Devil’s Garden is one of the most visited sections in Arches National Park in the state of Utah, USA. A full dozen arches can be seen along the trails there, including Landscape Arch, one of the world’s largest and most famous. The arches are not the only attraction here, as the uniquely eroded sandstone fins of the area which give rise to such a concentration of arches are interesting in and of themselves. It is fun to hike amongst them and you’ll find plenty of photographic opportunities.
The main trail is accessed from the Devil’s Garden Trailhead. If you hike the entire 7.8 mile loop and all of its spurs, you’ll see 8 arches. This trail is busy, but you shouldn’t have any trouble enjoying your visit or getting a good picture of each arch. Most people hike only as far as Landscape Arch (about 1.5 miles round trip) along with the short spurs to Tunnel Arch and Pine Tree Arch. The ground is pretty level along this stretch and well marked – you’ll have no trouble finding your way.
The first spur hike from the main Devil’s Garden trail leads to Tunnel Arch and Pine Tree Arch. Tunnel Arch is a roughly 25 foot by 25 foot opening you’ll view from a short distance. It sits up a bit on a small cliff. Pine Tree Arch, on the opposite end of the spur, is larger at about 45 feet high and wide and is more approachable – you can walk up and stand under it.
Landscape Arch is one of the world’s best. With a 290 foot span, it is officially the fifth largest arch or natural bridge in the world, but with a thickness of as little as 6 feet, it ranks as one of the most endangered. Large hunks of rock have fallen from Landscape Arch in recent years and approaching this arch is now restricted for fear of increased erosion and for visitor safety. This dramatic arch could fall any day, or could last a century. There is no way to know.
The trail continues past Landscape Arch to nearby Navajo Arch and Partition Arch after the only significant uphill climb on the trail. If you are willing to take a longer hike, the impressive Double O arch lies beyond along with the spire named Dark Angel and also Private Arch along a spur of the trail. This section of the trail, and especially the more primitive trail you’ll be on as you complete the loop, is less visited than the portion leading to Landscape Arch.
There are additional trails to more arches in the Devil’s Garden Campground area. This area is much less visited than the trail including Landscape Arch. Tapestry Arch, Broken Arch, Sand Dune Arch and Skyline Arch are visible from this trail. The loop to see all of these is 1.7 miles. If you want to save hiking, Sand Dune Arch can also be accessed with a short .2 mile hike from the southern Broken Arch Trailhead near the main road.
The somewhat hidden Sand Dune Arch is 25 feet wide and 12 feet high. It can be reached in .2 miles from the southern Broken Arch Trailhead. You can walk up and stand under this arch. Broken Arch is .83 miles from the south parking lot in the camping area. It is 53 feet wide and 41 feet high. Tapestry Arch is .7 mile round trip. Make sure to scramble up behind to get a good perspective of the broad scenery beyond to the east.
Skyline Arch is also visible from the campground or there is also a trail from the main road. The view through Skyline Arch is also the preferred one if you can get there. Skyline Arch is 71 feet wide and 43 feet high.
More arches and even more impressive sandstone fins are in the Fiery Furnace area of Arches. This area has limited access, however. To see what is in this much less visited area and learn all about how to see this for yourself, go here.
I’ve posted hi-res pictures of Devil’s Garden here.
To read more about Arches National Park, go here.
Utah is a worthwhile destination full of things to do. Check out a few here.
To read about all the National Parks I have visited, go here.