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Morning Glory Natural Arch
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Morning Glory Arch in Moab

Morning Glory Arch is the world's sixth largest, depending on how you measure. While massive in size, it plays a clever game of hide-and-seek below the Medieval Chamber and is suspended in silence above the gurgling echoes of the grotto at the upper end of Grandstaff Canyon. Seeing it suspends belief, and rappelling from it makes it all the more memorable.

See Morning Glory Arch in one of two ways:

  1. Hiking up from the trailhead near the Colorado River and Highway 128
  2. Rappelling down ropes into Medieval Chamber and then from Morning Glory Arch into lush green grotto

Moab Canyoneering 22
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Experience a Morning Glory Arch on a Canyoneering Adventure

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Canyoneering Moab: Morning Glory Arch & Medieval Chamber

An incredible canyoneering introduction, with two rappels: 100' into a hidden chasm, and 110' off a giant rock arch! Follow a winding canyon stream out to the Colorado River.

  • Duration: Approximately 5 hrs
  • Departure Times: Morning and Afternoon
  • Season: April - November
ADULT (13+)
YOUTH (10-12)

Fun Facts about Morning Glory Arch

Morning Glory Arch is One of the World's Largest

Morning Glory Arch, with a span of 243 feet is indisputably one of the ten largest arches in the world. Only ten natural arches in the world exceed 200 feet. The Colorado Plateau has nine, six of those in Utah. While one of the world's largest arches in the world, it is difficult to photograph due to a mere fifteen feet of separation from the cliff alcove to which it was once bonded. But that's the very thing that makes it so great for rappelling!

Morning Glory Arch is Not a Natural Bridge, We Think

Morning Glory Arch is an "alcove arch" and not a natural bridge, according to the Natural Arch and Bridge Society (NABS). The definition of a bridge is that it spans a waterway or a dry canyon where water would run in a rainy season. Morning Glory Arch sits to the side of a gurgling spring that emerges from a fissure in the stone at the top end of Grandstaff Canyon. However, when rain waters flow down from the side canyon known as Medieval Chamber, the arch does span a waterway - so maybe the Natural Arch and Bridge Society has a little more explaining to do.

Questions About Morning Glory Arch

How tall is the Morning Glory Arch rappel?

The rappel itself descends 110 feet from the cliff directly adjacent to Morning Glory Arch. You will glide down the rope just a few feet away from the massive but slender slab of stone that makes up the arch. Scientifically speaking, natural arches and bridges are measured from the bottom of the arch to the ground below, making Morning Glory Arch measure at 75 feet above the ground.

How long is the hike to Morning Glory Arch?

The hike to Morning Glory Arch from the trailhead at the bottom of Grandstaff Canyon is 2.2 miles. On a canyoneering tour, you will hike roughly a mile before encountering Morning Glory Arch.

Is Morning Glory a good hike for kids?

The canyoneering experience itself, or specifically rappelling down a rope over considerable heights can be a big experience for adults and especially for kids. The recommended age for canyoneering is 10 years old. Otherwise the hike up or down Grandstaff Canyon is easy and fun for kids. Canyoneering is a fantastic teambuilding activity.

Can you drink the water under Morning Glory Arch?

Clean spring water gurgles out from the fissure at the base of Morning Glory Arch. If you catch water straight from that spot it should be good, clean drinkable water. It's a great idea to refresh and top off your water bottles before the hike down Grandstaff Canyon.

Do I still get to do the whole hike if I do the canyoneering tour of Morning Glory Arch?

Yes. Your canyoneering hike begins at the top of Grandstaff Canyon and ends at the trailhead parking lot at the bottom of the canyon. You will descend through Medieval Chamber just before dropping over Morning Glory Arch into Grandstaff Canyon.

Where is the trailhead to Morning Glory Arch?

From downtown Moab, head north (Highway 191) toward the Colorado River bridge. Just before crossing the bridge, you will turn right, or east onto highway 128, or River Road as the locals call it. The trailhead for Grandstaff Canyon trail is located about 6 minutes (3.2 miles) from where highway 191 and 128 meet.

Is there parking at the trailhead to Morning Glory Arch?

The typical (non-canyoneering) hiking trail that leads to Morning Glory Arch is through one of the branches of Grandstaff Canyon. A small parking lot is available at the Grandstaff Canyon Trailhead. If you are hiking up the Grandstaff Canyon trail, this trailhead parking lot is your starting point.

Guests of the Morning Glory Arch Canyoneering Tour will rappel from the cliff near Morning Glory Arch and then finish their hike out of Grandstaff Canyon at this parking lot where a van will be waiting to return you to Moab and the Moab Adventure Center.

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Sun DividerFree Insiders Guide to Moab, UT

What to take, where to eat, where to stay, what to do, and a few little secrets on the side. Our Moab Insiders Guide will provide you with all the essentials for a perfect Moab experience.

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