Cove of Caves

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 1 mile
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 5139 - 5253 feet
Cellphone: 0-2 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Double Arch
Fee: $25/vehicle
Attractions: Scenic arches




The Cove of Caves is a backcountry trail located in the Arches National Monument near Moab, Utah. The site is situated just north of the famous Double Arch in the Windows Section of the park. There isn't an established trail to follow which is a good thing as the best route sticks to the slickrock where visitors can hike without leaving a trace upon the ground.


The easiest way to the Cove of Caves is to start at the Double Arch trailhead. Some people are parking along the access road and hiking in from there but they are creating all sorts of spurious trails doing so. Besides that it is much easier going in from Double Arch.


Just before reaching Double Arch hike up the sand dune on the left.


Pass through the saddle in the cliff to reach the other side.


The caves are pretty much all visible from the saddle. Cove Arch is perpendicular to the saddle so to get a better view of it you will need to hike around the head of the cove.


Pick a route that stays on high ground and head for the slickrock below the caves. The best route is the obvious one.


As you pass below Double Arch it can be viewed from an angle that is quite different from the other side of the cliff.


Some of the caves have seeps where small hanging gardens have taken root.


Cove Arch can be hard to get a good picture of due to the way that it is situated.


The first picture was taken from the west side of the arch. This one was taken from the east side of the arch where the little bit of sunlight that was available on this particular day managed to illuminate the opening somewhat.


There are some very faint petroglyphs in the area that are hardly recognizable. We outlined this one on the computer. It is obvious that there are peck marks but they are eroded so much that it is hard to tell what the original image was.


There are some nice views looking back toward Double Arch. The saddle in the ridge makes a nice frame for the distant snow capped La Sal Mountains.


The Cove of Caves is interesting to explore but it isn't the type of place that first or second time visitors to Arches National Park will want to spend a lot of time on. Like most backcountry trails in the park it is best left until after the more established routes have been explored. Other backcountry routes that we have hiked include the Devil's Garden Primitive Loop and Lower Courthouse Wash. As far as the Cove of Caves goes if you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.