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Pretty slick and snowy, but well worth it.

This has been rebuilt and much steeper than before!!! Trail is going from rock step to rock step and kinda like doing high hurdles... lifting each foot up high but worth it

hiking
snow
1 day ago

Great first hike of 2019! I really recommend microspikes as it is slick and icy.

hiking
1 day ago

Need spikes right now on this one.

hiking
1 day ago

Challenging climb but worth it!

Rangers recommmended that I did not go up the royal arch without micro spikes! Flat irons loop was icy and snowy as it is!

hiking
10 days ago

You gotta be Alex Honnold if you wanna finish this one.

a challenging hike especially if you’re not used to the elevation. Incline right away and pretty much the whole time, but definitely worth it.

hiking
11 days ago

Definetly the hardest hike I’ve been on, bring lots of water and a small snack. If you’re from the Midwest like myself be prepared for the elevation difference, lots of yawns.

hiking
12 days ago

We saw 20-30 other groups out on this trail during our 3 hour hike today. Gorgeous views. No snow on the trail, but icy in spots as was mentioned a few days ago.

on Royal Arch Trail

hiking
15 days ago

I hiked this with a group in the fall. Outstanding hike and view at the arch. Hoping to trail run up to the "false summit" in the near future.

Nice short hike, rather steep, cool arch. Currently icy in spots, microspikes very helpful.

Hiked to Lake Dorothy up the Arapahoe pass on Sept 17, 2018. A beautiful day, we arrived at the trail head at 8:30 AM and were able to find a legal parking space just down the hill from the camping area. We only saw 5 other hikers the entire trip; one woman coming down, two college men who passed us on the way up and three people going up on our way down.
Very windy at the lake, The "shelter" at the the lake is little more than an organized pile of rocks that is too short to protect you from the wind. The Arapahoe trail was protected from the wind, and the sunny south exposure was very pleasant. Completed the 7.6 mile round trip in a little less than 4 hours with a lunch break at the lake.

Absolutely loved this trail! It was difficult and beautiful with an amazing arch worth hiking to. We hiked in Arches NP previously and this arch rivals many there, in fact, we were able to get directly under this one and were impressed with its size. The trail was well marked, offered varied terrain, and excellent views. The elevation, icy surfaces, steep inclines, and rock scrambles provided a nice challenge for us, but may make it challenging for some. Many parts of the trail had a thin layer of snow over solid ice, so consider wearing shoes with good traction.

Might see some big horns? You mean they will block the trail and you have to off trail it to finish? They’re worse than bears because at least bears will keep moving, the herd won’t. Also if you like surprises while hiking stop here. This is a series of like 5 “step” mountains. You cannot see the peak from the trailhead. It is a lot of up and downs that are steep and very gravelly/dusty. You will rely on cairns to get you to the top because waist-high oak trees protrude over the trail and it is quite narrow. Cool views from the top but I don’t know if its worth it to do again...

I would highly recommend wearing spikes. It was extremely icy- especially closer to the arch. There were point I was crawling on all fours and had to slide down some parts on my butt because it was so icy. Beautiful views though!

hiking
23 days ago

Fun to get there! Lots of cool places to climb off trail and great views. Went in December- be prepared for cold weather and ice. Take extra traction if possible to make it easier, not impossible without though.

hiking
25 days ago

My partner and I hiked Royal Arch Dec 26th. We left the pup at home, and I’m glad we did because some parts were icy and a little bit more difficult to traverse. I was surprised to see so many folks of all ages on the trail despite being the day after the holiday and how slippery some of the inclines were. It took slightly longer than I had expected but not too bad. I’m glad the weather held off until after we finished though, because I definitely did not look at the forecast. I would recommend making sure it isn’t going to snow/rain for about three hours before embarking.

Overall, the views were great and the arch is bigger than I expected based on the photo. Glad I brought a full bottle of water and let my small pup at home.

hiking
28 days ago

Excellent hike with a beautiful view your reward after steep climbing. Spikes needed in some areas today. Not all the great arches are in Utah!

hiking
29 days ago

Hiked this mid day on 12/22. Light snow to start then clouds and sun. Second half of the trail is steep and a fair amount of ice. Most people were in tennis shoes but we saw quite a few falls. We were happy to have poles and microspikes. The views from the arch are amazing. Great photo opp.

hiking
29 days ago

This was a challenging one. We went on 12/22 and it snowed throughout the day. We brought hiking spikes just in case (definitely needed them in this weather with this amount of scrambling).

Beware of big horns on this trail. They blocked our path at one point and wouldn’t move so we got kinda trapped up there.

Hiked this today on 12/20. Great hike, with a steady incline the whole way (except near the arch). Would have been awesome if it weren’t for the ice that covered most of the trail. We only had hiking boots, but poles and traction would have helped. It’s manageable with just boots, but watch your step, and be wary for black ice. No snow on the trails as of today.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely gorgeous trail. Don't let the 8 mile distance deceive you, steep elevation gain and constant winds make this hike a challenging and fun winter hike. Definitely recommend micro spikes and crampons. Snowshoes aren't really necessary.

The trail basically has 4 parts: the lake, the glacier, the tundra, and the peak. Immediately you start to gain elevation as you hike up to St. Mary's Lake, but nothing too difficult. The first steep climb is up St. Mary's Glacier where you begin to notice the constant wind. This is where I went from just micro spikes to crampons with patches of ice along the climb. Though there's not much elevation climb, the trek across the wide open tundra is made challenging by the constant wind. I stayed comfortable and warm by leaving no exposed skin, however I still had to work hard as I was facing a constant headwind. I didn't it make it all the way up to the peak, stopping at a rocky outcrop before turning around. If I wasn't by myself and my phone hadn't died, I would've pressed onward. Definitely a doable winter summit hike, just be prepared!

Went early Sunday morning (12/9). Microspikes would have been nice, but by no means did you NEED them. 90% of the hikers were wearing tennis shoes (including me). Just take it slow if you are nervous about slipping.

on Royal Arch Trail

trail running
1 month ago

On a beautiful Sunday, it was relatively calm and I had the trail to myself for large portions of the trip although traffic increased toward late morning. Packed snow after the final creek crossing and used traction for most of the ascent. Removed for the downclimbing rock scramble 'cause the rocks were clear then put them back on for the last portion to the Arch. Repeated on the descent.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked 12/8

40-50mph sustained winds. Party of 3 with avalanche gear, rescue equip and all the layers. Glad we had it. We got about halfway through the long saddle before realizing we not only couldn’t visualize the destination by then, but also were getting some wicked frostbite on the covered areas of our faces. We made the right decision to turn back and do some rescue practice when...

Avalanche occurred on steep face of st Mary’s on our return. We spent some time on the NW side of the glacier practicing rescues and arrests. On our way down noticed a large rescue squad who mentioned an avalanche occurred minutes earlier. Visibility was 20-30ft so we didn’t believe them until we looked at the lake bed from a plateau....we knew the terrain and not to hike this area because of the risk, and boy are we glad.

Great place to practice, but even here you need to be aware. Forecast on avalanches were low-moderate risk, but the very strong winds this weekend created a cornice that when broken by a skier above, unleashed a sizable slide.

STAY TO THE RIGHT as you head up the glacial drainage, bring all the gear and make your decisions before it’s too late.

Without the wind destroying our little bit of exposed skin, it would have been a pleasant ~5 hour trek. It was a great shortened summit to the top of St. Mary’s and the two mountains on each side of the glacier. Difficult but not insane. Crampons, snowshoes, pole and maybe and axe recommended. 10-30” in most places.

Not for tourists visitors, but also not only for seasoned veterans. Somewhere in between with emphasis on basic mountain safety knowledge.

Great hike for sure. It is very strenuous especially if you go clockwise up Fern trail. Lots of elevation gain fast. Didn't need spikes for most of trail up until about the last 800 ft. in gain. Also needed them going back down for most of the trail. Great views in multiple spots. If you can, climb up to Bear peak actually and not just as it shows on the trail map. It is a bit of a scramble, but views are absolutely worth it.Just be careful especially with ice and snow. This was a favorite hike of mine now. I will go back in summer months when there is no snow to check it out then as well.

Awesome hike with stunning mountain views, wildflowers, and a beautiful lake. Perfect for a single day hike. Get there early for parking when the weather is nice.

been there twice last 2 weeks.
bring microspikes. it will make your hike safer and easier. by the end is windy, amazing views. few people hiking it in November.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! Yaktraxs are an absolute must as a majority of the trail is covered in ice. Make sure you take your time; we saw some people slip and fall and it’s easy to get hurt. Although they weren’t wearing spikes those that were were still using caution. It’s well worth it once you get to the top!

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