Photography by Dennis Cieri / Written by Lorena Caro
This summer head to Colorado for a socially distanced getaway that’s far from the bustling city crowds.
If you’re someone who enjoys basking in the great outdoors, then you’ll love hiking the Devil Garden Trails. This ambitious loop is located near Thompson, Utah. Be warned: although some trails may be family – friendly and see heavy traffic, some are difficult to complete due to the rigid terrain. Hiking the latter trails are best left to those who are experienced, or for those who have a lot of endurance.
In terms of parking, there is a parking lot conveniently located at the entrance of the park. There you will find the Arches Visitor Center where you will be able to prepare yourself for a full day of hiking. If you come during the busier season, you will find that these parking lots fill up rather quickly, so it is best to make it during the peak hours of the morning. That way, you can also catch some of the crisp morning air.
The Devil Garden Loop is located inside of the Arches National Park. It includes several trails that total an impressive nine miles worth of hiking ground. To get to the trail, you will have to walk half an hour once you make it to the park’s entrance. Along the way are beautiful rock formations that are sure to take your breath away.
The first trails will take you through Tunnel Arch and Pine Tree Arch, leading you to Pine Tree Arch. From there you’ll find the Landscape arch – one of the largest natural spans in the world, according to the Natural Arch and Bridge Society.
Many hikers end their journey after this instead of heading into the Primitive Trail and thereby the Double O Arch, Dark Angel, and Private Arch. This is due to the sudden change in terrain, which becomes significantly more bumpy and slick.
On our hike, we saw swirls of rock formations forming along the trail. Each structure contorted in its own unique way over the years forming monumental shapes that were just so beautiful.
The arches were definitely some of the most interesting things we came across. Although we did not get to take a picture of the notorious Landscape Arch, we did come across the Double Arch. This pothole arch formed through water erosion from above instead of the more typical erosion from the sides. The opening spans 148 feet wide and 104 feet high. It is the arch with the tallest opening and the second-longest span in the park. Other arches have succumbed to the pressures of erosion over time, so it’s quite the honor to get to see this one up close while it is still intact.
Offering breathtaking views, welcoming experiences for the novice hiker, and thrilling experiences for hiking enthusiasts, this park is definitely one that should be on your radar. Apart from hiking, visitors can also stargaze and camp throughout the night. The Devil Garden Loop in Arches National Park is truly a magical place unlike any other. For more information you can check out the park’s website.