Julie United States 20 Comments

The Devils Garden Trail has all of the ingredients for a perfect hike in Arches National Park. If you hike the entire 7.8-mile loop, you get to see eight arches! Along the way, go rock scrambling, hike along fins of sandstone rock, and enjoy some of the best views of the park.

What makes the Devils Garden Trail so great is that you can pick and choose what you want to do. You can simply hike round trip to Landscape Arch (it’s only 1.6 miles round trip). From the main trail there are two spur trails that detour to more arches. Once you get to the end of the main trail, you can hike back the way you came or try out your route finding skills on the Primitive Trail.

If you are visiting Arches as a family or in a group, some people may choose to explore the easier trails at the front of the hike. Those feeling more adventurous can keep going. As you approach Double O Arch, the trail gets more difficult (and more fun) now that you have short sections of rock scrambling. The views from the sandstone fins are unbeatable. And hiking back on the Primitive Trail is a great way to add a little adventure to your day.

Overview of the Devils Garden Trail

Round Trip to Landscape Arch:  1.6 miles, 1 hour
Round Trip to Double O Arch:  4.2 miles, 2 – 2.5 hours
Round Trip to Dark Angel:  5 miles, 2 – 3 hours
To Dark Angel, return on Primitive Trail:  5.9 miles, 2.5 – 3.5 hours
Spur Trail to Pinetree and Tunnel Arches:  0.5 miles, 20 minutes
Spur Trail to Navajo and Partition Arches:  0.8 miles, 30 minutes
Total Distance (Dark Angel, Primitive Trail, all arches):  7.8 miles, 3 – 4 hours

Difficulty:  It is an easy hike to Landscape Arch, with a few ups and downs along the trail. Beyond Landscape Arch, the hike is moderately difficult, with several short, steep climbs and some rock scrambling.

Total Ascent: 1,350 feet (for the full loop)

Devils Garden Trail Map

Map of the trail. The main trail is red. The Primitive Trail is blue. The yellow trails are spur trails and the purple trail goes to Dark Angel.

Devils Garden Trail Elevation Profile

Devils Garden Trail Elevation Profile

Please practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace: plan ahead, stay on the trail, pack out what you bring to the hiking trail, properly dispose of waste, leave areas as you found them, minimize campfire impacts, be considerate of other hikers, and do not approach or feed wildlife.


How to Hike the Devils Garden Trail

Step-By-Step Trail Guide

Park in the enormous parking lot at the end of Devils Garden Road. The trailhead is well marked and there are restrooms here if you need them.

Trail to Pinetree and Tunnel Arches

The main trail is well graded and relatively flat until you get to Landscape Arch. Along the way, you will walk through sandstone fins, just like these at the very start of the hike.

Start of Devils Garden Trail

About 10 minutes into the hike you have the option to take the spur trail to the right. This takes you to two arches. This short trail is 0.5 miles round trip and adds 15 to 20 minutes to your hike.

Tunnel Arch

Tunnel Arch

The first arch is Tunnel Arch. You can only view it from a distance but it’s worth a quick look.

Pinetree Arch

Pinetree Arch

Pinetree Arch is better, in my opinion. You get to see it up close and if there aren’t too many people here, you can take photos in the arch.

Take the spur trail back to the main trail and continue the walk to Landscape Arch. Here is the view along the way.

Devils Garden Trail Photo

Landscape Arch

Follow the main trail until you get to Landscape Arch. This arch has one of the world’s longest spans. It stretches 306 feet but it is only 11 feet wide in its narrowest section. In 1991, a portion of the arch fell and this is all that remains. At some point, hopefully not too soon, the rest of the arch will fall.

There are several different viewpoints here so have fun photographing the arch.

Landscape Arch

You can turn around here or keep hiking to Double O Arch. This is when the hike really starts to get fun.

Trail to Navajo and Partition Arches

From Landscape Arch, hike up the sandstone fins. Enjoy the spectacular view back over the main trail.

On the Devils Garden Trail

Devils Garden Trail

It does not take long to reach the spur trail to Navajo and Partition Arches. If you choose to take this trail, it adds 0.8 miles round trip and it takes about 30 minutes to visit both arches.

The spur trail splits and you can visit these arches in either order.

Partition Arch

From Partition Arch, enjoy the view of Arches National Park and the landscape of Devils Garden through “the window.”

Partition Arch

Navajo Arch

This wide, low arch looks and feels more like a cave than an arch.

Navajo Arch

On the Trail to Double O Arch

As you hike towards Double O Arch, the scenery keeps getting better and the trail gets less crowded.

Follow the signs for Double O Arch. The trail is well marked until you get to one large, sandstone fin. Shown in the photo below, you climb up onto the fin and then turn right to walk on top of it. The views from here are incredible on one of my favorites in Arches National Park.

Trail to Double O Arch

Devils Garden Hike

How to Hike the Devils Garden Trail

Black Arch Overlook

Before you get to Double O Arch, you will see a sign for Black Arch Overlook. This 2-minute detour is well worth it. Not only can you see the Black Arch, way off in the distance, but the landscape is amazing here.

Black Arch

Double O Arch

A little bit of rock scrambling over the sandstone fins and finally you are at Double O Arch. This looks like a smaller version of Double Arch at the front of the park.

Double O Arch

From here, you can walk back to your car or continue the adventure.

Dark Angel

Dark Angel is a giant pillar of sandstone rock. To get here, take the trail from Double O Arch. This detour adds 0.8 miles to the hike.

If you skip one arch/landmark on this hike, Dark Angel would be the one. It’s not nearly as interesting as the other arches and rock formations on the Devils Garden Trail, and you can see it off in the distance as you hike to Double O Arch, so there’s no need to hike right up to it. 

Dark Angel

Double O Arch ANP

The view of Double O Arch on the hike back from Dark Angel.

Once you visit Dark Angel, you can return to your car on the main trail or take the Primitive Trail.

The Primitive Trail

The Primitive Trail is a poorly marked trail but it takes you through some of the best scenery in Arches National Park. Expect sections of rock scrambling and a few short, strenuous climbs. For part of the hike, you are walking in a wash (a dry riverbed), so there may be small pools of water that you have to jump over. 

You will need to do a bit of route finding to stay on the trail. For most of the way, the trail is marked with cairns, stacked stones that serve as trail markers. However, these cairns are few and far between in some spots, so they can be difficult to spot.

It is very easy to lose the trail. The first time we hiked Devils Garden, we lost the trail and wandered around for a little bit. We saw several other groups of people wandering around, lost as well. There are numerous “false trails.” These are trails that were formed by other hikers who stumbled off the main trail, creating short, dead-end trails. They can be very misleading.

The second time around, we did a lot better. We never lost the trail, taking the time to spot the rock cairns, and cheating a little bit, by following the map on our Garmin Fenix watches. 

If you don’t have a GPS device, my advice is to hike to one cairn and then look for the next one. You can also cache the trail map on your phone and use this to double check your location. On our most recent visit, we had a weak cellular signal, but I wouldn’t depend on this as a navigation tool.

While on the Primitive Trail, you can add on the short detour to Private Arch. It’s a small, low arch and you may it all to yourself.

On the Primitive Trail

On the Primitive Trail

 Private Arch Trail

On the spur trail to Private Arch


Private Arch

Private Arch

Beyond the spur trail for Private Arch, the trail gets a little harder to follow. It is very important that you keep spotting those rock cairns. The trail will make a sharp turn to the left, climb up and over a fin of sandstone, and then turn right again. This is the section where most people lose the trail.

Rock Cairn Primitive Trail

This is the trickiest section. The arrow is pointing to one of the few rock cairns. They can be hard to spot since they really blend in with the landscape.

After climbing up and over numerous fins of rock, it is a long, somewhat boring hike on a sandy trail until you get back to the main trail. The Primitive Trail meets up with the main trail near Landscape Arch. From here, it is about a 30-minute walk to the parking lot.

Primitive Trail Devils Garden

Arches Travel Guide

Shorter Variation of the Devils Garden Trail

So, what if you want to hike the best sections of the Devils Garden Trail without going all 7.8 miles? There is a way you can do it.

Hike to Landscape Arch and continue to Double O Arch. In my opinion, the section of trail between Landscape Arch and Double O Arch is the best of the hike. Skip Navajo and Partition Arches. They are nice but they add almost 1 mile and 30 minutes of hiking. Don’t bother going out to Dark Angel. It’s not all that exciting and you can actually see it in the distance as you hike to Double O Arch. The quickest way back to your car is to retrace your steps (4.5 miles round-trip), but if you like the idea of route-finding and a little more adventure, return on the Primitive Trail (5 miles round-trip).

Finally, you have the option to add in Tunnel Arch and Pinetree Arch (0.5 miles extra) before you get back to the parking lot. 

Tips to Have the Best Experience

Cache maps before you go. You might have a weak cellular signal on the Devils Garden Trail but I wouldn’t depend on it. However, you can still use the GPS on your phone to get your location on the hike.

Bring sunscreen. There is very little shade on the trail.

Bring plenty of water. In the warmer months, plan on bringing at least 2 to 3 liters of water per person, especially if you plan to hike the entire loop.

Hiking with Kids. This is a great trail for kids. Younger kids should be able to handle the trail to Landscape Arch. Older, more adventurous kids will love the hike between Landscape Arch and Double O Arch. There are drop-offs while walking on the fins, so keep an eye on young kids here. If you feel confident in your route finding skills, consider taking older kids on the Primitive Trail.

US National Parks List

About Our Visit

We have hiked this trail twice.

The first time was on December 27, 2018. During the Christmas holiday season, the parking lots were usually full but the park didn’t feel too crowded. The clouds in the sky were from a storm that was dropping snow in nearby Canyonlands National Park. Too bad it didn’t snow during our visit to Arches. That would have been a treat!

Here are a few photos from our first hike, and a little bit of snow on the ground. 

Hike Devils Garden Trail

Devils Garden Trail December

Devils Garden Trail

More recently, we visited Arches National Park in November 2020. We had crystal clear skies and low crowds, lower than you would see during the winter holiday season. November is a great time to visit Arches National Park, since crowd levels tend to be low. Just be prepared for chilly temperatures and a small chance of snow.

If you are new to hiking or are curious about what you should bring on a hike, check out our Essential Hiking Gear Guide. Find out what we carry in our day packs and what we wear on the trails. 

Are you planning a trip to Arches National Park? If you have any questions about this hike or the park, comment below!

More Information about Utah

ARCHES NATIONAL PARK: If you are short on time, check out our One Day in Arches National Park to learn the best way to spend your time here.

CANYONLANDS: Exploring the Island in the Sky district is one of the best things to do in Canyonlands. For the full list, read our article Best Things to Do in Canyonlands National Park.

HIKES IN CAPITOL REEF: Capitol Reef has a long list of hiking trails, including Cassidy Arch and Navajo Knobs. Get the full list in our Capitol Reef Hiking Guide.

GOBLIN VALLEY: Goblin Valley is a small state park packed with unique rock formations that’s a fun place to explore, especially for kids. Nearby you can also hike through Little Wild Horse slot canyon.

ZION NATIONAL PARK: Check out our Zion National Park Travel Guide for important travel planning tips, sample itineraries, advice on when to go, where to stay, and more.

MORE GREAT HIKES IN THE NATIONAL PARKS: From hikes to the tallest peaks to beautiful coast trails, read our Guide to the Best Day Hikes in the US National Parks. If you prefer to keep your hikes short and sweet, read our guide to the Best Short Hikes in the National Parks.

NATIONAL PARKS: In our Guide to the US National Parks, get the full list of national parks with important travel planning information, such as things to do in the parks and sample itineraries.


Read all of our articles about Utah in our Utah Travel Guide and the United States in our United States Travel Guide.



Arches NP Devils Garden Trail

Devils Garden Trail Arches National Park 

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Comments 20

  1. Avatar for Jason

    Just wanted to say thanks for this tremendously helpful article. My 9-year old daughter and I hiked out to Double-O arch and back in March and it was a total blast. Thank you for the tips!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  2. Avatar for Lindsay Chatfield
    Lindsay Chatfield

    Hi We hiked Devils Garden today (12 September) having entered the park on the timed 11-12 slot. We parked ok in the trail car park and spent approx 3 hours in total out and back. It was hot 88 or so, but not blistering and it was reasonably tricky in places but ok if you go slow and steady. The trail was not busy at all, in fact in a couple of places we wondered if we were on the correct part as there was no one else around!
    Anyway, we spent two fabulous days in Arches following your guidelines and tips (apart from the early start this morning). We’ve also used your guides in Yellowstone and RMNP on this trip so we wanted to say a huge thank you.
    We are off into Monument Valley tomorrow and then Mesa Verde on the way back to Denver and our flight back to the UK.
    Thank you so much for your writing and details, it has been super helpful.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  3. Avatar for Matt

    What time of day did you complete the sunny November 2020 hike? I’m asking for photography lighting. Is there a particular time of day that you recommend for photography? Thanks!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      We started the hike at 9:45 am. It’s a bit later than we start hiking but we were waiting for the sun to get higher in the sky and it worked out! Have a great hike! Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Naomi Godfrey
    Naomi Godfrey

    Greetings from New Jersey. Thank you for such an informative and enjoyable article. I am planning a trip to Arches that really has been a lifetime in the making. Long story short, I am training so I can do daily hikes around the park. I am very excited to try Devils Garden. However, I have never done rock scrambling, and was wondering exactly what this would entail there? Like how high are the climbs and how steep? I am not a rock climber, and do not wish to be. Thanks for your help! Believe it or not there are trails in this part of the country where enormous boulders would provide an opportunity to learn scrambling, I suppose.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Naomi. The rock scrambling on the Devils Garden Trail is rather easy. No special skills are required, just a sense of adventure. There will be a few ledges to climb up that are several feet high, that will require you to use your hands and feet. And you may have to climb over some large boulders. But there aren’t any places where you will be exposed to heights or dangerous drop offs. It’s just more of using your hands and feet to climb over some obstacles. Rock scrambling is a lot of fun and breaks up the hike a little bit. If you can hike some rocky trails with some stream crossings, this will help you work on your balance, which will make this hike and other hikes easier. This hike is tons of fun and the scenery is always changing, so it’s a great hike to do in Arches! Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Mike

    Hi! So if I want to do the easier route, I should stick to the ‘red main trail’ as shown in your map which goes from Landscape to Navajo/Partition and then Double-O? Will this still hit the view shown at the top of this page with the woman facing the viewpoints?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Yes, the red trail is the easier trail. Turn around once you get to Double O Arch. The header photo for this guide was taken along the red trail, towards the end of it, near Double O Arch. Great view, right? Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Sonny

        Thank you for the very informative article on the Devils Garden Loop. I want to do that one soon. Since I’ve seen Landscape Arch and some of the other spurs on the closer in part, I’ll be skipping those to keep the mileage lower to make it an easier goal for an aging man. But I would like to see Private Arch, and I’m wondering if a person can take a shortcut just a short distance from that arch to pick up the loop trail just to the northeast of that arch, instead of backtracking back to where you left the main trail on the Private Arch trail. Any thoughts?

        1. Avatar for Julie Post

          I’m not sure. Looking at the photos, there looks to be a massive wall of rock between Private Arch and the Primitive Trail but I can’t tell how far that extends, and my memory is hazy. I don’t know if there is a quicker way around it than to backtrack up the trail. The Primitive Trail is so hard to follow when you are on it, at least when we did this, that if you were trying to hike over to it, you might completely miss it. So, I think it’s best to backtrack, and it is a short distance so it doesn’t add much mileage on to the hike. Have a great time in Arches! Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for Dana Gorman
    Dana Gorman

    Thanks, Julie, for such detailed trial info. My family returned from a week in Moab – Arches, Canyonlands, Dead Horse State Park – based on many of your travel suggestions. Our favorite hike was Devils Garden in Arches. Some simple trail arrows along the Primitive Trail have been added to help hikers, specifically after climbing the rock fin, there is an arrow pointing to the trail to the right. Add Corona Arch and Aztec Butte (Canyonlands) to your list. Gorgeous views with fewer people than other hikes. I tell all of my travel friends and co-workers about your travel advice. Please know how much your info and attention to detail is appreciated!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Dana. Thanks for writing in and thank you for the hiking suggestions. That’s great that some arrows have been added to the Primitive Trail…a lot of people sometimes end up stumbling around for a little bit, and we did too, the first time we did the hike. Happy travels! Cheers, Julie

  7. Avatar for Beth Langhals
    Beth Langhals

    Hi Julie! We just hiked this trail the other day and it was definitely our favorite! We love to rock scramble so this trail was perfect for that. I use AllTrails and had downloaded the map from there. We lost the cairns once & followed what I thought was the trail. Then, I pulled out my phone & saw that we were about 50 ft off the trail. We did every spur trail but Private. Have you hiked to Corona Arch on BLM land? We really enjoyed that hike too.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Beth. I’m glad you liked the hike! We are actually in Capitol Reef right now and will be heading over to Arches in a few days. We have not hiked Corona Arch yet but I’ll look into it. Thanks! Cheers, Julie

  8. Avatar for Ashley

    Hi Julie, thanks so much for all of your advice! I love your national park guides 🙂 This is kind of random, but do you have a specific brand of winter hiking pants that you have had good luck with?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      I don’t have “winter” hiking pants, but I can’t live without Prana Halle straight hiking pants. Cheers, Julie

  9. Avatar for Sandy

    What did you use for maps on your hikes. I see you noted “Cache your maps before you go.” What maps do you mean? Do you recommend a specific ap?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      We use Google Maps on our phones. I know that you can also do this with Apple’s map app. Simply open the map, zoom in until you see the trail in detail, and don’t close the app. When you open up the app while hiking, you can still see the map in detail, and the GPS should work so that you can see your location on the trail. Cheers, Julie

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