Out and Back
When coming from St. George, head north on I-15 approximately 13 miles and take exit 22 to Leeds/Silver Reef. Head north on Hwy 228 (Main Street) for 2 miles then take a right onto 900 North. Here you will find a sign for Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. Keep following 900 North for around 3 miles then turn left after the Sand Cove Trailhead sign.
You access the trail from the Sand Cove Trailhead, or the Primitive Camping Area Trailhead. Please note that it’s essential to have a vehicle with 4WD and high clearance to get to the Primitive Camping Area. The road to the Sand Cove Trailhead is also sandy and 4WD or AWD is suggested. Continue past the Primitive Camp Area, then past the Sand Cove Trailhead for a couple hundred feet then take a right. Follow this road until it ends then you’ll be at the trailhead.
Babylon Arch trail is a very sandy trail located in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. It’s a moderately challenging hike, with a few steep sandy descents and one steep climb, but the experience and vistas are well worth the effort! You can avoid one steep climb by keeping to the West route. The hike is full of great views of rugged red cliffs, sandstone formations and green desert flora.
Babylon Arch in set amongst other red desert rock formations. You can walk through it and explore the area around it as well. You can continue on a bit further and enjoy the beauty of the Virgin River as it winds through the desert landscape.
You’ll want to leave yourself a few hours to hike the trail entirely and bring plenty of water, especially in the summer as the heat index can soar well above 100 degrees around midday. Keep in mind that it’s possible that you will get sand in your shoes as you navigate through the sandy washes and climbs. Boots are recommended if you have them. There are a series of meandering paths that lead away from the main trail and wayfinding can be difficult so it’s important to look for and follow the signs and stacked rock cairns to keep on the path.
This trail is lightly trafficked and perfect for exploring at your own pace. October – April is the ideal time to hike it, but it can be accessed and enjoyed year round. Babylon Arch is one of the most satisfying hikes in Washington County and offers solitude and breathtaking scenery.