La Boca Arch & Harold Arch

La Boca ("The Mouth") Arch near Moab, Utah
La Boca (“The Mouth”) Arch

La Boca Arch (and its neighbor, Harold Arch) is often overlooked because it’s a long distance down a dirt road well outside of the typical parks near Moab, Utah.  But if you happen to be in the area (say, to see Covert Arch, Winter Camp Arch, Lost Spring Canyon, or Clover Canyon), it makes a quick and fun little stop with a good reward.  (Even if we did get a little lost looking for Harold Arch!)

Quick Stats

Round Trip Length: 1.0 miles Trail Type: Out & back Elevation Gain: 196ft. Pets: Yes Fees: None

Harold Arch near Moab, Utah
Harold Arch

I’d read that the roads to get to La Boca Arch were sketchy but not bad if you had high clearance.  We got halfway down the entrance road and were like, um, no way unless you have 4×4!  So we backed out to the main road and parked out of the way of traffic (not that we saw another soul the entire time we were in the area).  Walking in on the dirt road wasn’t long or especially hard (0.1 miles).

Standing in the parking area for La Boca Arch near Moab, Utah
Standing in the parking area for La Boca Arch

La Boca Arch itself was gorgeous in the evening light.  While you can see it from the parking area, you’re welcome to hike down the sandy hill, cross the wash, and then scramble up into it.

Looking up through La Boca Arch near Moab, Utah
Looking up through La Boca Arch

Views back to the La Sal Mountains were also great.

The La Sal Mountains from La Boca Arch near Moab, Utah
The La Sal Mountains from La Boca Arch

Then we set out to find Harold Arch.  I had a couple of issues.  First, my directions weren’t very good, and second, while I did have general GPS coordinates, trying to follow them with the topography of sandstone fins wasn’t the easiest.  Basically, what you want to do is to head right around the rocks that hold La Boca Arch.  Keep walking until you see this on the left:

Scrambling up to Harold Arch - the arch is just about in the center of the photo (not that it's easy to see!) near Moab, Utah
Scrambling up to Harold Arch – the arch is just about in the center of the photo (not that it’s easy to see!)

Scrambling up to the arch is fairly simple.  I scrambled through and looked out the other side toward the mesas and canyons to the west.  There are reasonable views back toward the parking area, too.

Views back toward the parking area from Harold Arch near Moab, Utah
Views back toward the parking area from Harold Arch

And that’s it!  Scramble back down and retrace your steps to the parking area or wherever you were able to park.  While the sun went under (and it even spitted rain) while we were looking for Harold Arch, we were treated to a great sunset over the La Sal Mountains that evening.

Sunset over the La Sal Mountains from the Yellowcat area near Moab, Utah
Sunset over the La Sal Mountains

Round Trip Route Length: 0-1.0 miles (not including hiking in on the access road)

Elevation Gain: 196ft. (5,215ft. to 5,262ft.)

Facilities: None

Fees: None

La Boca Arch near Moab, Utah
La Boca Arch

Trail Notes: “La Boca” means “The Mouth” in Spanish. You’re welcome to climb up into “the mouth.” There is no trail, so make sure you can get back to the parking area.  Try to stay in washes, on slickrock, or at least not step on the cryptobiotic soil (black pock-marked dirt areas).  You’ll want high clearance to get to the access road and (unless things have changed since 2021) 4×4 to get up the final access road to the parking area.  Harold Arch is fun but not especially impressive, so don’t worry if you can’t find it or don’t have an inkling to go searching for it.

The La Sal Mountains while we were searching for Harold Arch near Moab, Utah
The La Sal Mountains while we were searching for Harold Arch

Trail ★

Road ★

Signs ★

Scenery ★

Would I go 100 miles out of my way for this? ★

Overall Rating: ★

Climbing up into Harold Arch near Moab, Utah
Climbing up into Harold Arch

GPS Coordinates for La Boca Arch and Harold Arch

TH: 38.790720,-109.417789 (38°47.44320′, -109°25.06734′ / 38°47’26.5920″, -109°25’04.0404″) (5,238ft.) (0.0)

La Boca Arch: 38.790995,-109.417982 (38°47.45970′, -109°25.07892′ / 38°47’27.5820″, -109°25’04.7352″) (5,244ft.) (225ft.)

Harold Arch: 38.793501,-109.419268 (38°47.61006′, -109°25.15608′ / 38°47’36.6036″, -109°25’09.3648″) (5,272ft.) (0.69)

End: 38.790720,-109.417796 (38°47.44320′, -109°25.06776′ / 38°47’26.5920″, -109°25’04.0656″) (5,238ft.) (1.19)

Turn off of the main road: 38.7867244°, -109.4177166° (38°47.20346′, -109°25.06300′ / 38°47’12.2078″, -109°25’03.7798″)

Turn onto the La Boca Arch access road (we had to park here): 38.7901007°, -109.4168889° (38°47.40604′, -109°25.01333’/ 38°47’24.3625″, -109°25’00.7999″)

Turning onto the sideroad at 38.79365744, -109.4238661 (along the “main” road between the road to Covert Arch and the turnoff for La Boca Arch) takes you out onto a nice slickrock area that’s great for dispersed c*mping.

The gpx file for La Boca Arch and Harold Arch can be downloaded – please note that this and the GPS Coordinates are for reference only and should not be used as a sole resource when hiking this trail.

Download GPX File size: 40.4 KB Downloaded 0 times

(Note: I do my best to ensure that all downloads, the webpage, etc. are virus-free and accurate; however, I cannot be held responsible for any damage that might result, including but not limited to loss of data, damages to hardware, harm to users, from use of files, information, etc. from this website.  Thanks!)

A hiker standing in Harold Arch near Moab, Utah
A hiker standing in Harold Arch

Getting to La Boca Arch & Harold Arches Trailhead

The recommended route to La Boca Arch begins at I-70 Exit 193.  (I hear there are two other ways of getting in – one from US-191 (I tried that and it was flooded and too sketchy for my van) and another from Owl Draw Road off of UT-128, but neither of these are recommended for 2WD vehicles).  Take the exit (it should be signed for Yellowcat) and turn south.  All of my mileage will be from the westbound entrance/exit ramps.

Views west from Harold Arch near Moab, Utah
Views west from Harold Arch

After 6.2 miles, a road will go off on the right (west) at approx. 38.8679514, -109.5499733.  Continue straight (south) to mile 7.8, where you want to go left at a Y in the road (approx. 38.8489544, -109.5358285).  A half a mile beyond this Y, you will see a couple of old ore hoppers on the left (north) about 38.8479059, -109.5283851.  This is the Yellowcat Mine.

Closeup of the clouds over the La Sal Mountains at sunset near Moab, Utah
Closeup of the clouds over the La Sal Mountains at sunset

Keep driving to mile 9.3.  Take the road that goes right (south) about 38.8504449, -109.5107063.  At mile 12.0 (approx. 38.8242522, -109.4966222), a road on the right leads west to the trailhead for Lost Spring Canyon and Clover Canyon.  You want to continue straight (south).  Ignore the sideroads, just like you’ve been doing at several points along the route.  Pass another sideroad on the right at mile 16.3 (approx. 38.7975664, -109.4352337) that would take you to the trailheads for Winter Camp Arch and Covert Arch.

Sunset near Moab, Utah
Sunset

Keep driving 1.4 miles; take a very sharp left on a sideroad (approx. 38.7867244°, -109.4177166°) for not quite 0.3 miles to another sideroad on the left (about 38.7901007°, -109.4168889°).  We had to park here, as turning left up to La Boca Arch would require 4×4 (or at least something not quite so top-heavy as a van).  To get to La Boca Arch, turn left up this final sideroad for about 0.1 mile to the parking area.

Visual route map and elevation profile for my trek to Harold Arch from La Boca Arch near Moab, Utah
Visual route map and elevation profile for my trek to Harold Arch from La Boca Arch

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