The Arch Loop trail must be accessed from either the Overlook trail or the Kokopelli Trail
. It is great when combined with Western Mesa and Overlook for a lollipop loop.
The best access to the trail is from I70 at the Westwater exit #227 just west of the Colorado, Utah border. 1/4 mile from the exit along Harley Dome Road (BLM 192) take the first left turn onto a doubletrack through a light industrial area. After 1/2 mile the doubletrack forks. Go right and in another 1/2 mile, the road intersects the Kokopelli Trail
at another fork.
This is a good place to park if driving a low-clearance vehicle. Go left onto Kokopelli Trail
at this fork for another 1/4 mile to another good parking space on the left overlooking the Kokopelli Trail
climb from Rabbit Valley. This road ends at a primitive campground on the rim of the mesa. The Overlook trail begins on the left side of the doubletrack about 800' beyond Kokopelli Trail
. Take either of these trails to Arch Loop.
If utilizing the Kokopelli Trail
, hike 4 1/2 miles from the top of the steep climb out of Rabbit Valley. When the trail begins to orient more to the west and enters an area characterized by bare, greyish shale, look for a fork to the left back to the east. This road connects to a low saddle between Overlook and Western Mesa trails, and the beginning of the Arch Loop.
The Arch Loop is located on the western leg of this junction. The trail winds counterclockwise in and out of numerous drainages. There is a junction with a non-system singletrack midway through the loop which drops down to Harley Dome Road. Near the end of the loop, the trail crosses a small natural bridge from whence the trail gets its name.
After the natural bridge, the trail continues nearly due south to a doubletrack. Go hard left onto the doubletrack and return to the low saddle, or continue south to the Western Mesa trail.
From the low saddle continue on to either the Kokopelli Trail
or the Overlook back to the vehicle.