Eagle Canyon Arch | Central Swell

Hiking Eagle Canyon Arch - Central SwellRoadside Attraction Eagle Canyon Arch - Central Swell Eagle Canyon Arch

Central Swell

Overview

RATING: Roadside Attraction or Easy Hike Depending on Vehicle
MAPS: COPPER GLOBE, UT; SAN RAFAEL KNOB, UT

Fri

Showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 73. South southeast wind 6 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

73 | 56

Sat

Sunny, with a high near 76.

76 | 54

Sun

A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Sunny, with a high near 81.

81 | 60

Mon

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Sunny, with a high near 83.

83 | 62

Tue

A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Sunny, with a high near 84.

84 | 64

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Fall, Winter if the roads are dry, Spring (hot in summer)
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: None, bring all you need.
NOTES: Driving to the arch requires a true high clearance mid-size or smaller four-wheel drive. If hiking from the low clearance trailhead at Swasey's Cabin, it is about a 5-mile hike roundtrip.

Fri

Showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 73. South southeast wind 6 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

73 | 56

Sat

Sunny, with a high near 76.

76 | 54

Sun

A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Sunny, with a high near 81.

81 | 60

Mon

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Sunny, with a high near 83.

83 | 62

Tue

A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Sunny, with a high near 84.

84 | 64

View Full Weather Details
View from the arch.

View from the arch.

Eagle Canyon Arch is an impressive arch tucked into the bottom of Eagle Canyon, south of I-70. The arch, though only having a span of about 12 feet, has a height of about 50 feet and looks dramatic in the context of the deep walls of Eagle Canyon. Reaching the arch can be done either via four-wheel drive vehicle, ATV, or by foot.

If trying to drive to the arch, the easiest route is from Swasey Cabin. Driving from the cabin is fairly narrow, with a few rock ledges and obstacles to negotiate. You will need a true high clearance four-wheel drive vehicle. For my skill level, I was happy to have a mid-size vehicle (Ford Ranger) and am not sure that I could have successfully gotten a full-size pickup down the trail. The stock Ranger had no problem, though a few spots required careful negotiation to avoid scraping the body.

Mountain biking or walking the jeep road is a great option if you don't have a vehicle capable of negotiating the rough road. The trail is somewhat popular, but even so, you are unlikely to encounter too many motor vehicles if walking.

Note: You can also reach the arch via access roads that descend into Eagle Canyon just north of I-70. We returned via that route, exiting out the east side of Eagle Canyon on the four-wheel drive road that ascends to the highway maintenance shed. This road leaves Eagle Canyon just north of the I-70 bridges that you drive under. Though much shorter than coming from Swasey's Cabin, the climb out of Eagle here is a fair bit rougher and more challenging to negotiate. We made it without issue, but there is one particularly steep rock ledge section that I would not recommend for beginners that is about 1/2 between the bottom of Eagle Canyon and the Maintenance Shed. This is shown on the map for those wanting to try that route, but be warned it is more difficult than the Swasey's approach.
Spotting the downclimb from the arch.

Spotting the downclimb from the arch.

Getting There

The first step is to reach Swasey's Cabin. The directions for reaching that are below.

Take exit 131 from I-70 (about 30 miles west of Green River). Go south off the freeway.

  • Reset your odometer at the cattleguard after getting off I-70. ( 12S 529653mE 4303574mN / N38° 52' 50" W110° 39' 29" )
  • 3.95 miles - Turn right. Signed Swasey Cabin. ( 12S 525563mE 4299464mN / N38° 50' 37" W110° 42' 20" )
  • 5.0 miles - T-Junction, go right. ( 12S 524103mE 4298697mN / N38° 50' 12" W110° 43' 20" )
  • 6.7 miles - Good side road on the left. STAY RIGHT. ( 12S 521720mE 4299944mN / N38° 50' 53" W110° 44' 59" )
  • 7.65 Miles - Junction - Stay right. ( 12S 520577mE 4300717mN / N38° 51' 18" W110° 45' 46" )
  • 8.5 miles - Junction - Stay left. Right goes to Dutchman Arch/Locomotive Point. ( 12S 519543mE 4301501mN / N38° 51' 44" W110° 46' 29" )
  • 10.0 miles - Side road on the right to Lone Warrior Pictograph. Stay left for Swasey Cabin. ( 12S 517721mE 4300189mN / N38° 51' 01" W110° 47' 45" )
  • 10.7 miles - Jct, go right. ( 12S 517774mE 4298971mN / N38° 50' 22" W110° 47' 43" )
  • 11.4 miles - Swasey Cabin - This is the parking area for low clearance vehicles and the start of the 5-mile round trip hike to the arch. For those with capable vehicles that are continuing the drive, reset your odometer here. Hikers will park here and walk the rest of the rough road. The road begins descending as it heads west and begins making its way to the bottom of Eagle Canyon. ( 12S 516761mE 4298620mN / N38° 50' 10" W110° 48' 25" )
  • 2.0 miles - Bottom of Eagle Canyon and junction. Go right, heading down canyon. The road in the bottom of Eagle Canyon is much better than the road down. ( 12S 514713mE 4299297mN / N38° 50' 33" W110° 49' 50" )
  • 2.5 miles - Eagle Canyon Arch parking on the right. ( 12S 514464mE 4299874mN / N38° 50' 51" W110° 49' 60" )
  • 4.4 miles - Lupacchiotta Side Canyon coming in from the west/left. ( 12S 512333mE 4301116mN / N38° 51' 32" W110° 51' 28" )
  • 4.8 miles - I-70 Bridges ( 12S 511728mE 4301248mN / N38° 51' 36" W110° 51' 53" )
Lower Lupacchiotta

Lower Lupacchiotta

Route

From the big parking area, the arch is a stone's throw away. For the adventurous, you can scramble up to the base of the arch, then around to the left via easy scrambling to get behind the arch. There also appeared to be an easier route to the arch by continuing down Eagle Canyon a couple of hundred feet and climbing the dirt slope.

Side Trips: From Eagle Arch, if you continue down Eagle Canyon, a side canyon comes in on the left (from the west) at about 1.7 miles from the arch. This is Lupacchiotta Canyon, and an excellent side hike. You can hike up the bottom about 1/3 of a mile before being stopped by a dry fall. The lower section has good, solution pocketed narrows.

About 2 miles down from the arch, the road goes under the two arch bridges on I-70. They are very impressive to see from below and worth the side trip, especially if driving.

Maps

Cabin to Arch And Back / 5.07 miles / Elevation Range 6,744 - 7,202 ft.
Printable Maps:
Swasey Cabin Trailhead

12S 516755mE 4298621mN

N38° 50' 10" W110° 48' 25"

Bottom of Eagle Canyon

12S 514713mE 4299298mN

N38° 50' 33" W110° 49' 50"

Eagle Canyon Arch Parking

12S 514464mE 4299874mN

N38° 50' 51" W110° 49' 60"

Lupacchiotta Side Canyon

12S 512333mE 4301116mN

N38° 51' 32" W110° 51' 28"

I-70 Bridge

12S 511728mE 4301248mN

N38° 51' 36" W110° 51' 53"

I-70

12S 512912mE 4301803mN

N38° 51' 54" W110° 51' 04"

Rough Road Return to I-70

12S 510408mE 4301828mN

N38° 51' 55" W110° 52' 48"

Roughest Spot

12S 511462mE 4301871mN

N38° 51' 56" W110° 52' 04"

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