The second you set foot into Arches National Park, make sure you head straight to the Devil’s Garden trail, one of the best hikes in the entire park.
It is along this trail that hikers will find seven of the most breathtaking arches in the park, including the Landscape Arch, the Double O Arch, and the Navajo Arch.
If you fancy a spectacular and slightly challenging day hike, the Devils Garden Trail is a popular trail that offers great views.
If you have more days in Arches National Park, be sure to plan a hike to Delicate Arch too.
Don’t leave home without your own: Lonely Planet USA’s National Parks (Travel Guide)
The Devils Garden Trail in Arches NP
Devils Garden Trail Map & Location
HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you’ll find a map of our highlights for hiking the Devil’s Garden Trail in Arches National Park. Click on the top left of the map to find separate layers marking the route and points of interest. You can hide and show different layers, or click icons on the map to see the names of places we mention in this travel guide. “Star” the map to save it to your own Google Maps, or open the map in a new window for a larger version.
Visitors will find the trailhead to the Devil’s Garden Loop about 35 minutes away from the Arches National Park Visitor Center located at the park entrance; simply make your way along the Arches Scenic Drive.
The trailhead is situated at the end of the main road in the Devils Garden parking area. Most visitors to the park stay in the nearby town of Moab, located only 10 minutes from the visitors center.
Know Before Hiking the Devils Garden Trail
The Devil’s Garden Trail is one of the most popular trails in not only Arches National Park, but all of Utah. The reason behind its fame is that it takes visitors through mesmerizing trails showcasing all the beauty of Utah.
Despite the fame of the Devil’s Garden Trail, its difficulty level is what turns many travelers away.
General Overview of the Devils Garden Trail:
- Length: 7.8 Miles loop trail with all 7 arches
- Hike Time: 4 hours on average
- Elevation Gain: 1,350 feet
- Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
It’s important to note that the Devil’s Garden is a loop, with many splinter trails along the way.
Although the entire trail is 7.8 miles long, hikers looking for an easy hike, versus challenging, can do sections of the trail, such as to the Landscape Arch or the Double O Arch.
Popular Section Alternatives:
- Landscape Arch Round Trip: 1.6 miles
- Double O Arch Round Trip: 4.2 Miles
- Dark Angel Round Trip: 5 miles
- Pinetree & Tunnel Arches Spur Trail: 0.5 miles
- Navajo & Partition Arches Spur Trail: 0.8 miles
Do you like hiking? If so you need to check out: Best Hikes in the USA: 15 Stunning Trails You Cannot Miss
Who Should Hike the Devils Garden Trail?
Although the Devils Garden main trail is one of the most breathtaking stretches of trail in Arches National Park, it’s not for everyone.
With sudden changes in elevation and narrow rocks, you’ll find yourself scrambling to make your way up the trail; for some, this hike may seem impossible.
If you’re not in shape, have balance issues, or part of a family with young children, you might want to rethink hiking the Devil’s Garden Loop. There are exposed areas with steep climbs and high drop-offs.
Alternatively, the first section of the Devil’s Garden Trail to the Landscape Arch is a simple path, easily conquered by travelers of all ages and experience levels.
Above all, know your limits. If you have concerns, you can ask the park rangers at the entrance for advice.
You cannot visit the area without joining a Daytime Jet Boat Tour on the Colorado River.
Best Time To Visit & When To Go
Summer is the peak season in Arches National Park; therefore, you’ll see the highest volume of tourists during this time. Lasting from June to August, you’ll have to endure temperatures peaking at over 100 degrees.
The winter season sees far fewer tourists, and you’ll have all the trails practically to yourself. From November to March, temperatures drop to about 30 degrees, which can be easily dealt with by wearing appropriate layers.
What turns people away from traveling during winter is the ice and snow, which makes the trails difficult to hike. In the Devil’s Garden Trail, some of the slippery rocks become treacherous.
If you’re looking to make the most of your trip along the Devil’s Garden Trail, make sure you visit Arches National Park during the spring or fall. We visited in October.
Lasting from April to May and September to October, these months will give you cooler weather and far fewer people. With all the roads open and park services available, there’s no better time to visit the park.
For those adventurous travels, we suggest joining the Moab Canyoneering Experience.
You see all the photos, we took them! Are you not happy with your photos from your last trip? Here’s what we use to capture all of the photos in this blog post.
What To Bring on the Hike
The Devil’s Garden Trail is a hike you need to prepare for before you attempt it. There are several things you’ll need to pack to get the most out of your trip.
If you’re visiting Arches National Park during the summer months, you’ll be hiking in 100-degree heat. With little shade, hikers will need to bring plenty of water and a shady hat to protect themselves from the sun.
With high elevation and cold winters, you’ll also want to be sure to bundle up if you’re visiting the park during the off-season. Lip balm is a must, as the dry air will give you cracked lips unless you protect them.
Bringing proper footwear is also essential. Some hikers may also benefit from bringing a hiking stick.
Our Recommended Essentials List for the Devils Garden Hike:
- Day pack to carry snacks, water & camera gear
- Water bottles or water bladder
- Minimum of 2 liters of water per person
- High energy snacks like trail mix or Clif bars
- Hat & sunglasses
- Long sleeve sunshirt (we love these!)
- Shoes with good tread (Chacos, trail runners or hiking shoes)
- Blister kit – at least some moleskin or tape for hot spots
- Headlamp & layers if hiking for sunset or sunrise
- GPS Device – it’s easy to get lost on the Primitive Trail
Looking for more advice on what to pack for hiking? Have a look at 40 Hiking Essentials: The Ultimate Hiking Packing List.
Do you have a good hiking day pack? Here’s our advice on how to choose the best hiking daypack.
What to Expect on the Devils Garden Trail
Devil’s Garden Trailhead & Parking Lot
The Devils Garden parking lot is 18 miles away from the visitor center. Simply head east for about 35 minutes and drive to the end of the main road.
It is here that you will find plenty of parking spaces, restrooms, water refill stations, and the Devils Garden Trailhead. If you’re visiting the parking during the summer season, arrive early, otherwise, you may find it difficult to find a parking spot.
If you’re looking to stay overnight in Arches National Park, be sure to check out the Devils Garden campground located right by the trailhead. Not only will you experience the park at night, but you’ll have the advantage of starting the hike without the crowds in the early morning.
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Pinetree & Tunnel Arch Side Trail
The first part of the trail is well-groomed and easy to follow. Approximately 10 minutes from the trailhead, you’ll have the option to take your first out and back spur trail to the right.
This 0.5 miles trail offers you the chance to view Pinetree Arch and Tunnel Arch, adding around 15 minutes to your hike time.
You’ll come across Tunnel Arch first, a window-like arch that you can only view from the trail.
At the end of the short spur trail, you’ll find Pinetree Arch. Unlike Tunnel Arch, you can get right up to the base of this arch.
The next stretch of the trail leads to the Landscape Arch. Stretching a total of 1.6 miles, this is the most straightforward and popular part of the loop. Spanning 306 feet, Landscape Arch is the largest arch in the park.
Today the arch is only 11 feet wide after a section of the arch collapsed in 1991. Due to the fragility of the arch, people are no longer allowed to visit the base of the arch.
Don’t let that deter you, though, as you can get an incredible view of the arch from the trail and various viewing platforms the park has installed. Make sure you bring a wide-angle lens to capture the whole arch.
If you do not want to hike the entire Devils Garden Trail, this is where you’ll want to turn around and retrace your steps back to the parking lot.
If you are into photography you need to join the Sunset and Night Photography in Arches National Park.
Having a set of good hiking poles is a must! Here are our tips for finding the Best Hiking Poles: Top 5 + How to Choose the Right Ones
Climbing Up the Narrow Fin
Once you leave Landscape Arch, the trail will turn from loose sand to sandstone. It is at this point that the difficult hiking starts with a steep section and you have to start climbing!
Admittedly, this was our favorite part of the hike. It’s both a bit challenging and exciting to scale the rock fins along this trail. It’s not easy to get lost, as once you start up the fin, you can really only go one way up or down.
There isn’t a lot of room, though, so you’ll need to be courteous and make wise decisions when you encounter other hikers. There is a steep drop on both sides of you and there are no railings or chains on this section of the trail.
Navajo & Partition Arches Spur Trail
Once you reach the top of the first fin section, you’ll walk a short distance before coming across the 0.8 round trip spur trail that will take you out to both Partition and Navajo Arches.
Too many hikers skip this spur trail, and in doing so are missing out on two of the most spectacular arches in Arches National Park. At most you’ll add 30 minutes to your hike making it a worthwhile detour.
Partition Arch offers up two windows, one huge and one small, overlooking a beautiful sandstone valley below. When we visited, we were the only ones there!
Navajo Arch offers some shade and an entirely different type of arch that more closely resembles a cave. Like Partition Arch, we were the only ones here during our visit.
Sandstone Fins Along the Trail
Moving on from the Partition and Navajo Arch trail, you’ll again climb a bit and then hike along a flatter section on top of the fin. To the right, you’re going to have some of the most spectacular views in the entire park.
It is here that you’ll see a valley with hundreds of sandstone slabs protruding from the ground. It’s stunning, so make sure you take a little time to appreciate the view. Of the millions that visit Arches National Park each year, few will actually see it.
Black Arch Overlook
Finding the Black Arch overlook is easy, as you come across a sign on the main trail. The detour is super short and well worth it.
Once you arrive, you’ll have to search in the distant landscape to catch a glimpse of the arch, but also make sure to take in the other scenery. It’s a fantastic spot to enjoy the beauty of the park.
Double O Arch
Leaving the Black Arch overlook, return to the main trail where you’ll start a descent that involves some rock scrambling down to the Double O Arch.
This is a great place to take a rest, drink some water, eat some snacks or lunch and enjoy some shade before continuing.
At this point, you have the option of retracing your steps back to the parking lot or continuing along the loop.
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Dark Angel Trail Detour
If you want to get a close-up view of the Dark Angel, which is a large sandstone pillar, continue on from the Double O Arch and take the detour when you reach the sign. This will add 0.8 miles to your hike.
The start of the Primitive trail is flat enough, but eventually, you’ll find yourself navigating some steep slopes, narrow ledges, and having to do some rock scrambling. You’ll also cross a few sandy washes to cross.
The trail is marked with rock cairns, but they are hard to see and it’s easy to lose the trail.
We recommend that you carry a GPS device with pre-loaded maps if you want to hike the entire loop. Don’t expect to have cell service in the park nor depend on it for a navigation tool.
On the Primitive Trail, you’ll be passing through sights such as the Fin Canyon, Private Canyon, and can take a short detour to see Private Arch off the Private Arch trail.
Be sure to have plenty of water before you head down the Primitive Trail; this section of the hike adds at least two hours to your hike time.
Want to do more in the Moab area? We suggest getting off the normal tourist path and joining a Hell’s Revenge UTV 4×4 adventure.
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