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The Devils Garden Hike In Arches National Park

The Devils Garden Hike in Arches National Park

Updated January 2020

If there is one must-do hike in Arches National Park, I think it has to be the Devils Garden hike – a loop that includes the Primitive Trail. Over its 7.2 mile length you are treated to the highest concentration of arches in the world – if you include all the spur trails. The Devils Garden hike is truly a breathtaking beauty and one of my picks for top one day hikes in the world.

Heading off on the Devils Garden hike
Heading off on the Devils Garden trail

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Where is the trailhead for the Devil’s Garden Hike?

The trailhead for this hike is located at the end of the main road into Arches National Park. It can be crazy busy but don’t let that put you off.

Once you step onto the Primitive Trail Loop or continue past Landscape Arch you lose 90% of the people. They’re probably put off by the warning signs saying “Caution: Primitive Trail: Difficult Hiking”.

That’s not to say there aren’t a couple of slippery spots, even slightly airy spots but the trail is very doable if you’ve got a good fitness level.

What arches can you expect to see on the Devils Garden hike?

The Devils Garden hike over-delivers in the scenery department from the minute you set foot on the trail. I think it’s the best hike in the park.

If you do all the spur trails – which we did not – you can expect to see the following arches: Landscape Arch, Tunnel Arch, Pine Tree Arch, Double O Arch, Private Arch, Black Arch, Navajo Arch, Partition Arch and Wall Arch.

Interesting rock formations right off the bat on the Devils Garden hike
Interesting rock formations right off the bat
Awe inspiring rocks in Arches National Park especially on the Devils Garden hike
Awe inspiring rocks in Arches National Park

In early April by mid-afternoon the hiking is actually hot. Do carry a hat, sunscreen and bring several litres of water.

Even in early April the hiking is hot in the middle of the afternoon
Even in early April the hiking is hot in the middle of the afternoon
The scenery is excellent every step of the way
The scenery is excellent every step of the way
The Says Phoebe
The Says Phoebe
Interesting contrast in textures
Interesting contrast in textures

At the section pictured below, I figure our group of four is now on YouTube. The gentleman escorting his girlfriend had his video out while we helped her navigate a slippery section of slickrock. He didn’t as much as offer to help but was very keen on getting the whole ordeal on camera. I’d dump him if I were her with that attitude.

A tricky puddle to go through or get around
A tricky puddle to go through or get around
Another slippery section of rock to negotiate
Another slippery section of rock to negotiate
More great rock formations near the far end of the trail
More great rock formations near the far end of the trail
Interesting colourful plants on the Devils Garden hike
Interesting colourful plants on the hike
Some of our favourite hiking on the Devils Garden trail
Some of our favourite hiking on the Devils Garden trail
Excellent traction walking on these rocks
Excellent traction walking on these rocks
Admiring the hole in the rock
Admiring the hole in the rock

Do you know the difference between and arch and a bridge?

Typically there’s water under a bridge – though in the desert it may be sporadic – and there isn’t water under an arch. It seems there are always exceptions but it’s a good rule of thumb.

Walking along the spine towards Landscape Arch
Walking along the spine towards Landscape Arch
A family having fun on the rocks
A family having fun on the rocks
Landscape Arch - the longest arch in Arches National Park
Landscape Arch – the longest arch in Arches National Park
Long shadows at the end of our Devils Garden hike
Long shadows at the end of our Devils Garden hike

Other hikes in Arches National Park

There are another eight hikes in the park ranging in length from 0.3 – 3.0 miles round-trip. None are particularly difficult – and all are worthwhile. Do get to trailheads early if you want to get a parking spot. This is a very popular national park.

The other hike you must sign up to do is called the Fiery Furnace hike. You can reserve online – and you should especially for morning tours which fill months in advance.

The Fiery Furnace area
The Fiery Furnace area

The entrance fee to Arches National Park for a vehicle is $US30/vehicle or $US25 for motorcycles . It’s good for a week.

Before you go – read Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire. It’s a classic.

Further reading on things to do in the Moab area

The Devil's Garden Primitive Trail Hike in Arches National Park

 

Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

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