Eye of the Whale Arch via Willow Springs Road
The Eye of the Whale Arch trail in Arches National Park is one of the few off-pavement routes located in the park. The trail travels between the Tower Arch trail and the Willow Springs Road. The park recommends you drive this route from north to south as there are a few steep sections with deep sand, but I feel most 4×4’s could drive this route in either direction. This trail has been closed in the past due to washouts, so you may want to check with Arches before planning your trip to make sure it is open. The highlight of this trail is the Eye of the Whale Arch. While you can kind of see the arch from the trail, I recommend the short hike to get up close and personal with the arch. As I stated above, there are a number of sandy sections along this trail, and there is one steep slickrock ledge that needs to be driven. Other than that, most of the trail is pretty easy for a stock 4×4 and it follows the bottom of a wash for a ways. There are no spur trails or intersections along this trail, so route-finding is easy. If you are looking for a way to checkout Arches National Park and avoid the crowds, combining Salt Valley Road, Tower Arch, Eye of the Whale and Willow Springs Road is a nice little loop that can help you do just that. Please feel free to leave your comments and post your pictures from the Eye of the Whale trail below.