Exploring Devil’s Garden in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a whimsical and fun experience! In many ways, Devil’s Garden reminds us of a natural playground. Here you will discover sandstone arches, jagged hoodoos, and a mushroom-shaped assortment of rocks. Climbing up and hopping around these strange rock formations will have you feeling like a kid romping around a playground! (Or, if you have kids of your own, will surely keep them entertained!)
On the sign that leads to the trailhead, Devil’s Garden is referred to as an “Outstanding Natural Area”, and we think that describes it well! Devil’s Garden is a whimsical assortment of unique geological features, including hoodoos, small arches, towering spires, and round slabs of slick rock.
There is a series of trails that lead through Devil’s Garden, but you can also just choose your own adventure around the area! Expect to total about a mile of distance on your feet to explore the best of Devil’s Garden.
In this article, we’ll tell you all the best spots to find in Devil’s Garden and help you prepare for your visit.
Devil’s Garden in Escalante | At a Glance
- Hiking distance | 1 miles
- Elevation gain | mostly flat
- Estimated time | 1 hour
- Difficulty | Easy
- Crowd levels | low
- Location | Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
- Fees | None
- Trailhead & road conditions | Devil’s Garden Parking Area. 12.5 miles down a washboard dirt road. High-clearance vehicle is recommended. 4WD is typically not necessary unless it has rained recently.
- When to go | Possible year-round. For ideal weather, visit during Spring (March to May) or Fall (September to November)
- Dogs | Dogs are permitted on the trail. Please keep your dog on a leash and be considerate of other visitors.
- Unique geological formations: hoodoos, narrow passageways, arches, etc.
- Climbing around Devil’s Garden is a ton of fun, and will make you feel like a kid again!
- Typically not very crowded.
- Road to the trailhead is bumpy and washboarded. Becomes impassable after rain or snow.
- Devil’s Garden area is fairly small, so it’s a quick stop.
Remember to Leave No Trace. Pack out what you pack in, stay on trail, be well-prepared, leave nothing behind, take only photos and memories with you, treat the area with respect and help preserve this beautiful spot for generations to come.
This is your ultimate guide to all the best hikes in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, whether it’s your first time visiting the area or your tenth. As two desert-obsessed adventure…
How to get to Devil’s Garden in Escalante
Devil’s Garden is located about 30 minutes from the small town of Escalante in southern Utah. To reach the trailhead, you will have to drive 12.5 miles down Hole in the Rock Road. Then turn right at the sign for Devil’s Garden onto a side road for a quarter mile until you reach the trailhead.
Hole in the Rock Road is a remote, washboard dirt road that deteriorates the further down you drive. It’s important to be prepared before setting off down this road, as there is no cell service and no services for 50 miles.
Make sure you have a vehicle that can handle the conditions and do not attempt to drive this road following rain or snow or if the forecast calls for precipitation. The short side road to the trailhead for Devil’s Garden is in worse condition than Hole in the Rock Road and high clearance is recommended.
Interested in hiking and camping on Hole in the Rock Road in Grand Staircase Escalante but having trouble deciding what to do or if you are prepared to take on this off-road adventure? We’ve got you covered! In the article below, we have created a complete guide to Hole in the Rock Road in Grand…
What to see at Devil’s Garden
For the most part, you don’t need to go into Devil’s Garden with any sort of plan. You can just wander around and you’ll come upon the best sights. However, there are a few special formations that you don’t want to miss, which we’ll describe below!
1. Metate Arch
Metate Arch is a particularly delicate sandstone arch located near the center of Devil’s Garden. While it’s beautiful from below, you can also get a view from above by climbing up on the sandstone slick rock behind it.
From here, you’ll also have stunning views looking over Devil’s Garden and the landscape beyond.
2. Mano Arch
Though less impressive than Metate Arch, Mano Arch is also worth seeing. It’s located just around the corner from Metate Arch, but can be a bit trickier to find as it’s wedged between two walls.
3. Four hoodoos
There are hoodoos everywhere in Devil’s Garden, but the most impressive (in my opinion) are a set of four hoodoos located on the far outer edge of Devil’s Garden.
4. Devil’s Garden at sunset
Devil’s Garden is exceptionally beautiful at sunset, and we highly recommend visiting just before the sun goes down! Better yet, you’ll likely have the place nearly to yourself.
Plus the short hiking distance makes it easy to get back to your car before it gets too dark.
Devil’s Garden in Escalante | FAQs
How hard is Devil’s Garden?
The great thing about Devil’s Garden is that you can really choose your own adventure! The official trail on AllTrails totals one mile, but there’s no need to follow a specific route. Simply wander around wherever your heart desires (sticking to trails, sand, or slick rock, of course!).
The area around Devil’s Garden is fairly flat. If you want a little extra adventure, you can scramble up on some of the formations (just be sure to avoid delicate areas, ie. do not try to walk across on Metate Arch).
When is the best time to visit Devil’s Garden
The best time to hike in Grand Staircase is during the Spring (March to May) or Fall (September to November) when temperatures are milder. During the summer, extreme heat in Grand Staircase can make hiking dangerous. If you must visit during the summer, be sure to pack several liters of water per person and wear appropriate sun protection.
Winter can also be a nice time to visit Devil’s Garden, but expect cold temperatures. Additionally, snow is possible and would make Hole in the Rock Road impassable.
Where should I stay nearby?
The closest town to Devil’s Garden is Escalante, Utah, a small town with several hotel, motel, campground and RV park options. You can also pick up groceries in town at the Mercantile or Griffin’s Grocery, although don’t expect a large selection.
Be sure to grab a delicious burger and sweet potato fries at Nemo’s after your day of hiking!
Below are a few great places to stay in Escalante:
- Yonder Escalante: Luxury RV park and campground, offering small cabins and renovated Airstreams in addition to RV hookups and tent campsites. Cabins sleep 2 for $260 per night and Airstreams sleep 3 for $330 per night.
- Escalante Yurts: Spacious, luxury yurts for those looking for a glamping experience. Nightly rates run around $330 to $430 and sleep 4 – 7 people.
- Escalante Cabins & RV Park: Offering cabins, tent sites, RV hookups, and even long-term rentals, Escalante Cabins and RV Park is a solid lodging option. Cabins will set you back about $145 and RV sites are about $40.
- Escalante Escapes: Modern tiny cabins that sleep 2 – 4 for $350 per night.
- Cowboy Country Inn: Budget friendly motel in Escalante for around $110 per night.
Nestled between the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon and the colorful strata of Capitol Reef right along Scenic Highway 12, lies an outdoor lover’s paradise: the small town of Escalante, Utah.…
Other Grand Staircase-Escalante Resources
Looking for other great hikes in Grand Staircase-Escalante? You may also be interested in these resources:
We want to hear from you! Questions about exploring Devil’s Garden or other hikes in Escalante? Drop us a question in the comments below!