Devils Garden is a wonderful natural playground

Tom’s Experience playing in Devils Garden:

Devils Garden, in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, is a fun little area that is a natural playground. There are a ton of really neat rock formations consisting of hoodoos and arches.

Devils Garden Easter Island Heads

There are a few picnic tables at the parking area and an outhouse as well as a sign that describes some of the rock formations.

Devils Garden hoodoos

There are dozens of well worn trails you can follow that will lead you all over the area. We saw many kids that were running around and climbing on and through the fun rock formations.

Grand Staircase EscalanteThere are two natural arches in the area. The first is Metate Arch, which is a very narrow arch you can walk under. The second is Mano Arch, which is still small, but much larger than Metate and you can still walk under it.

Metate Arch, Devils GardenThere are a ton of various hoodoos of many different shapes and sizes that you can hike around.

Devils Garden Grand Staircase Escalante National MonumentDogs are allowed but must be kept on leash.

Tom’s Rating:

Trail Info: From Escalante head south on highway 12 until you reach the well marked Hole in the Rock road. Follow the main Hole in the Rock road for 11.5 miles to a signed Devils Garden turnoff on the right. The Hole in the Rock road is dirt but it shouldn’t be too difficult to make it to the trailhead if the road is dry. Make sure you have plenty of water and gas because there are no facilities off of Hole in the Rock road.


Devils Garden =     37.585651,-111.41472

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Visit the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

Tom’s Experience hiking the Sleeping Rainbows Trail in the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park: 

The Petrified Forest and Trail of Sleeping Rainbows Loop was a nice little hike in the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, just outside of Escalante Utah. This state park can get very hot in the summer months so be prepared with lots of water.

Petrified Wood

The start of the hike has lots of information about different petrified forest facts and how the petrified trees were formed. There is also a trail guide you can get at the start of the trail that guides you through a number of marked viewpoints.

Petrified Wood Sleeping Rainbows

The start of the trail climbs to the top of the bluff and then the Trail of Sleeping Rainbows climbs down and back up the other side. There were warnings posted that the Sleeping Rainbows trail was really steep, which it is, but I felt like it was not too much more difficult than the climb at the beginning of the hike.

Sleeping Rainbows

It was fun hiking along the trail and trying to spot all the petrified wood. My wife and I would call out anytime we saw a petrified tree and point it out. The Sleeping Rainbows trail had tons and it was very easy to spot. It was a little bit more difficult on the Petrified Forest trail but there was still a lot to see.

Escalante Petrified Forest

The beautiful colors of the petrified wood is caused by the various minerals that entered the wood during the petrifying process. Iron oxides produce oranges, reds and yellows, while manganese oxides create blues, blacks and purples.

Escalante Petrified Forest Trail

The rocks are very pretty, so you may be tempted to take one, but legend has it that the wood is cursed and removing a piece will bring the taker nothing but bad luck. The total round trip hike is about 1.75 miles. In addition to the petrified forest hikes, there is Wide Hollow Reservoir that is stocked with rainbow trout and bluegill. Dogs are allowed in the state park but must be kept on a leash.

Tom’s Rating:

Trail Info: Getting to the State Park is pretty easy and there are a lot of signs. From Escalante head west along highway 12 for about 1 mile until you see a sign pointing to the State Park on the right. The entrance fee to the park is $8 per vehicle.

GPS: Trailhead = 37.787131,-111.630448

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