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The Devil’s Garden – Primitive Trail Hike In Arches National Park

The Devil’s Garden – Primitive Trail Hike in Arches National Park

If there is one must-do hike in Arches National Park, I think it has to be the Devil’s Garden Loop hike that includes the Primitive Trail. Over its 7.2 mile length, if you include all the spur trails, you are treated to the highest concentration of arches in the world.

The start of the hike to the Devil's Garden - Arches National Park

The start of the hike to the Devil’s Garden and Primitive Trail

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

The trailhead for this hike is located at the end of the main road. 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 can you expect on the Devil’s Garden Primitive Trail hike?

The Devil’s Garden hike over-delivers in the scenery department from the minute you set foot on the trail.

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.

Devil's Garden Trail, Arches NP

Interesting rock formations right off the bat

Devil's Garden Hike, 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.

Devil's Garden Trail in Arches National Park

Even in early April the hiking is hot in the middle of the afternoon

Devil's Garden Trail, Arches National Park

The scenery is excellent every step of the way

Says Phoebe

Says Phoebe

Devil's Garden Loop hike in Arches NP

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.

Devil's Garden Trail - Arches NP

A tricky puddle to go through or get around

Devil's Garden Trail - Arches NP

Another slippery section of rock to negotiate

Devil's Garden Trail - Arches NP

More great rock formations near the far end of the trail

Arches National Park

Nice for us to see something colourful and alive on a hike

Looks like a face in the rock

Looks like a face in the rock

Wonderful walking on spines of rock - Arches National Park

Wonderful walking on spines of rock

Double O Arch, Arches National Park

Double O Arch

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 - Arches National Park

Walking along the spine towards Landscape Arch

Devil's Garden Trail - Arches NP

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 hiking day

Long shadows at the end of our hiking day

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 at this time of year if you want to get a parking spot.

The one 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 of Arches National Park

The Fiery Furnace area

The entrance fee to Arches National Park for a vehicle is $US10 – and it’s good for a week.

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

Other posts you might enjoy from this trip:

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 57,000 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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