Pothole Arch

Rating: 
One-way Distance: 2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 4514 - 4892 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Amasa Back/Kane Creek
Fee: none
Attractions: Natural arch




Pothole Arch is located at the end of the Amasa Back/Cliffhanger road in the Amasa Back area near Moab, Utah. The trail crosses stretches of red dirt and rocky benches that lead to slickrock domes as it nears the end. Just past the one mile point the Pothole Arch trail is connected to by the upper end of the Rockstacker trail. The trail comes to an end in a hidden bowl where Pothole Arch can be seen off to one side.


For this post we began at the Amasa Back trailhead, came up the Cliffhanger Road, continued to Pothole Arch, backtracked to the Rockstacker trail, transitioned onto the Jackson trail, and then closed the loop by following the Kane Springs Road back to the Amasa Back trailhead for an epic 13.6 mile loop.


At the start of Pothole Arch a singletrack trail begins by traversing around a rocky ledge.


Just past the quarter mile point the trail is met once again by the Amasa Back road which comes to its official end at this spot.


As the trial continues the sandstone domes where the arch is found can be seen off in the distance.


From here the trail alternates between red dirt and broken slickrock.


There are a few ledges to deal with but for the most part nothing that is real technical.


We were showing 1.24 miles at the point where the Rockstacker trail joins in.


The trail begins doing a little climbing as it leaves the Rockstacker trail behind. From the new elevated position the views of the Behind the Rocks area with the snow capped La Sal Mountains in the background are astounding.


The last stretch of the trail is a little reminiscent of the Slickrock Bike trail in the Sand Flats Recreation Area on the other side of Moab. The domes aren't nearly as steep but they aren't flat either.


By itself Pothole Arch is far from spectacular but the setting is tranquil and very pretty and much of the enjoyment is in getting there.


A short scramble up the slickrock on the east side of the arch provides a nice far off view of the more famous Corona Arch.


From the slickrock rim of the Colorado River corridor on the west side of Pothole Arch you can look down and see Jughandle Arch. Be very careful around the rim because it is over a thousand feet straight down.


Another arch to the north that is a little harder to see is Gold Bar a.k.a Jeep Arch.



It is about 3/4 of a mile back down to the Rockstacker trail which is where we went next. The Pothole Arch trail is a nice break after coming up Amasa Back and the views from the arch are spectacular. Both the Rockstacker and Jackson trails are very technical and extremely dangerous. We spoke with hikers that had come up that way from the Kane Creek trailhead and were planning to return by the same route. Pothole Arch is rather remotely located but if you are at the end of one of the nearby trails it is well worth the little extra effort it takes to get to it. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.