Cedar Wash Arch

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.6 - 1 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5709 - 5788 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Cedar Wash Road
Fee: none
Attractions: Natural arch




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The Cedar Wash Arch is located off of the Cedar Wash Road southeast of the town of Escalante, Utah in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The arch is in the cliffs above Cedar Wash. The trail to the arch takes hikers to a point along the top of the cliff where they can look down on the arch from above.


The usual approach to the Cedar Wash Arch trailhead is to turn south at the corner of Center Street and Main (Highway 12) in the heart of the town of Escalante and follow Center Street for 1.4 miles. At that point it becomes Proctor Road which after another 3.3 miles becomes the Cedar Wash Road.


Follow the Cedar Wash Road for another 5.7 miles to the trailhead passing the Covered Wagon Natural Bridge trailhead at 4.5 miles. A vehicle with a little bit of clearance is best for this drive but regardless of what type of vehicle you are in don't attempt it if the road is muddy.


The trailhead is unmarked but it can be recognized by this picture as a little circular drive.


The instructions from the BLM said to hike down to the slickrock area above the wash. We found a very well worn path leading down the hill from about the middle of the circular drive and followed it. The shortest route is in fact a trail that is less worn that leaves from the east end of the circular drive. That is the route we followed back to the trailhead from the arch.


Once you reach the slickrock above the wash you should be able to look toward the east and see the arch.


The arch is actually best viewed from a distance.


The closer you get to the arch the less of it you can see.


This is a picture of the trail that we followed back up to the trailhead.


The Cedar Wash Arch is normally done in conjunction with the Covered Wagon Natural Bridge which is 1.2 miles closer to town. It is possible to continue on the Cedar Wash Road to its junction with the Hole in the Rock Road and return to town by that route. We were told that the Cedar Wash Road crosses a wash right before the Hole in the Rock Road that can sometimes require a 4-wheel drive vehicle. For that reason we returned to town the same way we came. We found the Cedar Wash Arch and the Covered Wagon Natural Bridge to be worth the trip. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.