What is Devils Garden National Park?

Mary McMahon

Devils Garden is an area within Arches National Park, a recreational area located in Utah. While this area itself is not a national park, it is located inside of one and is sometimes referred to as Devils Garden National Park. Visitors to Arches often make a point of visiting Devils Garden and it is one of the most popular areas within the 119 square mile (310 square kilometer) park.

Devils Garden has several natural arches that were carved by erosion.
Devils Garden has several natural arches that were carved by erosion.

Arches National Park is named after the distinctive and unusual rock formations found in this region of Utah. Weathering and erosion have worn the rock away to create a series of rock projections that stick out of the earth, called fins. Some of these fins have been worn into arches that vary in size and shape. Devils Garden contains some of the most distinctive arches, including Pine Tree Arch, Black Arch, Navajo Arch, Partition Arch, Landscape Arch, and Tunnel Arch.

Devils Garden National Park is located in Utah's stark "canyon country."
Devils Garden National Park is located in Utah's stark "canyon country."

This area includes a hiking trail that starts out relatively easy and becomes more challenging for people who want to complete the whole loop. While following the trail, visitors can see a number of arches, along with other formations like Fin Canyon and Dark Angel Monolith. The arches themselves are banded and striped with color, reflecting different periods in the park's geological history. The desert environment provides opportunities to see a number of unique plants that have adapted to the harsh climate.

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A campground has been established near Devils Garden for the convenience of visitors. It accommodates tents and trailers, and has limited basic facilities including toilets. Campers can view the surrealistic rock formations directly from the camp and can explore deeper areas of the park on hikes. Reservations made through Arches National Park are recommended to ensure that space will be available, as this national park can become quite crowded, especially during the summer months. Although the park is open year round, the winter can be dangerous because of ice and snow. Park personnel can provide advice about safety and the current conditions.

Guided tours of Devils Garden are sometimes made available. Tour curators can talk about the history behind the rock formations and the area, as well as providing trail guidance and assistance. People usually need to book ahead for tours. For those who prefer to explore the park on their own, maps are available to help visitors stay on the trail and identify the landmarks they see along the way.

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