Fiery Furnace, Fiery Furnace Trailhead, Arches National Park, Utah

Fiery Furnace - 2.0 miles

Fiery Furnace Trailhead

Looking across The Fiery Furnace (GPS: N38 44.584 W109 33.938)

Looking across The Fiery Furnace (GPS: N38 44.584 W109 33.938)

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Round-Trip Length: 2.0 miles (ranger-guided tour distance; mileage varies with self-guided route)
Start-End Elevation: NA
Elevation Change: Nominal
Skill Level: Moderate
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Fiery Furnace - 2.0 Miles Round-Trip

The Fiery Furnace is a small but concentrated maze of colorful sandstone fins and narrow slot canyons. This surreal geologic labyrinth earns its name from the deep red and orange glow of the sandstone fins that, when lit by the setting sun, resemble a 'fiery furnace'.

While there are no marked trails in the Fiery Furnace, the area can be explored in one of two ways:

1) Hikers can take the ranger-guided interpretive tour, which is approximately 2 miles long and lasts about 3 hours. The twice-daily tour is given April through October, and is highly recommended if you're unfamiliar with the Fiery Furnace and southern Utah desert terrain.

2) Hikers can purchase a day hiking permit and venture into the Fiery Furnace without the guidance of an interpretive ranger. This choice should be made ONLY if you have been on the ranger-guided tour before or have advanced backcountry and desert-canyon navigation skills.

While confined to a relatively small space, the Fiery Furnace's maze of slots, canyons and fins can present significant navigational challenges that should not be underestimated. Cairns are illegal to build in the Fiery Furnace and will be knocked over by rangers if found (see 'Worth Noting' below).

The National Park Service recommends taking the ranger-guided tour prior to hiking in the Fiery Furnace alone. The ranger will point out interesting geological and anthropological features within the Furnace that would simply go unnoticed or be unknown to inexperienced hikers.

Notable arches seen on the tour include Crawl Through Arch, Skull Arch, Surprise Arch, Flatiron Arch and the Walk-through Bridge. There are actually several hundred arches within the Fiery Furnace area! A keen eye and some creative positioning will help you locate many of these.

The Fiery Furnace is accessible to most, though some rock scrambling, hopping and squeezing through narrow spaces is required on the guided tour, and therefore is not recommended for disabled individuals. The Fiery Furnace overlook is accessible to all, however, and is recommended at sunset when the colorful sandstone formations are optimally lit.

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Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

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  • N38 44.584 W109 33.938 — The Fiery Furnace

Worth Noting

  • Building cairns is not allowed in the Fiery Furnace. If interpretive rangers see any cairns, they will knock them over immediately. Do not rely on self-made cairns for navigation.

  • GPS units may not work in the Fiery Furnace's deep canyons and slots.

  • Permits are required for Day Hiking in the Fiery Furnace and can be obtained at the Visitors Center. Due to the strenuous nature of the terrain, children under 5 are not permitted.

  • Reservations are required to take the ranger-guided interpretive tour. Reservations must be make online at recreation.gov at least four days before the tour. This popular hike often fills weeks in advance, so it's a good idea to plan ahead as soon as you know your schedule. Tour tickets cost $10 for adults, $5 for children (5-12), and $5 for holders of the Interagency Senior and Access passes.

  • Black Widow Spiders inhabit the rock walls and small crevasses of the Fiery Furnace; be mindful of your hands and feet at all times.

Camping and Backpacking Information

  • There is no camping or backpacking allowed within the Fiery Furnace.

Rules and Regulations

  • Day Use Area Only

  • Day Use Permit Required

  • No Camping allowed

  • No Dogs allowed

  • Cairn building is not allowed. Rangers or other visitors may kick over cairns and inadvertently cause you to become disoriented

Directions to Trailhead

Directions to Fiery Furnace Trailhead: From the Arches National Park Visitor Center, drive into the park for 14.0 miles to the signed "Fiery Furnace Viewpoint" turn-off. Turn south (right) into the Fiery Furnace Viewpoint and find a place to park. The GPS coordinate for the trailhead is: N38º 44' 34", W109º 33' 58".

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

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