|Season:||Spring, Summer, Fall|
Morning Glory is an easy half day excursion that begins approximately 5 miles west of Moab, Utah. After navigating through a series of drainages, fins and canyons, one rappels into a unique "hidden chamber" to the top of the Morning Glory Arch. A second free hanging rappel off the top of the arch brings you to the Negro Bill Canyon. From there it is an easy two mile hike to the Negro Bill Canyon trail head on Hwy 128.
From the Visitor Center in Moab, turn right onto Center St., continue .3 miles east on Center and turn right onto 400 East. Continue .4 miles on 400 East and turn left onto Mill Creek Drive. Continue on Mill Creek Drive, which will turn into Sand Flats Road, for 1.5 miles past the Slick Rock Bike Trail Head. Turn left onto an unmarked dirt road that leads to a radio tower visible from Sand Flats Road. This is the start point.
There is a $5.00 fee per vehicle to enter Sand Flats Road. The permit is valid for three days.
Morning Glory Arch is approximately two miles to the northwest from the radio tower. There is a pinnacle in this general direction that you can aim for if uncertain of your heading.
From the radio tower, follow a road to the northwest for approximately 1/2 mile. There is a trail that leaves the road at this point to your right, which is marked no motorized vehicles. Follow this trail to the northwest which will lead to a number of drainages.
All of the drainages lead to the first rappel point, the trick is to find the drainage that offers the path of least resistance. The closer you come to the rappel, you will find some of the drainages filled with brush. The drainage furthest west is just wide enough to pass through and will lead to a small pool (early April) at the bottom of a short down climb which is only a short distance to the first rappel point. Alternatively, there is a fin between drainages a bit further east that is an easy walk to the rappel point without the down climb. There are a number of other routes through the drainage that will lead to the rappel.
Whichever route is chosen, it should lead to a bolted rappel anchor above a steep drop off into the "hidden chamber". This rappel point is somewhat exposed, but not bad. A single 60 meter rope will take you to the bottom of this interesting chamber. From there, it is only a short distance to the top of the Morning Glory Arch. A tree above the arch serves as the rappel anchor for this double 60 meter rope rappel. This free hanging rappel is certainly the highlight of the excursion.
From the bottom of the Morning Glory Arch, follow the obvious trail out of Negro Bill Canyon to the canyon trailhead on Hwy 128.
This is not a loop. We hitchhiked from the Negro Bill Canyon Trail Head the six or so miles back into Moab where we had stashed a bike. There are a number of shuttle companies that would also be able to assist.