out to find them. It is similar to the idea behind geocaching but with larger targets. Porthole Arch and Squaw Window are fun to seek out. If you would like to see them for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.