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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Devils Garden Primitive Loop, Part 2, Arches National Park

August 15, 2012

After viewing Dark Angel, we hiked back to the crossroads and continued onto the primitive section of the trail. There was no longer a maintained trail for M and I to follow. Instead, we had to look for cairns to guide us through the sandstone maze. We took the detour to view Private Arch and after then continued clambering over and along walls of orange slickrock. We hastened our pace as the sun rose higher in the sky and after an hour of scrambling, the terrain switched from apricot pillars to apricot sand, littered with petite green bushes. I did not enjoy walking over steep hills of sand and the blazing sun didn't make it anymore enjoyable but we trudged onward. As the primitive trail rejoined the maintained trails near Landscape Arch, we realized we were no longer alone. Maneuvering through the crowds of people, we made our way out of the Devils Garden Loop and back to our car for some water and air conditioning. 

Arches National Park

Arches National Park

Primitive Loop Hike

Start of Primitive Loop on Devils Garden Trail

M and I on the trail

Following cairns on the clean trail

Primitive Loop Trail

Following cairns again. Small cairn near center right

Private Arch up ahead

M on slickrock looking back at the tiny cairn to the left behind him.

Private Arch

Leaving Private Arch, trying to hike out of this area and get back to maintained trail

M next to a wall of sandstone rock, still on Primitive Loop

Trail starting to get sandy and more brush-filled

Primitive Loop Trail

Scrambled over boulders

Huge wall of sandstone waves

Narrower areas on the trail

Getting to the sandier parts of trail

Scurried over this wall of slickrock

Hiking along Primitive Loop, not knowing what lay ahead

A wide chute for me to slide down

Sandy bushy expanse on Primitive Loop

Looking back at the trail

Looking ahead on Primitive Loop

More sand to walk through

Prickly pear cacti...reminded me of tiny tombstones

Almost the to the end of this sandy section

View of the area surrounding us

View ahead, where the Primitive Loop will meet Devils Garden Loop
What greeted us when we left Devils Garden Primitive Loop. Lesson for the wise: Start EARLY!


  1. I LOVE your descriptions and pictures of Delicate Arch and Devil's Garden hikes. We are headed there this weekend for a week of hiking, and I just can't wait! You are great at documenting hikes!

    1. Thank you for your kind words! Have fun out there. Definitely one of my favorite places to hike. Go early and safe travels!