Southern Utah’s Cobra Arch a true snake charmer

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Southern Utah’s Cobra Arch a true snake charmer

Cobra Arch: 100 points on the pleasure scale
Cobra Arch is a venomous snake, striations down the length of its body, eyes keeping watch from its elegant, hooded head. The statuesque span of Navajo Sandstone frames a Utah-blue skylight in brooding carmine.
Walk through a red pocket with a chaotic cluster of turtleback weathered domes, water-sculpted channels and a short slot.
Thomas Ward walks over the head of the cobra.
The fantastical face of The Dive has cantilevered sheets of fragile fins and polychromatic cross-bedding.
The Cobra Arch Trail bears southeasterly from the Middle Route Trailhead. It follows the rim of The Dive to a break in the Carmel Formation, drops 200 feet, and curves under Point 5,119’. Continue southeast to the arch.

Southern Utah’s Cobra Arch a true snake charmer

Cobra Arch is a venomous snake, striations down the length of its body, eyes keeping watch from its elegant, hooded head. The statuesque span of Navajo Sandstone frames a Utah-blue skylight in brooding carmine.
Walk through a red pocket with a chaotic cluster of turtleback weathered domes, water-sculpted channels and a short slot.
Thomas Ward walks over the head of the cobra.
The fantastical face of The Dive has cantilevered sheets of fragile fins and polychromatic cross-bedding.
The Cobra Arch Trail bears southeasterly from the Middle Route Trailhead. It follows the rim of The Dive to a break in the Carmel Formation, drops 200 feet, and curves under Point 5,119’. Continue southeast to the arch.
Travel basics

Travel: In a four-wheel-drive with good clearance, pass through Page, Arizona, and head west on U.S. 89. At mile marker 21.4, 0.6 mile west of the Paria Contact Station, turn south on Long Canyon Road at the Paria Outpost. Zero out your trip meter. Cross Long Canyon at 1.1 miles. The canyon soon slots up, the road on its left. Cross the wash for the last time at 3.3 miles. The track climbs the center of a narrow, precipitous spine (Do not attempt when wet!) to gain West Clark Bench at 4.2 miles. Avoid all roads branching off to the right. At 5.1 miles, stay straight on BLM 750. The road is subject to sandy patches and there is one short, stony cluster that requires good clearance. Park at 7.8 miles at a green gate, a solitary juniper, and a Middle Route Trailhead sign and register. No facilities.
Distance and Elevation Gain: 7.4 miles roundtrip to the arch with 700 feet of total elevation gain
Time: 4 to 5 hours
Difficulty: Trail; navigation moderate; no exposure; carry all the water you will need.
Maps: West Clark Bench, Utah-Arizona 7.5 USGS Quad; Trails Illustrated No. 859: Paria Canyon, Kanab

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