Fallen Peace Officer Trail begins 13 miles from the Colorado River bridge north of Moab just off of Hwy 191. The lovely memorial plaque shown above marks the beginning of the trail. This is a new trail to us and we are attempting it without an experienced guide. I could not find a .gpx file for this trail to download to my mapping software, so I will use only the trail guide book from funtreks.com that I purchased last year. The written directions in this book should allow me to “talk” Storm through the turns needed to proceed along this trail.
Fallen Peace Officer Trail
After setting our tripometer at zero to begin following the written trail guide, we soon realize that the directions for the trail that I am reading do NOT match the trail marking signs of which there are many – thank goodness! After a little over 4 miles we come to a notice thanking us for following the modified trail. The sign assures us that both we and the local wildlife are much happier with the new trail. Strange because the only animals we have seen so far are a few hungry cows. Ohhhh, I get it… the wildlife must be on the old trail! At mile 4 my book and the signs re-sync which is very reassuring.
Although scenic, there are some very tight spots on this trail. A little care is required to avoid scraping rocks with the side of the jeep. We take a break at the Tower Arch overlook. Tower Arch is within the boundaries of Arches National Park and is not close to this overlook.
Before hitting the trail, be sure to look at a picture of Tower Arch online so you can pick it out of the distant rock formations in the background. After some searching with binoculars, we finally locate this landmark. The next part of the trail borders Arches NP. Along this section, there are numerous warnings not to accidentally venture into the park.
Willow Springs Road
To complete the day, we follow Willow Springs Road trail into the backside of Arches. From the vantage of this road, we are treated to spectacular views of the park. We also travel the bonus 4 mile roundtrip route to Whale of the Eye arch. We try with no success to understand why this arch received that name.
Willow Springs Road deposits us inside Arches NP at the parking lot for Balancing Rock. Unlike the main entrance, there is no traffic jam waiting to enter the park here. We turn right and enjoy the never disappointing views heading out of the park toward Moab.
Pics from Fallen Peace Officer Trail
Willow Creek Pics (and into Arches NP)