The Cove of Caves via Parade of Elephants Trail
The Cove of Caves via the Parade of Elephants Trail is a beautiful, low-traffic hike that provides lots of opportunities for exploration. This hike passes by the iconic Double Arch formation, to the Cove of Caves and Cove Arch. When hiking be sure to stay on the slickrock and avoid stepping on the cryptobiotic soil that thrives in this area.
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Route Description for The Cove of Caves via Parade of Elephants Trail
The Cove of Caves is an incredible area to explore in Arches National Park. This trail is undefined past the Double Arch, but it is not difficult to pick your way along the slickrock to the Cove of Caves and Cove Arch. This area has a lot of cryptobiotic soil- a crust of living soil built by microorganisms over hundreds, and sometimes thousands of years. This soil prevents erosion and is essential to maintain the integrity of the desert landscape. Cryptobiotic soil, however, is delicate, so please take care not to step on or damage it in any way.
From the Double Arch Trailhead follow the trail north for 0.5 km past the Parade of Elephants to Double Arch. Past the arch, the trail is not marked and some creative route finding is required to make it the next quarter mile past the Cove of Caves to Cove Arch that marks the end of this hike.
Take some time to explore the Cove of Caves and all that this beautiful desert landscape has to offer before turning around and following the same trail back to the parking area.
Getting to the The Cove of Caves via Parade of Elephants Trail Trailhead
From the Arches Visitors Center off of highway 191, follow Main Park Road for 15.1 km then take a right onto Windows Road. The Cove of Caves Trail begins at the Double Arch Trailhead at the end of Windows Road.
The Cove of Caves via Parade of Elephants Trail Elevation Graph
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