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Behind The Rocks & Pool Arch

Moab Area Rock Art XXVI | Sunday, February 21, 2016

Pool Arch II
Pool Arch hidden in the Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area near Moab.

On Sunday morning I met up with Marty in Moab so we could hike into the Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area to visit Pool Arch (also known as Teardrop Arch) and do a little more exploring in the area. We drove over to the mouth of Pritchett Canyon along the Colorado River and started hiking up the 4×4 road. We soon left the road and began to follow a narrow slot canyon that would take us pretty much straight to the arch. Much of the hiking was easy but there was one steep section near the beginning that was a bit trickier than I had expected. At first we were a little worried we wouldn’t be able to continue, but we managed to climb up it and carry on.

Nice light as we climbed up the narrow canyon into the Behind the Rocks area.

Golden Wall

A view of Chimney Arch from the trail below.

Chimney Arch

After climbing up a few levels of the canyon we reached a steep slot to descend and were greeted at the bottom by Pool Arch.

Pool Arch

Pool Arch reflected in the pool below.

Pool Reflection

A view from underneath the arch.

Under Pool Arch

After taking a few photos of this impressive arch we climbed back up the slot we had just descended and did a little more exploring of the area.

Marty taking a short break after climbing back up from the arch.


The Tombstone.


While exploring the area we came across this small but nice petroglyph panel.

Behind the Rocks Petroglyphs

A different view.

Panel Detail

I searched the canyon walls in this area for more rock art and only managed to find this other panel nearby.

Cloud Panel

Views of the head of the valley we were in.

Head of the Valley

Hiking back down through the narrow and steep slots.


Narrow Passage

Marty stops to take a photo.

Taking Photos

Striped Wall

The final crack we had to climb back down through. This was the trickiest section for us on the way up, but it wasn’t as bad on the way down.

The Way Down

Throughout the morning the sky above was clear and blue, but as we were nearing the end of our hike a few clouds moved in overhead.

Between Fins

Sandstone & Clouds

Looking back up the side canyon we had just descended from it’s confluence with Pritchett Canyon.

Access Canyon

On my drive back home I caught the sunset on Rabbit’s Ear Mesa over I-70 from the overpass in Rabbit Valley.

Rabbit Valley Bridge Sunset

>> Pool Arch Photo Gallery


  1. Betty
    Betty May 6, 2016

    Did you do this as a hike, no canyoneering skills or special equipment needed?

    • Randy Langstraat
      Randy Langstraat May 6, 2016

      Yes, this was just a hike, although there was one tricky section that needed to be climbed. No climbing/canyoneering gear was necessary.

  2. Brent Berrett
    Brent Berrett May 5, 2017

    I was just there this past weekend. Didnt know what the arch was called. Just followed a side trail and came upon it. Super Awesome arch! If you have it, would you mind emailing me the location of the petroglyph panel? I want to go back and explore more of the fins in that area and would love to check out that panel.

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