Devils Garden Primitive Loop, Devils Garden Trailhead, Arches National Park, Utah

Devils Garden Primitive Loop - 8.1 miles

Devils Garden Trailhead

Private Arch, accessed by a short spur from the Primitive Loop Trail

Private Arch, accessed by a short spur from the Primitive Loop Trail

Round-Trip Length: 8.1 miles (Includes all points of interest)
Start-End Elevation: 5,117' - 5,117' (5,460' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +343' net elevation gain (+1,204' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Moderate
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Devils Garden Primitive Loop - 8.1 Miles Round-Trip

The Devils Garden Trail and Primitive Loop Trail combine to form the longest maintained hiking route in Arches National Park. 7 named arches and monolithic Dark Angel highlight the Devils Garden Trail, while the Primitive Loop weaves through a labyrinth of rock gardens, fins and washes.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

This imaginative landscape is lightly traveled, rugged and occasionally difficult to follow - ideal for adventure seekers comfortable in the desert backcountry.

The Devils Garden Trail follows a groomed path to a spur for Tunnel Arch and Pine Arch (.35 miles). Tunnel Arch enjoys favorable morning light, though Pine Arch is arguably more interesting.

The main trail continues to Landscape Arch near the Primitive Loop Trail split (1.35 miles : 5,167'). At 290.1' across Landscape Arch is thought to be the longest rock span in the world, followed by Kolob Arch in Zion National Park (287.4').

This lead is considered tenuous, as Landscape Arch is near collapse. The trail climbs from Landscape Arch into a crumbled slot once topped by Wall Arch (1.65 miles : 5,242').

At 33' high and 71'across, it ranked 12th in size among the Park's estimated 2000 arches before succumbing to gravity, erosion and stress fractures during the night of August 4th - 5th 2008.

In 1.85 miles you'll reach the spur for Partition Arch (.2 miles : 5382) and Navajo Arch (.3 miles : 5,395'). The spurs to each pass underneath the respective arches; the former offers sweeping easterly views through its archway, while the latter hides an interesting shaded alcove.

Once back at the Partition-Navajo Arch spur (2.75 miles of total hiking to this point), the main trail rises up the spine of a narrow fin (3.05 miles : 5,425') to the Black Arch overlook (3.2 miles : 5,396').

A faint path continues to the Double O Arch spur - Dark Angel - Primitive Loop Trail junction (3.6 miles : 5,379'), from which a spur veers left to the base of Double O Arch (3.65 miles : 5,398').

Double O Arch is named for the stacked appearance of two arches. You'll need to improvise for a good look from the east, however it's easily viewed and best lit in the afternoon from the trail to Dark Angel.

The Devils Garden Trail drops down, then rises through a brushy plateau crowned by Dark Angel (4.15 miles : 5,426') - a towering 150' monolith at the trail's most northern point.

The slickrock bench from which Dark Angel rises looks over Salt Valley and the Klondike Bluffs. Return the way you came to the Double O Arch spur - Dark Angel - Primitive Loop Trail junction (4.55 miles : 5,398') and bear left on the Primitive Loop Trail.

Trail markings are less frequent and clear; be alert, look for cairns and anticipate quick changes in direction. The trail winds along a canyon floor to the Private Arch split (5.0 miles : 5,218').

Bear right through a rocky slot to the arch (5.25 miles : 5,198'), best viewed from the spine of a nearby and easily scaled fin. Return as you came (5.5 miles back on main trail).

The Primitive Loop continues through a sequence of washes and fins, where you might find water pockets and wildlife in shaded, secluded slots.

The trail enters a well-defined wash at 6.15 miles, exiting to the right at 6.35 miles (marked by a signpost). Here the Primitive Loop Trail gradually rises above wondrous rock gardens to a sagebrush prairie.

The trail crests (7.0 miles : 5,240') and levels back to the Devils Garden Trail junction (7.25 miles : 5,167'). Follow the gravel path back to the Devils Garden Trailhead (8.1 miles : 5,117').

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N38 46.975 W109 35.709 — Devils Garden Trailhead
  • N38 47.132 W109 35.782 — Tunnel Arch
  • N38 47.243 W109 35.918 — Pine Arch
  • N38 47.433 W109 36.265 — Primitive Loop Trail Junction (#1)
  • N38 47.539 W109 36.471 — Wall Arch (former site)
  • N38 47.652 W109 36.611 — Navajo Arch - Partition Arch junction
  • N38 47.510 W109 36.510 — Partition Arch
  • N38 47.472 W109 36.542 — Navajo Arch
  • N38 47.748 W109 36.887 — Travel over slickrock fin
  • N38 47.820 W109 36.966 — Black Arch Overlook
  • N38 47.957 W109 37.261 — Double Arch
  • N38 47.962 W109 37.276 — Primitive Loop Trail Junction (#2)
  • N38 48.070 W109 37.638 — Dark Angel
  • N38 48.227 W109 37.150 — Private Arch Junction
  • N38 48.074 W109 36.969 — Private Arch
  • N38 48.064 W109 36.742 — Primitive Travel
  • N38 48.142 W109 36.607 — Exit Wash (right)
  • N38 47.631 W109 36.359 — Crest hill on backside of loop - enter prairie
  • N38 47.433 W109 36.265 — Primitive Loop Trail Junction (#1) - return to trailhead

Worth Noting

  • Avoid traveling on the Primitive Loop alone. Do not wander off trail, as the landscape can quickly become indistinguishable. Come prepared with adequate water and sun protection. Do not underestimate travel time and exposure.

  • Do not disassemble rock cairns. Rebuild any that are inadvertently knocked over.

  • Avoid traveling over wet slickrock.

  • Be courteous to others taking photographs; allow fellow visitors a clear view of the attractions.

  • This is a heavily used trailhead. Arrive early to secure parking and avoid crowds.

Directions to Trailhead

The Devils Garden Trailhead is located 18 miles north of the main park entrance and visitor center. The main park road dead-ends at the Devils Garden Trailhead parking cul de sac.

Contact Information

Arches National Park
PO Box 907
Moab, Utah 84532-0907
Headquarters Phone: 435.719.2100
Fax: 435.719.2305
Phone: 435.719.2299 (recorded information)
Camping Reservation Line: 877.444.6777

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.


"Beautiful trail but watch out on the 'back side'! The trail (which is really more of a route) can be hard to follow, and there are so many social trails now that you can easily head down the wrong 'rabbit hole'. "
Ariana Tuttleman  -  Grand Junction  -  Date Posted: September 21, 2017
"The Primitive Loop is definitely primitive! There were several sections where I had to stop to figure out where to go next since the trail wasn't well marked. I also had several moments where I asked "Really?" when I realized where the trail went. Although this is a "low route" to the Double O Arch, it's not without heights. There are several sections of steep slickrock and cliffs that were difficult. I couldn't imagine using this trail as the way up!"
Emily  -  Colorado  -  Date Posted: May 27, 2013
"This was our favorite trail in the park. Be warned that the trail turns VERY primitive after Private Arch. We almost had to retrace our steps (6 miles at that point) because the final cliff was so steep and dusted with slippery sand that challenged our pretty decent hiking boots. There are few hand or foot holds easily reachable by someone standing 5'-5'5". Were it not for some experienced hikers who formed a human chain to guide us down, I'm not sure what we would have done. It could be that the trail deteriorated recently as a person in another hiking party commented, "Oh, I remember this but I don't remember it being this bad." She, too, required assistance to get down. "
Melissa  -  Toronto, ON  -  Date Posted: March 24, 2013
"There was no comments made in regard to exposed areas of trail. If someone is afraid of heights they need to be cautious of some areas of trail and not reach a point of no return,"
Keith Amos  -  United States  -  Date Posted: June 6, 2012


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