Hike Devils Garden Primitive Loop in Arches

Details

Distance

7 miles

Elevation Gain

1204 ft

Route Type

Loop

Added by Ryan Dewane

See over 7 arches, including Landscape Arch, one of the world's biggest. This trail is off the beaten path, away from crowds in Arches National Park with incredible canyons and sweeping views. 

This adventure begins at Devils Garden, which is a hotspot in Arches National Park. Most people take the shorter route to see Landscape Arch and then turn around, but the Primitive Loop, while challenging at times, is completely worth it. Starting from Landscape Arch, the loop will take you to several other arches, as well as down into some of the fin-like canyons that are so prevalent throughout the park.

Some navigating is necessary once in the canyons, as there is no clearly defined trail. Be sure to follow the cairns (loosely stacked rock piles) is you are unsure of where the trail is. There is a short section that requires some scrambling, but as long as you are physically fit it is easy.

The Primitive Loop officially begins at Landscape Arch, and will bring you back around to the same starting point. There are some great spots to set up for lunch or an afternoon break along the way.

Arches tends to be a place of “iconic” shots, and this trail is definitely something different from the typical pictures you see. Enjoy!

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Known for

Fitness
Rock Climbing
Camping
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildlife

Nearby

Reviews

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So Much to Explore

This trail passes by arches, across washes, up slickrock, and everything in-between. It's a great hike in Arches, plus, it's length keeps it relatively quiet even on busy days. Bring a lot of water.

Great loop!

A little more difficult after rain. There is a slick rock ramp that gets covered with sand people leave behind hiking. The last step here is tricky. There is also a large pothole usually filled with water. Avoid the logs that may be in it for cross. Pass it high on the right (hiking clockwise direction).

Really Fun Loop

If you are looking to see multiple arches on one hike then the Primitive Loop is for you. Great loop that has some rock scrambling also to add to the experience. Be sure to follow the cairns along the way and repair those that have fallen.

Not Just One But Many

Great exposure to many many arches in one hike. Diverse landscape, lots of wildlife, and fun scrambling to catch different angles of the arch (respectfully of course on slide rock only). Bring extra water and sun block. Tip- just before the drop into Double O arch there is a light color slab on the left. Scramble up for an expansive view into the garden and angle into the arch. Great meditation seat.

Best Day Hike In Arches

If you're visiting Arches National Park, this is probably the best trail you can hike, especially if you want to avoid all the tourists. The left side is definately busier because that's where most of the arches are, but once you get back in there a ways we saw very few people which was great! You'll get some great views of the La Sal Mountains and visit many of the coolest arches in the park. Also bring a ton of water! We hiked it in early May and it was already super hot, so if you're doing it in the summer it could be brutal!

One of the best trails in Arches

The Primitive Trail in Devils Garden is one of the best trails in Arches NP! There is some exposure to heights, but nothing that a healthy hiker in good shape couldn't tackle. I recommend doing the loop counter-clockwise so that you knock out the pesky sand dunes first. Definitely add this hike to your list if you're visiting the park, it gives you some of the best views around!

Loved this trail

This trail may be exhausting and very hot when done in the warmer months but it is 100% worth your time. It is not only beautiful but is also a really fun trail.

This is easily one of the best hikes in the park. Most of the arches aren't great for photographing, but the whole area is a "feast for the eyes".

702 total saves

4.9/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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