Devil's Garden and Primitive Loop

  • Thrilling walk along high narrow ridge - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Eroded roots - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Dark Angel - © William Mackesy
  • Double O Arch - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Ridgetop trail - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Looking west from high ridge - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Navajo Arch - © William Mackesy
  • Partition Arch - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Landcsape Arch - © William Mackesy
  • Landscape Arch - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • How does it stay up... - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy

Key information: Devil's Garden and Primitive Loop

  • The Devil’s Garden is an extraordinary confusion of weather-smoothed rocky towers and rows of narrow-backed “fins” of rock and a fine setting for a selection of beautiful and magnificent rock arches.
  • The trail to the Landscape Arch is pretty straightforward. It is also the walk-in to the Primitive Loop, in Walkopedia’s view the finest walk in the park.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating89
  • Beauty35
  • Natural interest16
  • Human interest8
  • Charisma34
  • Negative points4
  • Total rating89

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 11.6km
  • 4hrs
  • Maximum Altitude: N/A
  • Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
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Partition Arch - © William Mackesy

WALK SUMMARY

The Devil’s Garden is an extraordinary confusion of weather-smoothed rocky towers and rows of narrow-backed “fins” of rock, some sharp and shark-like, many in the form of long, thin, smooth-topped ridges. They are a fine setting for their special glory, a selection of beautiful and magnificent rock arches, including the huge, flat-curved, ultra-slender and all-round amazing Landscape Arch, considered the world’s longest rock arch. Among these rocks, juniper, pine and an assortment of hardy desert vegetation mellow what would be too harsh, and create a beautiful visual harmony.

The trail to the Landscape Arch, which all will want to visit, is pretty straightforward and some 2.5km return. It can be extended to the Navajo and Partition arches, and on to the marvellous Double O Arch.

It is also the walk-in to the11.6km (7.2 mile) Primitive Loop (also called the Devil’s Garden Trail), in Walkopedia’s view the finest walk in the park although reasonably hard work. We recommend you walk it anticlockwise so as to reach the best in the second half.

 Not that the first half is any slouch, a wonderful meander through desert scrub between big formations, then into the heart of the garden, winding between the fins and towers, climbing their flanks, a fascinating feast of dramatic landscape. The Private Arch is definitely worth a side-trip, then you are at the fabulous Double O Arch, where Walkopedia ate its lunch.

 A walk out to the Dark Angel tower is worthwhile, but not essential. Enjoy views out west across the wide, quiet Salt Valley if you do go.

The second half, a return to base via the very top of the area and some minor scrambling, with an memorable walk along a narrow sandstone ridge, a side-walk to the gorgeous Navajo and Partition arches and then a careful viewing of perhaps the world’s finest and most unlikely, as well as it longest, rock arch, the Landscape Arch, are unbelievable and thrilling walking.

This can be tough walking in hot, dry conditions. Come fully prepared, including carrying plenty of water. It is a popular walk, so don’t expect to be alone. The first section, to the Landscape Arch, can be positively crowded. But you will survive, such are the wonders.

For lots more information and photos, including detailed practical information and some warnings, see our Arches NP walk page.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Landscape Arch - © William Mackesy

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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© William Mackesy...
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