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1.46 miles

Elevation Gain

95 ft

Route Type



Added by Derek Mathewson

…Not sure about everyone else, but who doesn’t enjoy a less visited natural arch?!

This natural arch sits in Chinle's small town, just west of Canyon De Chelly National Monument. Hope Arch is definitely a gem that the locals know about, and the tourists do not, so if you plan to explore this arch, you’ll most likely have it to yourself. Before arriving, I had read that the arch sat on Navajo Nation land and that you needed a Navajo native to guide you there. After exploring for a few days in Canyon De Chelly, and wanting to make my next stop to Hope Arch, I asked locals and employees who worked in the National Monument about accessing the arch. After getting confirmation that it “does sit” on Navajo land, I could still access it as long as I respected the land, didn’t trespass on locals' property, and left no trace. So I did just that and made the drive there.

Getting there: From the 191 freeway, you’ll turn west on a road marked for the Chinle Hospital. The road quickly turns from solid to dirt road in about a mile, but the dirt road is wide and still passable for a 2WD vehicle. You’ll continue up the road passing the hospital, then a little further on the right-hand side, you’ll pass a large water tank. The dirt road will then take you up a fairly low mesa, but don’t be intimidated, it’s a short climb, and totally passable in a 2WD or 4WD vehicle. There are a plethora of forks on the dirt road, but continue to stay on the wide road. After driving on the windy road for multiple miles, the road will start to weave to the left. Once you see the two fin rocks and metal electric pole, you’ll turn right and park in between those. If you went past the electric wire pole, then you went too far. So, you will go almost 8.1 miles from the turn-off from the 191 to the two fin rocks.

I didn’t realize this until I started hiking, but the road continued to the arch, getting you within 200 feet. My truck could’ve made it, (because I have a 4WD truck) but I don’t think a 2WD vehicle could’ve made it. But nonetheless, the hike is about .6 to .7 miles one way and it’s easy. If you look to the north, you can see Hope Arch from the fins. Once you make the easy hike to the arch, enjoy it and take it in. You can approach both sides of the arch rather easily, and the views are wonderful!
The vertical opening of the arch is roughly 70 feet. Also, the best time to view the arch would be in the late evening…at least for photographers like myself. The pictures you see in this blog were taken from 8-8:40 p.m. After you’re done, you’ll head back the same way you came.

Again, this arch is pretty remote and doesn’t get a whole lot of visitors, so you’ll most likely have it to yourself. Respect the land and history of this special place, and take nothing but memories! Happy trails and never stop exploring.

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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