Grosvenor Arch certainly is one of the most picturesque natural arches in the west, yet there are relatively few visitors on any given day. The reason why has to do with the location, which is a remote area within Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The central portion of Grand Staircase-Escalante between Utah Scenic Byway 12 and Highway 89 was one of the very last places to be mapped on earth, so this truly is an unspoiled wilderness area. The rugged terrain can be intimidating and the long distances involved with touring the many points of interest does have a way of limiting the number of visitors. The long dirt roads are the key limiting factor, because not every vehicle is capable of handling a dusty bumpy ride. The thought of unforeseen events resulting in a survival situation also causes people to balk at the thought of a long venture in this park. For these reasons, it is easy to see why plenty of breathing room can be found at Grosvenor Arch!
In a previous article, the 18 mile drive on Cottonwood Canyon Road from the Grand Staircase-Escalante Visitor Center in Cannonville to Grosvenor Arch is described. The dirt road conditions and safety measure are mentioned, because this truly is a remote place where being stranded can result in a survival situation. The 18 mile distance to the arch is perfect for a dirt road day trip, especially when considering that the Kodachrome Basin State Park is right next door, which presents even more eye candy to take in. The total distance from the Cannonville Visitor Center to Highway 89 at the south end of Cottonwood Canyon Road is over 45 miles and Grosvenor Arch is the first major point of interest to be found along the way. This dirt road actually is fairly smooth, but the going will be slow because the urge to stop to look at the fascinating landscape will happen quite often!
There is ample parking at Grosvenor Arch and sanitation facilities are located on site. The trailhead is actually a picnic area that offers great views of the arch, so it is easy to spend some extra time in this peaceful place. The short hiking trail to the arch is smooth enough for those who have mobility challenges and it is easy to navigate, so this is an easy little trek.
The big pale yellow sandstone outcrop that towers over the valley floor certainly is of monumental proportions. Erosion has sculpted this big golden yellow outcrop over time and this setting actually resembles a mythical temple of sorts. Grosvenor Arch looks as majestic as can be from a distance and with each step closer, the views keep on getting better. From a distance it is difficult to notice the unique feature that sets Grosvenor Arch apart from the rest. Grosvenor actually is a rare natural double arch and the views from underneath are simply amazing to see!
Grosvenor Arch is a very impressive landmark that must be experienced in person to be believed! This natural arch is well worth planning a trip around and the drive on Cottonwood Canyon Road offers views of some of the most memorable pristine landscapes in the west. This dirt road may be a little bit bumpy, but after seeing Grosvenor Arch for the first time it will be easy to agree that working up the saddle sores was worth it!
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