Devil’s Garden

  • Difficulty
  • 4.2km
  • 99m
  • 1-1.5h
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This quick hike runs down a gorgeous narrow canyon, meeting up with the highway at its beginning and end. Wonderful views of desert towers and sheer sandstone cliffs fill the scenery.

Getting there

From downtown Moab drive north on the 191 for 4.6 miles (7.4 km). Turn right into Arches national park and pay the entrance fee. Drive along Arches Scenic Drive for 16.3 miles (26.2 km) until its end. Find parking in the large, but usually crowded, Devils Garden parking area.

elevation

Total Gain: 99m

About

Type of Hike Out and Back
Crowd Levels Moderate to Busy
Route Signage Mixed
Toilets Yes
Family Friendly Yes
Backcountry Campgrounds Yes
When to Do Year Round

 Detailed Description

Starting at the apex of the parking area road loop, the wide sandy trail starts off with a bang, leading you directly between two massive vertical rocks. The trail snakes between them and plops you out on the other side – in another world filled with vertical rocks and incomprehensible arches.

As you hike along the path you’ll soon reach a junction. Taking a right here grants a quick detour to observe Tunnel Arch and Pine Tree Arch. These stunning sights are well worth the minimal effort, and both offer different variations on the theme of the park. If you have especially young kids or just want a quick jaunt, going to see these two arches is easily worth the drive.

Return to the main trail and continue hiking along. As you follow the route you will see both expansive views of the plain extending in all directions, as well as delicate towers and knife ridge fins. There will be several sections with mild elevation gain, however they are spaced out and not too strenuous. Towards the end of the path there will be two turn offs for the ‘primitive trail’. Do not take these.

As you reach the end of the trail you will see why most of your fellow hikers have made the trek. Landscape Arch dominates the skyline for the last half mile, and its delicate construction inspires amazement and fear. In recent year, massive chunks of rock have fallen from the arch, closing the trail  directly beneath and leading experts to question how much longer this natural wonder will last.

Insider Hints

  • Going early in the day beats the crowds, the heat, and gives the best light to photograph Landscape Arch
  • If you are feeling up for it, continue along the primitive trail to see more arches and towers. Don’t forget extra water and sturdy boots!