Arch Hunting

Some thoughts on arch hunting:

  • Geographic arch context beats an alphabetic list with coordinates by a country-mile. Source data errors become glaring in geographic context.
  • Convex Arch in Wayne County is incorrectly located at Colonnade Arches in Emery County, so off by miles. This was discovered on a field trip and the error came from the source data. It will be corrected with the next map revision.
  • While close, do not consider the arch icons to be exact, errors of 1/4 mile are possible because of source data errors. Large errors are rare, 99% of the arch icons are either spot on or within a couple hundred feet.
  • The arch photos are often a huge advantage, helps with shape and rock type.
  • If you don't find the arch where placed, go west. That works 90% of the time.
  • If finding a particular arch is important, then preplanning in Google Earth is time well spent.
  • Frequently bridges are misnamed arches, makes a big difference whether you look high or low.
  • When you find an arch, look around, there could be more arches not on the map. I found almost a dozen extra arches when looking for known arches.
  • If you find an unmapped arch, give it a name, record its location and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.a geotagged photo. I can add a photo to the DVD photo set within weeks.
  • Reminds me of climbing Fourteners in Colorado, arch hunting is taking me to places in Utah I might never have seen otherwise.
  • I've personally visited between 5-10% of the 850+ arches, a few with the beta maps and some more with the finished maps. These thoughts are based on that modest set.
  • Don't be surprised if some of the arches are double black diamonds, requiring technical climbing skills.
  • If you're used to Colorado summer hikes above 10,000 feet, Utah canyons at 4,000 feet are like ovens, be prepared.
  • If the wilds of Utah intimidate you, consider Arches National Park, you're sure to see another person every ten-minutes.
  • If you're seeking solitude, head to the San Rafael Reef west of the Green River, in multiple days of arch hunting I never saw another soul.
  • Happy Hunting



These two screenshots illustrate two of the points above. Both show a tendency for the actual arch position to be west, about 200-feet, from the map position. Second the tendency of bridges to be named arches, if it's created by water erosion, it's a bridge. In either case finding these arches was trivial using the topo map with arch icon.