Three Large Remote Arches in the San Rafael Swell

Mystery Arch

Mystery Arch in the San Rafael Swell. Photo by Chris Moore.

NABSQNO 12S 546907 4304691     MAP

The January 1996 issue of SPAN describes how it took several years of effort for Chris Moore to locate three large and spectacular arches in the rugged San Rafael Swell area of Utah: Mystery Arch, Camelhead Arch, and Hurst Bridge. All three arches are difficult to find and require extensive route-finding capabilities to get to. A significant amount of rock scrambling is also required for the first two (which are located fairly close together). Directions are given in the SPAN article, with an update giving better directions and more precise locations in the following issue (April 1996).

Mystery Arch is difficult to photograph and is much more spectacular to visit than would be apparent by the above photo. It is a double arch with a light opening of 160 feet and a span of approximately 115 feet.


Camelhead Arch

Camelhead Arch from the north. Photo by Chris Moore.

NABSQNO 12S 546840 4304932     MAP

Camelhead Arch has a span of 50 feet and a height of 50 feet. It is not far from Mystery Arch and should be visited on the same trip.


Hurst Bridge

Hurst Bridge. Photo by Chris Moore.

NABSQNO 12S 537287 4287547     MAP

Hurst Bridge has a span of 70 feet and a height of 22 feet. Although not difficult to hike to as far as the terrain goes, the arch is well hidden and the route is difficult to navigate. A GPS would be very helpful in finding the right canyon. See this arch in 3D.

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