Don't be fooled by the short distances - take water and wear sun protection. Go early or late to avoid the crowds that clog this popular trail. Scrambling, ledges and rocky footing make this trail not suitable for all runners.
However much of the Devils Garden Trail system you complete, you'll leave happy. From the Devils Garden trailhead, take the initially paved path over mostly level ground between rock fins. Almost immediately, a signed fork announces the turnoff for Tunnel Arch Trail
and Pine Tree Arch Trail
. These are short, easy detours and highly recommended.
Return to the Devils Garden Main Trail, heading northwest through more widely spaced rock fin valleys. At the next trail junction, stay left on the Devils Garden Main Trail towards Landscape Arch Trail
, ignoring the Devils Garden Primitive Loop
trail that heads north. From here, take the paved path to Landscape Arch Trail
and its spectacular viewpoint (more details about this impressive arch can be found on the Landscape Arch Trail
trail page). The part of the trail to Landscape arch is non-taxing and very family-friendly, but past this point be advised to keep kids under close supervision.
Back on the Devils Garden Main Trail, expect increased challenges as your route climbs over sandstone slabs and traverses narrow ledges with some exposure to heights. Follow rock pile cairns to stay on the correct route. Soon, you have the option to take the short spurs Partition Arch Trail
and Navajo Arch Trail
to the southwest.
These arches often have shade and make worthwhile detours, but if you're out of stamina or time it is OK to bypass them. Further along the undulating Devils Garden Main Trail, cross more fins running over exposed, sun-baked ground. After a sharp hairpin bend around the end of a fin, the Devils Garden Main Trail ends at a 3 way junction with the Dark Angel Trail
and the Devils Garden Primitive Loop
. If you've got lots of time and energy left, visit Dark Angel and then consider tackling the more rugged Devils Garden Primitive Loop
. If you're already down for the count, better retrace your steps back to the parking area.
Some words to the wise: take at least 1 quart (1 liter) of water per person, wear a hat, use sunscreen, take breaks. Visit early or late in the day if you want to avoid the crowds on this extremely popular trail. Note: bikes are not allowed on this trail.