Devils Garden LoopArches National Park
Arches National Park, Geological Wonders
Length: 7.8 miles (full loop)
Elevation Gain: 1150 ft
Approximate Hiking Time: 6-8 hr
Features: Geological Wonders
Nearest Town: Moab, Ut
An area made for hikers and thrill seekers, the Devils Garden is home to 8 amazing arches and one of the best places to see (and walk on) one of the limestone fins that are the backbone of the park.
Be careful though because once you get going on this trail it’s easy to lose track of time, visiting arch after arch after arch, and soon you’ll find you’ve hiked well over 7 miles!
- Trail Condition 40% 40%
- Usage 60% 60%
- Trail Head Easy to Find 100% 100%
- Kid Friendly 25% 25%
1. 8 Geological Features
Seeing one arch is pretty amazing. On this trail there are 7 arches and 1 rock spire.
2. Thrill Seeking
Following rock cairns, scrambling, traversing a limestone fin, and hiking over slick rock and sand on the Primitive Loop. Devils Garden really can be a playground.
3. Amazing Views
Perched under one of the higher arches, the views of the surrounding landscape are breathtaking.
To reach the Devils Garden trailhead and parking area, follow the Main Park Road for 18 miles to the end of the road.
There are bathroom and water facilities at the trail head. Plan to spend more time in Devils Garden than you think you might as there is so much to see and do you’ll easily lose track of time and distance. Before starting out on your journey make sure you have plenty of water and some salty snacks for the trail. It’s easy to get dehydrated, especially in the summer.
Starting from the trailhead hike the easy, hardpacked path to Landscape Arch 0.9 miles away; passing the first spur trail to Pine Tree and Tunnel arches. Landscape Arch is one of the longest arches in the world spanning over 300 ft and just 10ft wide at its thinnest point in the span. It may be possible with some effort to push a stroller to this point; however, the rest of Devils Garden can only be accessed by foot.
From Landscape Arch continue for 0.3 miles to the next trail spur which goes to Navajo and Partition Arches. The spur adds about 0.8 miles to the overall hike distance and offers magnificent views of the valley below.
Past the side trail to Navajo and Partition arches the trail gets substantially harder as it heads to Double O Arch and navigation will be required in some areas especially on the primitive loop back. If travelling with toddlers a child backpack could be a great option from this point on as the hike has some pretty big drop offs and gets really tiring for little legs.
Climb and hike on one of the fins in the park continuing from Navajo and Partition Arches. In this section the path is narrow with very steep drops.
Descending from the fin, follow the trail marked in places by cairns to Double O Arch. Less people venture this far into Devils Garden which can be a real treat during the park’s busy times.
From here either return on the same trail back to the trailhead, continue to Dark Angel or take the Primitive Trail back to Landscape Arch.
Dark Angel can be accessed by taking another side trail for about 0.9 miles out and return from Double O Arch. It is not an arch, but rather a tall dark pillar resting against the otherwise red and flat landscape.
Returning back to Double O Arch there are two ways to return to the trailhead, either by continuing of the main trail backtracking the route to Double O Arch or continuing of the Primitive Trail. If you are not comfortable with trail navigation, hiking down small drops, or prepared with plenty of water, we do not recommend taking the primitive trail back to the trailhead.
An additional 0.4 miles from Double O Arch lies the side trail to Private Arch, the only arch accessible on the Primitive Loop Trail. Hiking to Private Arch adds about 0.6 miles to the hike and feels so distant from the rest of hustle and bustle of the park. Few people venture out this far creating the feeling of having the place to yourself.
Leaving the Private Arch side trail, the Primitive Loop continues for another 1.6 miles before returning to Landscape Arch and the main trail. Trail navigation by following cairns is required through this section of the trail. There are some small drops that will require scrambling and areas of the wash may be wet and require walking through pools.
We hiked the Primitive Loop in the fall and the entire trail was dry; however, it required hiking on slick rock and sand with little to no shade which made the hike feel quite strenuous. The area is beautiful though and definitely worth it for hikers who are confident navigating these types of trails. At long last return back to Landscape Arch and continue back to the trailhead.
End your hike by enjoying the last side trail to Pine Tree and Tunnel Arches adding another 0.5 mile. Reaching Pine Tree and Tunnel Arches is easy and an awesome end to an epic day hike.
Completing this hike in its entirety will mean hiking around 7.9 miles and visiting 7 arches. Talk about an epic day! Leave early in the morning to reduce the length of time hiking in the mid-day heat.
In winter, areas of this trail can get snow covered and slippery leaving sections of it unsafe for hiking. Check the weather before starting your journey into Devil’s Garden.
Why is this hike hard?
Hiking to Landscape Arch and the side trail to Pine Tree and Tunnel Arch is easy. Past Landscape Arch the hike gets harder and has some areas with steep drop offs. The Primitive Trail is best for experienced hikers as it requires trail navigation and scrambing.
More Hikes to Choose From
Check out this and other hikes in Arches National Park and Moab, Ut.
Elevation Gain: 66 ft
Discover, touch, and ponder a sampling of the enormous diosaur tracks that can still be seen at Copper Ridge Dinosaur Tracksite.
Length: 1.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 183 ft
On this trail visit Broken and Sand Dune Arch. Two cool arches located in Arches National Park that are slightly off the beaten path.
Length: 0.1 – 1 mile
Elevation Gain: 10 – 141ft
Delicate Arch is synonymous with Utah. While you won’t be able to reach out and touch Delicate Arch from here, you still get great views at a distance.