Trailheadin’: Landscape Arch in Devil’s Garden

People enjoy the outdoors for a variety of reasons. Some seek solitude, others yearn for the exercise, and then there are those who love the majestic, natural beauty that is rewarded to those willing to venture out to find it. One such rewarding location is Arches National Park, where hikers can explore the Devil’s Garden area of the park and experience the Landscape Arch section of trails. Keep reading to learn more about this exciting trailhead!

Located in Moab, Utah, Arches National Park’s Devil’s Garden area contains a solid campground and is a very popular destination for visitors to the park. A wide trail leads out to the impressive Landscape Arch, which is located in the northern part of the park.

The Arch is roughly seven miles (roundtrip) and endures an elevation gain of around 400 feet along its length. The trail itself starts along a ravine between two slabs of sandstone, and quickly makes its way down a slope to the first two arches, known as Pine Tree and Tunnel. From here, the main trail continues to the base of Landscape Arch, just under a mile from the parking lot, where the gravel portion ends. Until recently, visitors were allowed to walk under and around the arch, but several in the last few years, incidents involving rocks falling on hikers in have caused the area to be closed. The nearly 300 foot arch is little more than three feet thick at its narrowest point and has several lengthy fractures, so it’s probably best to not spend time beneath it. The trail climbs a series of sandstone fins, drops down into narrow chasms, and crosses areas of sand. It is also steep in places and follows along the edge of short cliffs in spots, but is well-maintained and visibly marked, which makes hiking it easier.

Hiking conditions along Landscape Arch are good during spring, summer and fall, and also during mild periods in winter. When ice or snow is heavy during winter months, though, it’s best to stay clear. When visiting, it’s smart to check at the Visitor Center for current conditions. It’s smart to carry water with you, even during winter, as the only water available is found at the nearby campsite.

The Southwest’s rocky, red landscape offers some great experiences for those adventurous enough to tackle it, and the Landscape Arch in Utah’s Arches National Park is no exception. This short, but impressive trail presents hikers with the opportunity to see some great natural rock formations up close. Those visiting the area would do well to check them out and share in the experience.