Phipps Arch was a challenge. Cairns were very few until halfway up the ridge. A couple of spots took me some time to think through and overcome. But the payoff was huge: Phipps Arch and God's Arch Nursery at the top. With Maverick Arch took me 6.5 hours.
Justin, Kimberly, and I first hiked down to the Weaver Pictographs in upper Phipps Wash. We were hoping to connect the route with lower Phipps Wash, but we found that to be impractical without long ropes.
We walked down to the Escalante River and followed it down river to Phipps Wash, which we hiked up. We vistited teh side fork containing Maverick Natural Bridge before hiking up canyon and climbing up to Phipps Arch. This part was tiring in the afternoon heat.
It was a good hike, but we ended up doing 15 miles, which was a longer hike than what we planned.
We camped on the rim along the Old Sheffield Road, so started from there. Excellent hike down the slickrock to Phipps Wash, then down the wash to the cairned route up to Phipps Arch- which was fantastic. Then we kept going down to the Escalante River and waded a couple of times downriver to get to a spot across from the mouth of Deer Canyon. We were hoping to find a route up and out to the south and back to the Sheffield Road but did not see much going on there. We didn't have time to check it out very thoroughly and decided we had to go with the safe route back up Phipps Wash, arriving just at dark. The days sure are short in November! I better go back and locate that route.
Hiked to Phipps Arch and Maverick Bridge from the Escalante River trailhead. Phipps stood out because it is a relatively young arch.
The forecast said sunny but woke up to see rain. Started the hike at 8:20 a.m. when the rain had slowed. It soon got sunny. Reached the arch at 11:10. Back to car 2:15 p.m.