Devils Garden in Escalante is an exciting mini road trip excursion for those ready to let their imagination run wild. This part of Grand Staircase Escalante is truly a landscape for wandering. Described as a natural playground, Devils Garden allows you to walk among the hoodoos, through narrow passages, and under arches formed by years of erosion.
The whole family (furry ones included) can enjoy climbing and hopping around the rock formations. If you love taking photos you’ll definitely enjoy the different perspectives between the towering spires.
This guide goes over how to find Devils Garden, specific location details, and how to photograph an arch you won’t want to miss!
How Long Of A Hike Is Devils Garden?
Here’s the secret- Devils Garden is more of a roadside attraction versus a hike. There is no “official trail” to follow, rather a series of social trails meandering through the geological formations.
The plus side to this is that you can let your own curiosity and imagination lead you through, up, and over the sea of hoodoos.
Devils Garden isn’t a super large area so it is safe to plan for 1 mile of walking around and about 30 minutes to an hour worth of exploration.
Devils Garden In Escalante Visitor Stats
- Distance | 1 mile
- Elevation Gain | minimal, mostly flat
- Difficulty | Easy
- Total Time | 1 hour
- Dog Friendly | Yes
- Fees | None
Treat It Like Home!
When visiting Devils Garden in Escalante don’t forget to treat it like your own. Help preserve and protect our lands for future generations by following the Leave No Trace Principals:
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impacts
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of other visitors
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Getting To Devils Garden In Escalante
Devils Garden is located in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument about 30 minutes from the small town of Escalante, Utah. To reach Devils Garden you’ll drive 12.35 miles down Hole in the Rock Road, then turn right to continue another 0.25 miles to the recreation area.
hole in the rock road
This Utah dirt road leads visitors through vast lands full of amazing areas to explore. Along your way to Devil’s Garden you’ll pass a few destination options, and since it is a bit of a drive I highly suggest combining your trip with another stop.
Read Complete Hole in the Rock Road Hiking and Camping Guide for more destinations!
Regardless if you plan on only visiting Devil’s Garden or adding on another adventure you should be prepared for Hole in the Rock Road.
It is a washboard dirt road that can hold some deep sand that turns to mud after getting wet. 4×4 is not required but having an SUV is suggested at the very least. If you’re traveling in a sedan be prepared to go much slower and for the drive to take longer.
That being said, never travel down this road during or right after rainfall. Check this website before your trip for current road conditions.
Best Time To Visit Devils Garden
Spring, summer, and fall are the best seasons to plan a visit to Devils Garden. During these months rainstorms are always a possibility so it’ll still be dependent on the weather. Remember- no driving down Hole in the Rock Road when it is wet!
I can’t really suggest a ‘best time of the day’ for a visit because each time I’ve been to Devils Garden it has been in comfortable temperatures but very overcast. I attempted to capture sunset in both the fall and summer but had no luck. Maybe it is better for sunrise?
Of course temperatures also can reach 90s during the summer so don’t plan a visit for the hottest part of the day. Instead arrive earlier in the morning or later in the evening.
There are picnic tables at the parking lot so feel free to pack a lunch or dinner for your visit!
Exploring Devils Garden Escalante
The Devils Garden hoodoos are all concentrated in one area right next to the parking lot. All you have to do is hop on one of the social trails that lead from it and weave through the sandstone structures at your leisure. From here you’re able to wander through the few narrow passages or climb around to get up close to the hoodoos.
Kids and dogs tend to love this area because there is plenty of room for exploration. The sandstone can wear down your dog’s paws if they run around and climb, so I suggest having a pair of dog boots on hand just incase.
The entire area around this natural stone playground is sandy. If you visit midday expect it to be hot to the touch from baking in the sun. Again, dog boots for the furry one, and closed toe shoes are highly suggested for the humans as well.
Hot sand is one thing but we can’t forget about the desert bugs. When I visited one summer evening I was already wearing my Chacos. If I’m being honest I was tired from my busy day and didn’t feel like changing my shoes even though I should have. While the sand was no longer hot it was hard to climb around the rocks and the potential to stub my toe or get stung/bitten by a bug was there.
Luckily I only left with really dusty feet.
At Devils Garden the more you explore the more you will find. One of the most popular places to photograph is Metate Arch!
It is tucked back towards the middle of the rock formations. With a little determination and effort you’ll be able to find it no problem as you’re exploring through the hoodoos.
The real challenge, however, is finding the route to climb up top and step out on the mushroom rock. The point of this is to snap a photo through the arch like the one below!
May be cliché because just about everyone takes this shot. But it is still unique in the sense you rarely get to do this elsewhere. So of course I did it too.
Please do not attempt to walk across the narrow archway. It can be extremely fragile and dangerous!
In order to reach the top of the mushroom rock you actually have to walk around to the backside of the entire rock formation…which if I may say was a bit further than expected.
Luckily on the back side the rocks aren’t as tall as the front so it is only a short climb up. Once on top you carefully hop your way across cracks and openings until you spot the archway below which lines up with the rock outcropping.
Hopefully you have someone with you who can stand below to voice direct a bit. And of course be there to take the picture for you!
Once you’ve gotten all of your imagination and energy out you just head back to the parking lot and drive out the way you came in.
DEVIL’S GARDEN VISITOR TIPS
- Download maps ahead of time because there is no cell service.
- Avoid visiting during the hottest part of the day.
- Wear closed toe shoes with good grip.
- Bring dog boots if you have a furry companion.
- Carry 1L of water with you just to be on the safe side.
- Take your time, what is the rush?
- Wander through multiple times because each time you’ll see a new perspective!
Recap Of Devils Garden Escalante
A lot of destinations throughout Utah have become crowded but Devils Garden remains quiet. It may be off the beaten path a bit but most places worth visiting are.
If you find yourself driving through Escalante, a detour down Hole in the Rock Road to Devils Garden is worth it. A quick stop to stretch the legs, get some fresh air, and maybe let the imagination run wild can be good for us all.
When I visited with my dog, Monty, he loved being able to run around a bit and climb up to different levels. It was a great way for me to tire him out again before we returned to camp for the night.
More In Utah…
- Big Horn Canyon in Escalante- a must see dog friendly slot canyon
- Expert Guide To Hiking Fairyland Loop In Bryce Canyon
- 5 Reasons Mossy Cave Waterfall Is Worth The Stop
- Hiking and Camping at Lower Calf Creek Falls, Utah
- 11 of the Best Salt Lake City Hikes
I’d love to hear from you!
Do you think Devils Garden in Escalante is worth the detour? Or have you visited it before? Share in the comments below!