Hiking

The Complete Guide for Visiting Devil’s Garden in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Last Updated:  8/31/21 – Complete Guide for Visiting Devil’s Garden

Visiting Devil's Garden

There are plenty of incredible things to see in Southern Utah, but the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is one of my favorites.  Of its many attractions, the beautiful Devil’s Garden is one of the most popular.  Devil’s Garden is a unique set of rock formations along the Hole-in-the-Rock road.

If you are interested in seeing some interesting and beautiful rock formations, but not up for doing a long hike, then I strongly recommend visiting Devil’s Garden.  You can see the rock formations without having to venture much past the parking area.  For those who are interested in doing a bit more hiking, there are also plenty of opportunities to hike and explore when visiting Devil’s Garden as well.

Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument

The Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument is a very large, and very beautiful, area in Southern Utah.  It is one of the most remote areas of Southern Utah, if not North America, which makes it very attractive for outdoor adventure enthusiasts who enjoy the solitude.  In the national monument, you will find a wonderful variety of quick and easy hikes like those in Devil’s Garden, as well as multi-day backpacking trips to remote and beautiful locations.  There is a mixture of easy and difficult hikes, which makes it a great place for hikers of all abilities to enjoy.

If you aren’t familiar with the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument, there are three visitor centers that you can visit to get more information about the area.  These visitor centers are located in the cities of Kanab, Cannonville, and Escalante near the national monument in Southern Utah.  For a better understanding of how to get around in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, please review the map I have included below.

Grand Staircase Escalante Map

As I mentioned, the area of the national monument is pretty large, so the things to do and see are pretty spread out.  It can be pretty daunting if you attempt to do too much within one trip, so I would suggest focusing on one area at a time.  This is where the separate visitor centers really come in handy.

When visiting Devil’s Garden, the closest visitor center for you to get information from will be in the town of Escalante.  Before visiting Devil’s Garden, we stopped by the visitor center in Escalante to get an update on the weather.  Whenever hiking in Southern Utah, it is critically important that you keep an eye on the weather.  This is especially important if you are planning on doing any hiking in a wash or a slot canyon.  Rain up to 30 miles away can result in a dangerous flash flood where you are hiking.

Getting to Devil’s Garden

Visiting Devil's Garden

Devi’s Garden is located off the famous Hole-in-the-Rock road, just south of the town of Escalante, Utah.  Taking highway 12 West of Escalante, take a right onto Hole-in-the-Rock road.  The parking area for Devil’s Garden is roughly 12.2 miles South of highway 12.

Hole in the Rock Road Map

One of the most popular things about visiting Devil’s Garden is that it doesn’t require any lengthy or difficult hiking to enjoy. In fact, right from the parking area you can get a great view of the beautiful Metate Arch.  This makes it one of the most popular tourist attractions within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.  For more information on how to get to there and get around when visiting Devil’s Garden, please refer to the maps I have included above and below.

Devil's Garden Map.png

Other Grand Staircase Attractions

After visiting Devil’s Garden, there are a number of additional attractions within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument that I would recommend.  If another easy hike is what you are after, then I would strongly recommend the Long Canyon Slot hike.  It is located by Boulder, Utah, which is pretty close to Escalante.  I have included a guide for visiting the Long Canyon Slot below if you are interested in learning more about it.

For those who are looking for a bit more of a challenge, but don’t want to tackle a hike that is too difficult, the Zebra Slot Canyon is a great choice.  It is an absolutely breathtaking slot canyon that gets its name from the stripe pattern on the inside of the slot.  Unlike the Long Canyon Slot hike, this hike is longer and doesn’t have a marked trail.  Although unmarked, it isn’t that difficult to find if you have the right information.  If you are interested in this hike, I have included a guide for you to review below that will show you how to get there.

READ MORE:
Visiting Devil's Garden - Zebra Slot Canyon
Guide to Zebra Slot Canyon
READ MORE:
Visiting Devil's Garden - Long Canyon Slot
Long Canyon Slot Guide

For those who are looking for a much more challenging hike while visiting the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, I can think of none better than a hike to Reflection Canyon.  This 18-20 mile out-and-back requires an overnight and a back-country permit to see, so some additional preparation is required to do this hike.  It is also an unmarked trail that requires a considerable amount of navigation skill to find, so it should only be attempted by experienced hikers.  This is a hike that I plan on doing in the next year, and will hopefully have a guide published in the near future with more information.

Parks in Southern Utah

If you have more time while in Southern Utah after visiting Devil’s Garden, I would strongly recommend visiting some of the area’s national parks and recreation areas as well.  In addition to the region’s five national parks and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is beautiful as well.  For a better idea of where the parks, monuments, and recreation areas are in the region, I have included a map for you to review below.

Southern Utah Parks Map

For those of you would are looking for some additional stops to fill out your Southern Utah travel itinerary after visiting Devil’s Garden, I have included some travel guides for the five national parks and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area for you to review below.

Arches National Park

Arches National Park features over 2,000 naturally formed rock arches of various shapes and sizes for visitors to enjoy.  Many of these arches are located just off the park road, so it is a great park to visit for inexperienced hikers getting their first taste of the Southern Utah landscape.

READ MORE:
Visiting Devil's Garden - Arches National Park
Arches National Park Guide

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park features many incredible canyon vistas, needle rock formations, and slot canyons for visitors to enjoy.  It is a big park that is divided up into three distinct districts, so you will need multiple days in the park in order to see most of it.  While the Needles and the Island in the Sky Districts are fairly easy for novice hikers to access and navigate, the more remote Maze District is located mostly in the back country and requires much more hiking and navigation experience to enjoy.

READ MORE:
Visiting Devil's Garden - Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park Guide

Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef is one of the most underrated national parks in America’s national park system.  Much of the park is only accessible via dirt road and back country hiking, so you need more time and patience to see the most beautiful parts of this park.  However, for those who put in the effort, the park offers huge rewards.  One of my favorite parts of Capitol Reef National Park is Cathedral Valley, which is home to huge rock monoliths named the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon.

READ MORE:
Visiting Devil's Garden - Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park Guide

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is another park that novice hikers will really enjoy.  Although the park does have a lot of back country hiking trails, there are also a number of great viewpoints off the park road for visitors to enjoy.  Bryce Canyon is filled with rock spires called hoodoos, which makes it one of the most unique and beautiful canyons that you will find anywhere in the world.

READ MORE:
Visiting Devil's Garden - Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park Guide

Zion National Park

Zion National Park is one of the busiest and most popular national parks in the United States for good reason.  It the ultimate hiker’s park.  Within the park, you will find some of the most breathtaking vistas anywhere in North America.  You will also find two of the most incredible hiking trails in the world.  The infamous Angel’s Landing hike is considered to be one of the most beautiful, yet dangerous, hikes anywhere in the world.  For those brave enough to conquer it, you will be rewarded with jaw dropping views down the Zion Valley.  While not as thrilling, the Narrows hike is one of the most unique hikes you will find anywhere in the world.  It follows the Virgin River thru steep slot canyons where hikers spend most of the trail hiking in the river.

READ MORE:
Visiting Devil's Garden - Zion National Park
Zion National Park Guide

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

It may not be a national park, but the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is every bit as beautiful.  If you like boating, then you will absolutely love Glen Canyon.  In addition to the great beaches and campgrounds around Lake Powell, there are also beautiful landmarks like the Rainbow Bridge National Monument for visitors to enjoy.  If you have the time, I would also suggest taking a tour of the incredible Antelope Canyon, which is located just South near Page, Arizona.

READ MORE:
Visiting Devil's Garden - Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Glen Canyon Recreation Area Guide

Photo Gallery

Like most of the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument, Devil’s Garden is pretty beautiful.  Here are some of the pictures we were able to take when visiting Devil’s Garden and the surrounding area.

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7 replies »

  1. Thanks for highlighting the beauties of southern Utah, also a favorite of mine ( and close by). Just to clarify for your readers, the reduction of the national monument will not convert any land from federal to private. It will remove protection from leasing for mineral extraction, but remain federal land.

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