Classic Adventures in the National Parks: Devils Garden Primitive Loop

Concentrated beauty

Devils Garden Primitive Loop
See (and climb) these mushroom-shaped formations in Devils Garden. Photo by: Christian Kober / Aurora photos

With many trails, you’re lucky to come across just one marquee landmark. That’s not the case here. This 7-mile loop showcases perhaps the best scenery-to-effort ratio in the whole park system as it wends past eight natural arches—that’s more than one arch per mile. Think of it as the desert Southwest’s version of the National Mall.

Set out from the Devils Garden parking area and pass two arches in the first mile: Pine Tree and Tunnel, the latter of which is actually a double (pinpoint the second opening in the upper-left corner of the sandstone). Continue on to the longest arch in the world, 290-foot-long Landscape Arch—and the turnaround point for most visitors. Keep going to get the rest to yourself, including Double O Arch, a tangle of sandstone spokes that create a numeral 8 across the skyline, and a few soon-to-be arches within Fin Canyon. Not bad for your first foray—and Canyonlands is only an hour away for your second.

Trailhead Devils Garden Season March through November Permit None