Utah Map

Request Free Visitor Guides
  • Places To Go

    A summary of what Arches NP has to offer.

    Detailed overview for Arches NP, with custom maps, points of interest, and helpful things to know before you go.

    Summary list of destinations near Arches National Park.

    Explore travel information for Utah cities, towns, parks, regions and more.

    Coverage for every state in the United States.

    Explore neighboring countries (and soon countries throughout the world).

    All the beautiful National Parks in Utah.

    Moab

    Mountain biking mecca and top retreat for outdoor enthusiasts, the town of Moab might be small but the surrounding landscape is unarguably substantial.

  • Things To Do

    Searchable list of Arches NP tour companies, guides and outfitters, rental companies and more.

    Full information on Arches NP Tourist Attractions, Scenic Drives and other easy vacation activities…

    Detailed information on active pursuits in Arches NP such as biking, hiking, golfing and much more.

    Searchable lists of Arches NP museums, parks, galleries, and more.

    Introduction to all the things to do in Utah.

    Searchable list of tour companies, guides and outfitters, rental companies and more.

    Full information on Tourist Attractions, Scenic Drives, Sightseeing Tours and easy vacation activities..

    Detailed information on active pursuits such as biking, hiking, golfing and much more.

    Museums, parks, galleries, zoos, and everything else you could want to do in Utah.

    Things To Do

    Utah ski resorts are world-class, just like Utah snow. Find the ski resort that's perfect for you on your Utah vacation this winter.

    Learn More
  • Sleep + Eat

    Searchable listings of Arches NP hotels, motels, resorts, bed & breakfast, and more.

    Searchable listings of Arches NP RV parks and campgrounds.

    Searchable listings of Arches NP restaurants, bars, diners, and more.

    Searchable listings of Utah hotels, motels, resorts, bed & breakfast, and more.

    Searchable listings of Utah RV parks and campgrounds.

    Rent a RV or motor home, and start your vacation tour of Utah.

    Searchable listings of Utah restaurants, bars, diners, and more.

    Information on Real Estate in Utah.

    Lodging and Hotels

    Use our easy Lodging Search to find exactly the type of accommodation you are looking for at the right price.

    Search Now
  • Travel Planning

    Request Free Travel brochures for Arches National Park.

    Travel articles related to Arches National Park…

    Transportation companies, driving directions and more for Arches NP.

    Arches NP weather report, historic temperatures and climate info,…

    Travel and tourism books and maps for Arches NP.

    Searchable lists of Arches NP tourism offices and other helpful government agencies.

    Explore destinations near Arches National Park.

    Request Free Travel brochures from destinations throughout Utah.

    Travel articles related to Utah…

    Transportation companies, airports and interactive maps for Utah.

    Travel and tourism books and maps for Utah.

    Basic facts about Utah, including a guide to every city and town in Utah.

    Searchable lists of Utah tourism offices and other helpful government agencies.

    Tourism Planning

    To request Free Travel Planners, click on the image above.

    Learn More
  • Photos + Videos

    Searchable slide shows of Utah photos.

    Searchable slide shows of Utah videos.

    Searchable slide shows of Arches National Park photos.

    Searchable slide shows of Arches National Park videos.

    Photo and Video Gallery

    Browse photos and videos from across the state, take a virtual tour, search for the imagery you want to see.

    View Now
  • Map It!

Lower Courthouse Wash Trail

No Media or Maps Available
If you are the owner/manager of this business and would like to improve your listing, please submit a request.
No Media or Maps Available
If you would like to improve this listing, please contact us.
Address
126 N 10th St
Basics
Location:
In the southwestern corner of Arches National Park
Length:
5 miles oneway
Time:
3 hours
Elevation Range:
-100
Elevation Change:
-100 feet
Season:
Year round

Description

Courthouse Wash is a short, but very pretty canyon near the entrance to Arches National Park. You won’t see any arches in Courthouse but it is, nevertheless, a pleasant half-day walk. The canyon almost always has at least some water in it; consequently it is filled with cottonwoods and willows. The easiest place to walk is usually in the stream bed, so you should wear sneakers or other shoes suitable for wading. There are deer and raccoon tracks in the canyon, but the animal you are sure to see a lot of is frogs.
Location:
In the southwestern corner of Arches National Park
Length:
5 miles oneway
Time:
3 hours
Elevation Range:
-100
Elevation Change:
-100
Season:
Year round
Additional Details:
Before dropping into lower Courthouse Wash to begin your hike, pause for a while to study the red sandstone towers that rise from the surrounding valley. These photogenic formations are all part of the Entrada Sandstone geologic formation that dominates most of Arches National Park. The Courthouse Towers, after which Courthouse Wash was named, are located about a mile south of the trailhead.

Underneath the Entrada Sandstone Formation lies the Navajo Sandstone, a thick layer of light-colored rock that is very prominent in the canyons of southern Utah. Navajo Sandstone is generally much whiter than the reddish Entrada Sandstone, and it tends to erode into deep narrow canyons and smooth-walled cliffs with little fracturing. Entrada Sandstone, on the other hand, has an interesting tendency to erode into unlikely looking pillars and arches of the kind that have made Arches National Park famous. This hike begins very close to the boundary that separates the Entrada Sandstone from the older Navajo Sandstone. At first the canyon is very shallow, but as you proceed downstream the gorge cuts deeper into the Navajo Sandstone and the canyon walls soon become much higher.

You will be following the bottom of Courthouse Wash all the way to the point where Highway 191 crosses it, 0.2 mile before it reaches the Colorado River. The canyon starts out in a general easterly direction, then gradually swings around to the south. Four smaller side canyons join the wash before it reaches the Colorado, all coming in from the northeast, but in each case it is obvious which canyon is the main one. The smaller canyons all lead to an area in the park known as the Petrified Sand Dunes.

Sand, of course, is a by-product of the erosion that carved Courthouse Wash, and the floor of the canyon is filled with a thick layer of it. Walking on the dry, loose sand is tiring, but there is usually a lot of water in the streambed and it is easier to walk in or along the edge of water. Many people take their shoes off and walk barefoot most of the way.

Upper Courthouse Wash
If you want a longer walk you can begin your hike farther north on Highway 191 at the top of upper Courthouse Wash. The upper part of the wash begins on the east side of Highway 191, 5.7 miles north of the park entrance or about 0.2 mile south of the road leading to Dead Horse Point. This route first passes through a narrow canyon in the Entrada Sandstone, and then, after about 2.5 miles, emerges into a wide valley at the bottom of the Entrada Sandstone Formation. There is usually water in the streambed after the first 2.3 miles. Finally, after 7.8 miles, the wash reaches the national park road, where the hike through lower Courthouse Wash begins.

Email Page Link

Complete the form below to email this page to a friend or family member's email. You can send yourself an email as well. Your email and your recipient's email will NOT be shared with anyone. See our full Privacy Policy for details.
:
:
:
 
 
 
:
Copy Yourself on the Email Yes No
:
:

1

Select one or more Free Visitor Guides below

2

Complete the form to receive your guides by mail

Below are the Free Visitor Guides for Arches National Park. More Visitor Guides are available in Utah. Click here to view them all!

Moab Moab Moab
Southeast UtahMoab has long been a favorite destination for locals and world travelers alike. Southeast Utah is a must for any Utah traveler's itinerary.
Request this Free Visitor GuideRequested! You're all set! Request a few more Visitor Guides, or complete the form below to receive your guides by mail.
Utah - Life Elevated Utah - Life Elevated Utah - Life Elevated
StatewideWith five national parks and more than 40 state parks, Utah offers a wealth of outdoor activities for families & adventurers alike. Order your free Travel Guide today.
Request this Free Visitor GuideRequested! You're all set! Request a few more Visitor Guides, or complete the form below to receive your guides by mail.
Palisade, Colorado Palisade, Colorado Palisade, Colorado
WesternLife Tastes Good Here all Year Long!
Request this Free Visitor GuideRequested! You're all set! Request a few more Visitor Guides, or complete the form below to receive your guides by mail.

Specialty Guides

Holiday River Expeditions Holiday River Expeditions Holiday River Expeditions
Our rafting journeys include the Colorado, Green, San Juan, Yampa and Salmon River.
Request this Free Visitor GuideRequested! You're all set! Request a few more Visitor Guides, or complete the form below to receive your guides by mail.