A Castle Made of Sandstone: Grosvenor Arch

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As you drive on the bumpy dirt road towards Grosvenor Arch, you see miles and miles of sage brush on rolling terrain. So when you finally arrive at the arch, this sandstone structure’s massiveness is jaw-dropping. Sheer and colossal cliffs—quite an impressive sight, indeed.

The “arch” is actually two arches, which tower 150 feet above the ground. The largest arch is nearly 100 feet in diameter.

In 1949, the arch was named in honor of National Geographic Society president Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor, who became the first full-time editor of the National Geographic magazine.

Grosvenor Arch is part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (formerly part of Kodachrome Basin State Park), and is one of the biggest such arches within the monument. Poised at the end of a sandstone ridge, Grosvenor Arch feels remote, but is in close proximity to Kodachrome Basin State Park.

What Makes it Great

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Double your arch, double your fun.

Grosvenor Arch is unique with its double arch. And this massive sandstone formation looks like a castle from a children’s cartoon from afar. It is tall and commands respect.

The closer you get to the arch, the more inspiring the place becomes. Because the .25-mile trail to the base of the arch is paved, it is handicap accessible. You walk through a sage field to the base, and as you near, you will likely hear the large birds who call the area home. Feel free to follow an unmarked trail (you’ll see footprints) after the pavement ends; it will lead you to the top of the ridge in close proximity and almost equal in height to the arch. Here, your vantage of the surrounding area will be expansive and scenic.

Grosvenor Arch makes for an excellent place to stop en route to other area attractions, but it is also great to stay awhile. With relatively few visitors as compared to other spots, you might just have this majestic place to yourself for awhile.

What You’ll Remember

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Picking your jaw up off the ground after you lay eyes on the arch for the first time; the unique yellow hue of the rock, which is also speckled with pinks.

Who is Going to Love It

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Anyone with an interest in monstrously huge rock structures. Also, unlike many off-the-beaten-path attractions, Grosvenor Arch is handicap accessible. It makes a great place for the whole family, as it is scenic, with lots of room to play.

GPS Coordinates, Parking, and Regulations

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GPS Coordinates:
(37.457369, -111.825872)

Park at the main parking lot by the restrooms. There are no fees to enjoy Grosvenor Arch, and it is open year-round. The best times of year to visit are late-March to June and September to October. The arch is exposed and the summer heat can be oppressive. The road is accessible to passenger vehicles, but might be impassible if wet.

Camping is permitted in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument; when possible, camp at established sites and use fire rings. When visiting the arch, you will be remote, so make sure to pack plenty of water and all the essentials for your stay. The area is dog-friendly.

Difficulty: 1 - 2 (depending if you hike to the top of the ridge)

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