Thursday, November 25, 2010

Roadtrip 2008: Devils Garden Primitive Loop in Arches NP

At the end of the 18-mile long road leading through the park is the trailhead of the Devils Garden Primitive Loop. At 7.2 miles (11.5 km) it is the longest maintained trail in the park. It leads to several beautiful arches: Landscape, Tunnel, Pine Tree, Wall, Double O, Partition and Navajo. The first part of the trail is paved, level, and wide. But once you pass Landscape Arch, the trail gets rougher and at times difficult to find.

The highlight of the trail is Landscape Arch, which is the longest natural arch in the world, measuring 290 feet (88.4 m). Unfortunately, likely the arch will collapse some time soon. In the last several years three pieces of sandstone have fallen from its thinnest section, forcing the park to close the trail that once passed under it. I am definitely glad that I had a chance to see it while it still stands in all its glory.

Also other arches along the trail are worth seeing and I would definitely highly recommend this hike.

Landscape Arch:

Navajo Arch:

Pine Tree Arch:

Picnic at Dark Angel:

Other interesting rock formations along the trail:

Double O Arch (on the photo is lower O arch):

View to the Dark Angel Pinnacle through Double O Arch: