Pool Arch Canyon – Moab Canyoneering


Wander through a maze of sandstone with big views, big rappels and nice winding narrows!

Pool Arch Canyon (aka Rock of Ages/Land Before Time) provides some of the best hidden views in Moab with an adventurous hike up through sandstone fins, over ancient sand dunes, and down through narrow canyons. As we navigate this natural obstacle-course, we’ll climb, down-climb, shimmy, scoot, wade through water and rappel to overcome many obstacles throughout the day. With competent leadership (that’s us!), this canyon is excellent for adventurous beginners and also those with some canyoneering experience.


  • Reviews 4 Reviews
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
  • Activity Level Moderate
All about the Pool Arch Canyon – Moab Canyoneering.
  • Duration: 6-8 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum Age:  We suggest a minimum age of 12 for Pool Arch Canyon trips. Exceptions are sometimes made, so please give us a call or shoot us an email to discuss your options.
  • Total Hiking Distance: 4 miles
  • Rappels: 3 (​130ft/40m, 50ft/15m, 100ft/30m​)
  • Distance from Moab: 10 minutes one-way
  • Season: All Year, hot in summer
  • All tours are private – just your group and your guide!
    • 1 Person – $436
    • Group of 2 – $218/person
    • Group of 3 – $210/person
    • Group of 4 or more – $195/person
    • Please call for availability if your group has 14 or more people in it

This natural obstacle-course is sure to please as we travel through a maze of sandstone fins, rappel through a huge arch and shimmy through a brief section of water-carved narrows. We start the day out by hiking on a rugged jeep trail, and quickly divert up a beautiful steep canyon where we scramble and climb our way up to the top. Take in the views here, as they’re some of the best in Moab.

We’ll take our time at the top here as we don harnesses, helmets and other gear that is required to safely descend our first drop at 130 feet! This spectacular rappel is through the route’s namesake – Pool Arch. While on rope, be sure to look up and marvel at the amazing work that wind and water have done to create this massive opening. What a treat!

From here, we’ll wade through a pool or two of water (depending on recent rains), chimney, shimmy, scoot and climb our way through the narrows. We’ll reach another rappel at 50 feet and our final rappel at 100 feet. Feel the air under your feet as you descend this final free-hanging drop!

Once we’re all down, we’ll hike back out to our vehicle as we revel in our accomplishments of the day!

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • All canyoneering gear and safety equipment
  • Instruction from experienced and fun guides
  • Transportation to and from the canyon
  • Private tour – just your group plus your guide(s)!
What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Lunch and snacks – please bring enough food to be out and active for 6-8 hours.
  • Water – we recommend at least 2 liters of water per person (at least 3 liters in the hotter months!)
  • Price does not include tax or guide gratuity

We rate our canyoneering trips based on physical difficulty. Pool Arch Canyon is a loop hike and requires some uphill, off-trail scrambling. There are places where we’ll use our hands and feet for progress and your guide will coach you through a few easy climbing moves. This canyon also offers the opportunity to use different techniques such as downclimbing, using a handline and “chimneying” (your feet on one wall, your back on the other). The hiking here is doable for anyone that is reasonably fit, but it is more adventurous than your run of the mill hiking trail.

Absolutely! Our private tours allow us to spend plenty of time at the top of each rappel going over rappel technique, answering questions, etc. On every rappel, you will be backed up with a second rope that the guide can use to slow you down or take over control if necessary. You’ll “learn the ropes” and be able to control your own speed, but you’ll never be 100% on your own.

For this canyon, whatever you would wear on a regular hike will be just fine. Prepare to get wet – we can almost guarantee that you’ll get your feet wet, so closed-toe shoes that can get wet are a must. Trail running shoes or old sneakers seem to work best for this canyon. “Waterproof” boots are not recommended, as they’ll turn from “waterproof” to “waterlogged” at the first ankle-deep pool. Depending on recent rains, you may have to wade or swim through a pool or two of water. Quick drying clothes and a warm layer are great for the cooler months. You can check the weather here before you arrive.

Please visit our FAQ page for answers to general questions about canyoneering.

Overall Rating
Reviewed On 19/11/2021

What a fantastic day!!! This was one of the most fun experiences I've ever had!!! Climbing up the canyon and rappelling down were both equally thrilling! Our guide Ed was great - confident and calm and a good teacher (which we needed since 3 of the 4 of us hadn't rappelled before). We did the Pool Arch trip which included 3 rappels and some fun climbing "challenges" that required learning some new ways to get around on the rocks. SO much fun...highly recommend this activity and Desert Highlights!

Reviewed On 19/11/2021

We had never done any canyoneering before and are so glad that we did this trip. It was fabulous! Melissa was extremely helpful with all her suggestions for our booking. Jake was an awesome guide, very friendly, skilled and knowledgeable; and he made us feel very comfortable and safe! Highly recommend Desert Highlights!!

Isabella Castrillo
Reviewed On 08/05/2021

Amazing experience! Just 2 of us with Jake, who was an awesome guide and person. Neither of us had done canyoneering since much younger days, though we’re avid hikers and reasonably fit. We felt safe and challenged, had a great time and the area was beautiful.

Reviewed On 29/03/2021

This canyon was so much fun! The hike to get up to the top was exciting, with some easy climbing over boulders. The rappels were awesome and our guide explained everything beforehand so we felt safe and knew we were in good hands. We shimmied between rocks and waded through pools of water - awesome for a hot day! I would highly recommend doing a full day with Desert Highlights!