“This remote hike rewards users with dramatic scenery and rarely-seen rock formations.”
— Megan W
Inquire about road conditions at the visitor center before heading out here- these sandy, washboarded roads often wash out and become impassable. The eastern trailhead can usually be accessed with 2WD when conditions are dry.
Although the Tower Arch Trail can be started from either end, most users complete it as an out-and-back, beginning at the eastern end and utilizing the more established Klondkike Bluffs parking area off the upaved Salt Valley Road. The western end of the trail can be accessed with 4WD using the Herdina Park Jeep Road (also called Park Road 19).
From the Klondike Bluffs parking area, start by climbing up a steep, jumbled hillside. Look for rock pile cairns that mark the correct route. Upon reaching the flat top of this mesa, partake liberally of the sweeping views that include Salt Valley and the colorful Klondike Bluffs. This is the high point of the trail. Next, descend into the open, exposed valley surrounded by impressively red rock walls. To the south, you'll notice that the eroding thin sandstone spires known as Marching Men resemble soldiers in a row.
Continue through the valley, eventually slogging though a steep sandy hill and turning north to enter a valley of thin fins and slickrock. Keep a look out for sneaky Parallel Arch on the right after descending a short rock spine. If you miss it on the way in, don't despair, it is more visible on the return. About 100 yards after Parallel Arch, turn the corner and be surprised by the appearance of massive Tower Arch. Although it is "only" 92 feet long, its knobby tower at the northern end makes it distinctive. You can scramble up under the arch for shade or to capture the perfect combo photo of the arch + tower.
Between Parallel Arch and Tower Arch a sign points the way to the seldom used 4WD Herdina Park Jeep Road parking area. It is another 0.3 miles to this spot, and not worth the trip unless you're getting picked up from there. For people doing the out-and-back from the Klondkike Bluffs parking area, just retrace your steps once you're finished admiring Mother Nature's work on these two unique arch formations.