Covert Arch

Covert Arch

Arches National Park
Arch Hunting

          Covert Arch is located in the Lost Springs Canyon section of Arches National Park. This is a remote area appropriate for those seeking seclusion from the typical tourist type crowd. Covert Arch is extremely impressive.

General Information:
Click Here for Map          Covert Arch is located in a remote section of Arches National Park that contains dramatic scenery. There are no trails or signs in this area. The route is suitable for intermediate or experienced hikers. Total time required for a round trip is approximately 3 hours, depending on how much time you spend exploring the area. Undercover Canyon is rated 2A II using the Canyon Rating System.

          Much of the route is exposed to the sun and there is little shade available. Every member of your hiking party should carry at least one liter of water. This arch is accessible year round. The route would not be at it's best during the hot summer month's. This is an excellent cool weather adventure.

          Navigation for this route is moderate. A GPS is extremely useful. Good map reading skills and the USGS 7.5' Maps titled "Cisco SW" and "Mollie Hogans" are essential. All waypoints and maps use the WGS84 datum.

          Arch hunters will be happy to note that this trip combines well with a visit to La Boca Arch.

Covert Arch from the south. Covert Arch from the north.

Trailhead Information:
          While this route is located inside Arches National Park it's a long drive to the trailhead because the route is located on the backside of Arches National Park. A four wheel drive is recommended as the roads are often covered with blow sand. The roads are not hardcore four wheeling, but you might encounter short sandy sections in normal driving conditions. The area is criss-crossed with roads. Stay on the road described until told to turn off of it.

          From Green River, Utah: Travel east for 18 miles to Crescent Junction (where I-70 meets Highway 191).

          From Moab, Utah: Travel north on Highway 191 for 30 miles to Crescent Junction (where I-70 meets Highway 191).

          From Crescent Junction:  Follow I-70 east for 11 miles to Exit 193 (N38 56' 32", W109 36' 53"), signed Yellow Cat. Exit I-70 and turn south. Follow the graded Yellow Cat Road southeast for 6.2 miles to a fork (N38 52' 04", W109 33' 00"). Take the east (left) fork. Continue following the road for 2.1 miles to the Yellow Cat Mine Ruins (N38 50' 53", W109 31' 42"). The ruins are located on the east side of the road.

          From The Yellow Cat Mine Ruins follow the road east for 1.0 mile to a fork (N38 51' 01", W109 30' 38"). Take the south (right) fork and follow the road 2.6 miles to a fork (N38 49' 27", W109 29' 48"). Take the east (left) fork and follow the road 3.1 miles to a junction (N38 48' 31", W109 26' 53"). Take the south (right) fork and follow the road 1.2 miles to a junction (N38 47' 51", W109 26' 06"), with a less traveled road heading west (right). Carefully driven passenger vehicles and high clearance vehicles can normally reach this junction without problems, beyond this point the roads might contain sections of deep sand.

          Follow the less traveled road west for 3.1 miles to a fork (N38 46' 37", W109 28' 57"). Take the west (right) fork and follow the road for 0.3 miles. This is the Covert Arch Trailhead. There is nothing to identify the trailhead other than the road is at the crest of a small rise. Pull off the road where it is convenet.

Inside Covert Arch Covert Arch from the bottom.

Route Information:
            From the Covert Arch Trailhead (N38 46' 26", W109 29' 16"), start hiking northwest. You will cross a wash just after leaving the trailhead and hike for approximately 1 mile cross-country. Those with good navigation skills or a GPS will arrive at the head of an impressive canyon (N38 46' 47", W109 30' 11"). From the head of the canyon Covert Arch (N38 46' 55", W109 30' 22") should be visible just under the rim if you look northwest.
From the head of the canyon you have three great options.

Option 1 - Viewpoint
To get a great view of Covert Arch without having to scramble, hike 200-yards around
the south side of the canyon to a really nice viewpoint (N38 46' 46", W109 30' 19"). This is the best view of the arch for those that do not intend to scramble through the arch.

Option 2 - Over the Top
If you want to stand on top of Covert Arch hike 1/4 mile around the north side of the canyon and out onto an amazing peninsula between two deep canyons that form the arch.
It's easy to walk right over the top of the arch and completely miss it if you are not paying attention to its location. All true arch baggers know that you must stand on top of the arch to count it among your accomplishments.

Option 3: Through the Center
Scrambling through the arch is the must do route for the adventurous. To scramble through the arch begin hiking around the north side of the canyon, after approximately 100-yards you will reach a weakness in the rim that allows you to scramble down one layer of sandstone and then contour northwest to just below the base of Covert Arch. Scramble up into the center of the arch.

          Mix and match the options to suit your desires, or enjoy the full meal deal. Return the way you came.

Covert Arch from the top. Your tour guide hiking Covert Arch

Covert Arch Statistics:
Greater Arch Dimension (GAD): 60 feet. For this arch, the LAD is its span.
Lesser Arch Dimension (LAD): 32 feet. For this arch, the GAD is its height.
Arch Type: Shelter
Rock formation and/or type: Navajo Sandstone

Covert Arch

          The 3,140-acres of Lost Spring Canyon were added to Arches National Park in 1998. The area provides a unique backcountry experience. Since 1985 the Bureau of Land Management had administered the area as a Wilderness Study Area. When Lost Spring Canyon was added to Arches, the Grand Canyon Trust generously purchased the grazing permits and donated them to the National Park Service. Livestock has been removed and is now fenced out improving the backcountry experience.

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