Arches National Park – near Moab, Utah
Several large arches included Landscape Arch, Navajo Arch, Double O Arch and more.
It is about 4 miles round trip.
There is an entrance fee into Arches National Park.
Bring 2-3 liters of water depending on how hot it is. No water sources along the way. There is a drinking fountain at the trailhead.
Spring, fall. Summer is OK but very hot.
Open year round
Shade is minimal. Be prepared for lots of sun exposure
The trail all the way out to Dark Angel is clear and very popular. There is some minor rock scrambling but it is relatively easy.
At Devils Garden trailhead
Yes, at Arches National Park entrance
Yes, in designated camping areas only. There are camping fees involved too
Bring lunch and snacks
Bring good shoes with lots of traction, bag for water and food, hat, sunglasses, camera
This is an incredible hike filled with many spectacular arches to see. You will see one of the longest arches in the world and many other fascinating arches and landscapes. This is a great adventure for the entire family.
Trailhead: 38° 46.972’N, 109° 35.700’W
Landscape Arch: 38° 47.437’N, 109° 36.429’W
Wall Arch – Broken as of 2008: 38° 47.544’N, 109° 36.468’W
Side Trek – Tunnel Arch: 38° 47.104’N, 109° 35.812’W
Side Trek – Pine Tree Arch: 38° 47.239’N, 109° 35.907’W
Side Trek – Partition Arch: 38° 47.505’N, 109° 36.514’W
Side Arch – Navajo Arch: 38° 47.469’N, 109° 36.548’W
Dark Angel: 38° 48.094’N, 109° 37.656’W
Primitive Trail GPS Coordinates
Black Arch: 38.799570°, -109.611576°
Box Arch: 38.801531°, -109.615266°
Private Arch: 38.801328°, -109.616395°
The trail being next to many giant sandstone “fins” right at the parking lot. The trail is clear and very visible. You will be travelling on hard sandstone and sand the entire way to Dark Angel. This is a very popular hike and you will most likely see hundreds of people making there way on the trail. If you want to come when it is more secluded, try coming in the winter.
After about 1/4 mile you will see a turn off for Pine Tree Arch and Tunnel Arch (see Side Treks below). These are quick Side Treks and I recommend seeing them on your way back.
The trail up until Landscape Arch is very wide and an easy hike. I have seen many hikers just hike to Landscape Arch and then turn back. This is a good idea if you are short on time and want to see one of the most incredible and longest arch in the entire world. But I highly suggest you keep going to at least Double O Arch.
Just under a mile into your hike you will come to Landscape Arch. This is considered to be one of the longest arches in the world, measuring just under 300 ft in total length. Think about how long 300 ft is…That is the length of a football field!
The trail just under Landscape Arch has long since been closed because of the several giant slabs that have fallen from the arch. 1941 had a boulder fall from the north end of the arch. 1991 was when a 60 foot slab fell down. In 1995 more slabs fell down. At the thinnest part of the arch, it is only 11 feet thick. It is incredible to see that this arch is still holding all that weight.
I remember hiking Devils Garden as a child and seeing people hike out on top of Landscape Arch and across the 300 feet. This is incredibly dangerous and strictly not allowed.
From the trail here, you can also see Partition Arch to the right of Landscape Arch (see the Side Treks Section below).
Just before Landscape Arch, the Primitive Loop trail begins (or ends) here. You will see this sign.
After Landscape Arch the trail begins to climb up the sandstone fins to Wall Arch (broken). In August 2008, gravity and erosion finally caught up to the arch and pulled it down to the ground. It was very surprising that it happened because it is adjacent to Landscape Arch and I always figured Landscape Arch would fall way before any of the others would. According to the National Park Service news, Wall Arch was ranked 12th in size in the park and was 71 feet wide (source).
This area is a steep and potentially dangerous place. Please be careful as you climb around on the trail here as from here on out there are many precarious ares.
From this point, keep climbing up and you will come to a relative flat area. At about 1.25 miles into the hike there is another Side Trek which leads to Partition Arch and Navajo Arch. Both are incredible to see and I would recommend you take the Side Treks there.
The trail winds up and down sandstone fins for the remainder of the hike until you finally reach Double O Arch. The trail is tricky and slippery at parts but it is still visible. If you are hiking in the warmer months just follow the hundreds of people around.
At about the 1.75 miles into the hike you will be rewarded for the amazing views. If you look to the north you will see I-70. You can practically see the entire National Park from this location.
Continue on for just a little bit more and you will come to Double O Arch. This is an incredible sandstone arch structure that features two arches stacked on top of each other. I have also seen countless people walk across the top of the arch. I have been here when people were walking across the top and a park ranger has come by and yelled for them to get off. I don’t recommend doing this as I’ve seen people being ticketed for walking across the arches in the national park and not too mention you could get seriously injured and it sets a bad example for others.
About another 1/2 mile and you will be at Dark Angel. The trail isn’t as popular because most hikers turn around from Double O Arch and go back to the parking lot. There is also a primitive trail that circles around the sandstone fins area to the north. It takes an additional 2 hours or more and there are several more arches in the area. This is a narrow trail and I would suggest bringing an additional 1 liter of water if you do it.
Dark Angel is a silent 150 ft tall pillar that seems to be watching over the park. It is colored in dark sandstone which gives it the “dark angel” look and feel. It is an incredible feature that not many people see up close.
Primitive Trail Loop (optional)
The Primitive Trail Loop is about another 2.2 miles in addition to the main Devil’s Garden Trail. This is optional and more difficult and not recommended for everyone. It takes you away from the main trail and not too many people do this loop. You should bring extra water.
That being said, I really enjoy the primitive loop. It gives you the chance to do something a little different yet you can still see all the major Devil’s Garden Trail landmarks plus a few additional arches such as Black Arch, Box Arch and Private Arch. The trail is more difficult as the terrain varies more in elevation and technicality but it is a still fun! I suggest you start the Primitive Loop just before Landscape Arch. Once you are on the trail you will begin to travel in a northward direction for about a mile then you will travel in a westward direction about .75 miles then after another .30 miles you will meet up back at Double O Arch.
Don’t let the word “Primitive Trail” scare you. It just means that it isn’t as traveled as much as the main Devil’s Garden Trail. Also it is not as traveled by hikers. I was still surprised by how many people we saw on the primitive trail though. We saw hikers of all ages on this hike.
Along the way, you will see Box Arch close to the trail.
The picture below is probably one of the more technical areas along the Primitive Loop Trail. It is located about 1.25 miles into the trail.
If you take the Private Arch spur you will come to this sign at about 1.7 miles into the hike. The trail will then cut back in a southeasterly direction for the .24 miles to the arch.
Come back to where the Primitive Loop trail and you will hike up a wash a little ways until you curve around to Double O Arch. Congratulations! You have completed the Primitive Loop Trail!
Head back towards your car from here. Please be careful while you hike back the sandstone and watch your step.
I have hiked the Devils Garden Trail many times in my life. Every time my family visits Arches National Park we always try and do this hike. Maybe it is the fascination that some of these arches could fall before you see them next. Or maybe it is because the park has some of the most beautiful sights in Utah to see. Whatever the reason is, I always find time to visit Devils Garden.
OPTIONAL SIDE TREK – Tunnel Arch
Tunnel Arch is located right off the main path about 1/4 mile into the hike. You will see a sign that points you north to Pine Tree Arch and Tunnel Arch. Go on this side trail for a few hundred feet. At the intersection turn right and another few hundred feet will provide an amazing view of Tunnel Arch which is at your south.
Tunnel Arch: 38° 47.104’N, 109° 35.812’W
OPTIONAL SIDE TREK – Pine Tree Arch
Pine Tree Arch is located right off the main path about 1/4 mile into the hike. You will see a sign that points you north to Pine Tree Arch and Tunnel Arch. Go on this side trail for a few hundred feet then take a left at the intersection. Another 500 feet or so and you will have arrived at the arch.
Pine Tree Arch: 38° 47.239’N, 109° 35.907’W
OPTIONAL SIDE TREK – Partition Arch
About 1.25 miles into the hike, after you come to the ridge up above from Wall Arch (broken) there will be a side trail that leads you to Partition Arch and Navajo Arch. Take this side trail south for about 250 feet and follow the sign and trail that go directly east to Partition Arch.
Partition Arch: 38° 47.505’N, 109° 36.514’W
OPTIONAL SIDE TREK – Navajo Arch
About 1.25 miles into the hike, after you come to the ridge up above from Wall Arch (broken) there will be a side trail that leads you to Partition Arch and Navajo Arch. Take this side trail south for about 250 feet and follow the sign and trail that lead you to Navajo Arch which is south east. It is about another 1,000 feet to Navajo Arch.
Navajo Arch: 38° 47.469’N, 109° 36.548’W