2010 Arches National Park, Utah
2010 - Arches National Park, Utah

May 2010

Since I did a detailed report for our 2009 Arches NP Trip, this page will just include photos with some short descriptions. This year four of us made the trip as our daughter and her boyfriend were done with classes and wanted to come along. We made reservations several months ahead of time for the only campground inside the park - Devil's Garden Campground. I have to say this is the best campground I have every visited. It is nestled in the park's back corner, at the trailhead for the Devil's Garden section. Not only is it convenient for some of the best hiking, it is also spectacular as the camp sites are surrounded by large boulders and rock formations. There is no shower facility, but there are bathrooms located at various points down the long winding road. An amphitheatre is also located in the campground.

The view from our tent at the campground

Two tents are allowed per campsite. Ron and I set up our tent in the back while Brian and Tiffany set theirs up next to the firepit. Each campsite has a firepit and picnic table however some sites are larger than others. Reservations online are recommended from March to Sept, especially for multi-day trips. There are photos of each campsite online also which is nice. When I booked, most sites were already taken for the 3 nights in a row we chose, but I was very pleased with this site. There are a few sites best for large camper trailers and also two group campsites for tents only.

To book: Devils Garden Campground

The first day, once we had set up camp, we headed to the Windows Section for some short, less strenuous hikes.

After hiking, we returned to the campground, cooked dinner, and walked around the campground area, enjoying the wildlife and springtime flowers. A mule deer wandered into the campground area around sunset, on its nightly trek across to look for food, which caught many of us by surprise. It didn't seem to mind all the people watching it and slowly moved through the area, stopping at bushes to munch on berries, then disappeared over the ridge. We were busy washing dishes so of course we didn't have a camera closeby.

Our second day we got up early, cooked breakfast in camp, then headed to the Delicate Arch trailhead. Tiffany and Brian had not done this hike, so we were excited to experience it with them. We got there early and the parking lot was not full yet (this is one of the most popular hikes in Arches National Park) but some people had already started up the hill.

One of our goals for this return to Arches NP was the Fiery Furnace hike. In 2009, Ron and I had planned to do this hike but since it is by reservation only, we could not book ahead. At that time you needed to report to the Ranger Station at the gate, sign up for one of the hikes and pay the fee (this hike has a limit on the number of hikers allowed and it requires a Ranger to lead as the Fiery Furnace is a maze). In 2009 we showed up Friday at noon and discovered that every hike (there are 2 per day) was already booked until Monday afternoon. We were very disappointed as we had read so much about the hike. This year, however, they opened up reservations for Fiery Furnace online so I booked for the four of us to do the hike.

The website: Arches NP

The Fiery Furnace, from the parking lot

The Ranger led tour weaves through the maze of unique rock formations, past numerous arches, rock scrambling, spider walking up, over, and around steep ledges. The Ranger also gives you information about the plants and geology of the area along the way. It is not a casual stroll but if you are physically fit and have the energy, it is a fantastic 3 hour hike.

The Fiery Furnace lived up to all the hype! It was the highlight of the trip for all of us. I highly recommend this hike for the adventurous. Cost currently is $10 per person and reservations are necessary.

Our last day of the trip, we awoke to gloomy weather and immediately went to the "camp host" at the campground to see the posted weather report. A storm was moving in and windy conditions as well as rain were forecasted for the entire day. We decided to pack up and leave after a short hike in the Devil's Garden.

The storm moved it pretty rapidly, so we checked out of the campground a day early and headed back home. But we will be back!

Discover Moab website