Overview

This hike features incredible views of Canyonlands National Park the La Sal Mountains and the Green River along the way to a unique and lofty arch perched high on the rim of Labyrinth Canyon. While this hike is not very physically demanding it does require good navigation skills and a high clearance 4WD vehicle to access the trailhead. This hike is suitable for most children and adults. 

Trailhead

The hike to Colonnade Arch begins on Keg Knoll in a remote section of the San Rafael Desert, south of Green River, UT and just north of Canyonlands National Park. To reach the trailhead from Main Street in Green River, UT:

  • Turn south onto Broadway/150 West and continue 0.2 miles to Green River Avenue.
  • Turn left onto Green River Avenue and continue 0.3 miles to Airport Road.
  • Turn right onto Airport Road and continue 2.4 miles to the Lower San Rafael Road (gravel).
  • Continue on the Lower San Rafael Road for 34.5 miles to the unsigned junction with the Keg Knoll Road.
  • Turn left (east) onto the Keg Knoll Road and continue 4.5 miles to the end of the road (38.576051, -110.089794).

The official trailhead is no longer easily accessible to vehicles. Just park your vehicle on the slickrock near what is now the end of the road. A high clearance 4WD vehicle is necessary to reach the end of the road on Keg Knoll.

The Hike

From the end of the road, begin hiking northeast across slickrock on top of the ridge adjacent to the parking area. Take note of a wooden fence in the distance about one quarter mile away. This is the old trailhead and parking area that used to mark the beginning of the hike. Continue hiking 0.3 miles to the old trailhead.

From the old trailhead, hike through the gate and continue hiking on a closed dirt road that follows the spine of the ridge. After about 0.9 miles of easy and enjoyable walking, watch for a large stack of rocks on the right. Leave the old road here and begin hiking east, down through a slope of sandstone domes. There is no trail, so look for a series of rock cairns that mark the way from here down to Colonnade Arch.

Continue following cairns for approximately 0.3 miles to the edge of the plateau. You’re now high above Labyrinth Canyon and the Green River, and the views are awe-inspiring from here. Pay close attention to pets and children near the cliff edge. Continue left along the edge a little further until you come to within view of Colonnade Arch, which you will eventually find on your left. The arch is well hidden until you are right in front of it. You can hike up into the arch for a fantastic view of Labyrinth Canyon. Depending on how you count them up, the arch has between five and seven arch openings, two of which are unique skylight arches in the ceiling.

For the return hike, you can return the way you came, or for a more interesting hike, stay low on the slickrock just east of the road. There is no designated route but it is easy walking and offers expansive vistas of the distant scenery and terrain.

Rules & Regulations

  • Do not draw or carve on rocks.
  • Drive only on designated routes.
  • Clean up after pets.
  • Pack out all trash.

Special Considerations

  • The final approach to the arch is over slickrock domes on a route marked only by occasional rock cairns. Use extreme caution near exposed ledges, especially with children and pets. A GPS and map along with good navigation skills are strongly recommended.
  • This area can be extremely hot during spring, summer and fall. Carry plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing.

Credits

This trail guide is provided by Backcountry Post.