Hiking Babylon Arch - Red Cliffs Reserve
The first time I hiked Babylon Arch I thought the hike was just MEH. Don't ask me why. I still can't figure it out. Luckily I gave it a second try and turns out the second time was the charm and now I LOVE it. This trail has beautiful red rock formations around every corner, stunning views of the Virgin River, a fun sand hill to run down (not so fun on the hike back up though HAHA), access to the Virgin River, and you guessed it......a super rad arch!
2.2 miles round trip from the Sand Cover trailhead. If you have a good 4 wheel drive vehicle you can drive to the primitive camping area and it is 1.5 miles from here. You can also extend the hike a bit by hiking down to the Virgin River, just past the arch.
This is a family-friendly hike with very little elevation gain.....except for the sandhill that takes you down to the arch. The sandhill isn't long but hiking uphill in deep sand is a bit of a challenge. Much of the trail is rocky and uneven.
This trail is located in the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. There is no pay station so no fee to hike here. The trailhead is located15 minutes south/east of Leeds, UT. CLICK HERE for a map and driving directions to the Sand Cove Trailhead that you will hike to get to Babylon Arch trailhead. CLICK HERE if you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle to take you directly to the trailhead.
This is the GPS coordinates for the arch - 37°12’09.0″N 113°20’05.7″W
Always practice Leave No Trace principals and leave the places you visit the way you found them. Better yet, bring a clean-up bag with you and leave it BETTER than you found it!
The trail is sandy and at times rocky and uneven. The trail is also a little unclear at times. I have friends who have had a hard time finding the arch. These are the coordinates for the arch to put into your phone or GPS 37°12’09.0″N 113°20’05.7″W
From the Sand Cove parking lot/trailhead you will walk along a trail for a short distance, down past a wash and then back up again to the bumpy 4 wheel drive road. Follow the road to the primitive camping area. This is where you will find the marker for the start of the Babylon Arch trail. The start of the trail takes you down a short sandhill and then along a sandy and rocky trail for about 1/2 mile. Once you come to a spot where you can see the Virgin River in the distance you will look to your right and see a steep sandhill to go down. At the base of the sandhill is the arch. From here you can also follow a trail to the Virgin River. Take time to explore and enjoy the trail. If you have kids who love to rock climb they will be in heaven. Scroll down for more tips and additional info.
GOOD TO KNOW
No bathrooms or water fill stations
TIPS AND ADDITIONAL INFO
There is no shade along the trail so not a great idea for the middle of the day in the summer.
The primitive campground looks like an amazing spot to camp if you are up for it. If you don't have a 4 wheel drive vehicle you will have to hike you camping gear in from the Sand Cove parking lot.
Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and snacks.
Wear good hiking shoes or hiking sandals with good grip. You will get sand in your shoes.
Always practice LEAVE NO TRACE principals. If you take it in take it out. Take a cleanup bag on all your hikes and pick up as you go. Leave these beautiful places better than you found them.
Melody along with her husband Victor and their four kiddos have made it their mission to visit all of our National parks, and then some. Melody thought hiking would be a thing of the past when she found out her youngest daughter Ruby had Down Syndrome. Turns out, it was just the beginning. Follow this beautiful & inspiring family on Instagram and check out this amazing podcast about her story here.