discovering God's creation

Pentagon Arch Trail in Red Cliffs Reserve

The Pentagon Arch Trail is located in the beautiful Red Cliffs Desert Reserve north of the Virgin River in Hurricane, Utah. Access to this trail is from the north end of Leeds, Utah, via Road 900N which traverses southerly to Babylon and the Virgin River.

This hike is a great hike for an afternoon with a round trip total distance of about 1 mile to the Arch and about double if you go all the way to the river.

Trail Rating

Overall rating = easy/moderate

Distance: 2 miles return – easy
Elevation gain: 320 feet – easy
Terrain: easy flat rock plus a difficult sandy climb – moderate
Exposure: none – easy

To see the trail rating system used here see Trail Rating System

Getting There

If travelling north-east on Interstate I15, take exit 22 onto S Main Street in Leeds, Utah and proceed north-east through Leeds. If travelling south-west on Interstate I15 take exit 23, turn left on Silver Reef Drive going under I15 to N Main Street and turn left heading north-east. Travel north-east out of Leeds to gravel road 900 N which is marked with a brown sign. This road veers south into Babylon and ultimately ends at the historic Stormont Silver Mill on the Virgin River, a distance of 4.3 miles.

Leeds Map

Leeds Map 900N from Babylon

 At about 3 miles turn left off the main road to a Fenced Parking Area about 200 feet from the main road.

Fenced Parking Area and Trails to the Arch Parking

From the Fenced Parking Area there are 2 options to get to a Primitive Camping and Parking Area where the Arches trailhead is located. The marked Arch trailhead leaves from the south easterly corner of this area.

Primitive Camping Area with the location of the Arch trailhead

  1. Park at the main parking area and hike to the primitive camping/parking area a distance of about 0.5 miles. This trail goes through a wash, up the far side and veers right in an easterly direction a distance of about 0.5 miles, ending in the primitive camping/parking area at the base of sandstone cliffs.
  2. If you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle or ATV you can reach the primitive camping area by turning  right out of  the main parking area going in a north-easterly direction ¼ mile taking the first main road to the east which drops down through the above wash and up the other side and thence in an easterly direction to the primitive camping/parking area.

For a one page printout of the directions click Directions to the Arch Trail.

Road Condition

The road to the main parking area from the Leeds turnoff descends gradually and is quite rough and sandy in places. A high clearance vehicle may be needed to travel this road. Also this road can be sand covered in places making it difficult to return as the return is uphill. The main road which continues on to the Virgin River and the historic Stormont Silver Mill is steep and rocky and requires a 4 wheel drive vehicle or ATV.

The Trail

The Pentagon Arch trail can be considered in three parts. The first part is about ½ mile through beautiful sandstone formations; the second is the steep descent to the arch; and the third is about ½ mile from the arch to the Virgin River.

The Arch trail gradually descends through a beautiful maze of red sandstone formations, including some spectacular layered wave formations. You come out of this area of the trail onto a high promontory overlooking the Virgin River valley with spectacular rock formations around and below you. This part of the trail is well marked and relatively easy to traverse.

At this point the trail goes down a steep sand slope off the right side of the promontory to the arch at the bottom of this slope. The location of this descent is easy to spot with tracks down it. Travel down the right side. This trail passes beside the arch and then continues on to the Virgin River.

Arch at the bottom of Sandy Hill

The trail down the steep sand slope is very strenuous to ascend. Alternately, you can view the distant arch below from a ridge to the west of the sand slope. The trail is given a moderate rating due to the steep ascent back up the slope.

Even if you don’t actually go down to the arch the trial out through the sand stone rocks is well worth the trip.

Here are pictures taken on April 10, 2015.