Collet Top Arch is a rarely visited arch in the Grand Staircase Escalante NM. The arch sits above a small alcove and ancient pueblo granary. The granary is slightly difficult to access and is very well preserved, despite being about 700 years old. There is a second arch named Collet Top Granary Arch next to the granary. I found out about Collet Top Arch from my friend Stan Wagon who has explored GSENM extensively. I found GPS coordinates of the arch in Jen Munthe's/Chris Moore's excellent book "Arches of the Escalante Canyons and Kaiparowits Plateau" which is unfortunately out of print and difficult to find.
The granary and arch generally face northeast and are best photographed near sunrise, although sunset will work as well. I believe late fall / early winter would produce better light on the granary and arch than summer would, however the arch is at about 6,500 feet and is probably inaccessible after the first snow in the region.
Collet Top Arch is in the middle of a pine forest and cannot be seen until you are very close to it, so a GPS is needed to find it. The are two routes to the arch, one via Smoky Mountain Road, and one via Hole in the Rock Road. The map below shows both. The Smoky Mountain Road route is definitely preferable, the drive up to Collet Top from the east via Left Hand Collet Road is steep and the road is often impassable. I drove it only once and have little desire to do so again. Do not take the Hole in the Rock route without inquiring at the Escalante BLM office about the road's condition first.
Here are directions via Smoky Mountain Road:
Here is an overview map showing the route to Collet Top Arch:
To view the map larger please click on the box in the upper right corner of the map.
The USGS Collet Top map covers the roads in the vicinity of the arch, and the hike. The map can be downloaded in a variety of formats by clicking or right-clicking below:
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