Natural Arches

Round Trip Distance: 4.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 1637 - 1737 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 3 hrs.
Trailhead: Natural Arches
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic wash

The Natural Arches trail is located in the Valley of Fire State Park near Overton, Nevada. Traveling up the scenic Fire Canyon Wash the primitive trail passes numerous small arches which are a common feature of the park.

The trailhead is a parking area across the road from the Clark Memorial about 3/4 of a mile from the East Entrance. Currently there isn't a sign that points out the trailhead but once you pull into the parking area you will notice a kiosk with a map. From the parking area follow the social trail beside the highway toward the wash. There is a small brown sign at this point that indicates to go left at the wash for the Natural Arches trail and pass under the road through the culvert for the Charlie's Spring trail.

The wash becomes the trail for the rest of the hike with the exception of a couple of side routes for horses to take in order to get around some small spillovers.

Several small arches come into view high up above the wash. They are mostly just windows where erosion has worn holes through the rocks. The openings will probably continue to grow until they eventually collapse. Such is life on the geological timescale.

Just under 1 mile from the trailhead the first obstacle in the wash appears. Hikers can scramble up and over the rock but riders on horseback will need to go back 50 feet or so and take the trail that climbs out of the wash.

Within a few hundred yards or so of that obstacle is the next one that also has a bypass for horses.

Small arches begin appearing with more frequency after passing the second obstacle.

Each of the arches has its own special characteristics.

Some of them are free standing..

...and others are barely standing.

For this post we turned around just past the 2 mile point. Whether the best arches were yet to come we can't say. A person might benefit from stopping at the Visitor Center for additional information.

Back near the trailhead there were 4 or 5 bighorn sheep grazing on the side of the hill that added a nice bonus for this hike.

The Natural Arches trail is a good choice for getting away from some of the busier areas of the Valley of Fire State Park. The arches that we saw were all on the small side but quaint none the less. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.