Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hiking to Five Hole (Colonnade) Arch

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Hiking to Five Hole (Colonnade) Arch
Five Hole Arch (aka Colonnade Arch) is located south of Green River, UT off a rough 4x4 dirt road. The arch is so special it has two names - Five Hole Arch for the obvious five holes nature has created, and Colonnade Arch for the resemblance to Colonnade architecture (a row of columns supporting a roof). Some maps only show one or the other name, and some only label it as "Natural Arch". Whatever you prefer to call it, this arch is quite stunning once you find it. 

Though the hike isn't hard or long, I've heard of people wandering through the desert and slickrock trying to find it yet never do. As long as cairns are available, it should lead you right to it. Five Hole Arch is East facing, so the best time to hike here is early morning hours, when the sunrise lights up the arch and cove. There are also several other arches in the area - if you know where to look. That's one of the fun things about this trail, is that there is so much to explore around this area!

Dogs and kids should be able to do this hike, just make sure to bring plenty of water even though the distance is short. If you end up wandering on your own, you'll be glad you brought enough water. There is zero shade, so start hiking early to beat the heat. This is on BLM land, so camping is allowed in the area for free, however you need to be fully self-sufficient since there are no services, water, gas, etc for over an hour.

Use this map if you are driving from SLC.

Use this map if you are driving from Colorado.

Getting to the trailhead does require a 4x4 car. Once again, Google Maps doesn't understand how to drive down dirt road. Follow this map for as long as Google Maps guides you. As the "end" of the navigation, continue down the dirt road until you reach an obvious 3-way intersection and turn left (north). Drive a few more minutes, and the trailhead starts on the right (east) side of the road by an area blocked off by small rocks, creating a parking area. Mini SUVs (RAV4, CR-V, etc) won't make it - you definitely need a truck or jeep with 4WD.

Distance: 3 miles RT
Elevation gain: 194 ft on the way back
Time: 1-2 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes
Fees/Permits? None
Hiking to Five Hole (Colonnade) Arch
This is what the "trailhead" looks like - no signs just an open area on the right side of the road blocked off by small rocks to create a parking area. To get to Five Hole Arch simply follow the cairns. We actually hiked this before sunrise so it was too dark to take photos on the way there, then my phone & camera both died on the way back!
Hiking to Five Hole (Colonnade) Arch
You should reach Five Hole Arch in about 30-40 minutes, hiking at a fast pace.
Hiking to Five Hole (Colonnade) Arch
Sunrise in the arch!
Hiking to Five Hole (Colonnade) Arch
Playing in and around the colonnades. From the arch, you should be able to see down to the Green River.
Natural arch near Hiking to Five Hole (Colonnade) Arch
Another natural arch nearby.
Natural arch near Hiking to Five Hole (Colonnade) Arch
Second natural arch in the area we found while exploring.
Natural arch near Hiking to Five Hole (Colonnade) Arch
A 3rd natural arch in the area. So much to explore here! None of these other arches are mapped - that's up to you to find!
Camping near Hiking to Five Hole (Colonnade) Arch
 We camped in the general area that night. You can barely see Charlie's head! haha He was so tired! 
Camping near Hiking to Five Hole (Colonnade) Arch
Kickin' back in the tent. What a view!

Trail map for Five Hole (Colonnade) Arch

Hiking to Wild Horse Window Arch, San Rafael Swell, Utah

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Hiking to Five Hole (Colonnade) Arch


John and Pam ( said...

Awesome!! We are sooo close but so far here in Moab. Too bad there isn't a road to just cut west. Darn!! So very cool!! I love finding new arches:) You and Charlie look so cute in the tent:)

grinNberrett said...

I love this place. I know exactly where all three of those arches you mention are. :) I found the 2nd one last year and couldnt find any information about it. I have lovingly named it after me. :)

Alicia Baker said...

haha that's awesome! Yeah, it's a fun area to explore. -Alicia

Mark ( said...

This is super informative. Been looking for something new and you've inspired me to check this place out this weekend.

Alicia Baker said...

Thanks! Hope this is a good one for ya! -Alicia

Unknown said...

Is it just primitive camping around there or how close to the nearest hotel. We are going to Colorado this coming weekend and want to see this on the way home, just worried it may be too cold in a tent.

Alicia Baker said...

It's on BLM land, so primitive. The closest hotels would be in Green River, about an hour to the North. - Alicia

kellerooneys! said...

Did you see any access trail between the colonnade and the river? I'd like to hike up from below, but all trail descriptions are from the road.