The Fiery Furnace Hike in Arches National Park is an experience that most never forget. From the time you obtain reservations or a permit (which are required-sometimes months in advance) until you finish the hike, the trip is full of anticipation, wonder and surprises around every corner. If you are lucky enough to be able to go on this adventure, you’re guaranteed to have fun and will enjoy talking about your adventure for years to come!
With over 12 pages of information on things to do in Arches National Park, our Arches National Park itinerary covers everything you need to know to get started with your planning, including Arches National Park maps, hiking information, where to stay and information on camping in the park.
PARKING AND TRAILHEAD FOR THE FIERY FURNACE HIKE
The trailhead is at the Fiery Furnace parking area. This is about 13 miles north of the entrance to Arches. If you are coming from Moab, directions to the Fiery Furnace trailhead can be found here. While it is only about 20 miles from Moab, you should give yourself about 45 minutes to get to the trail ahead of your reservation if you are leaving early in the morning (before 7:30 am), or a full hour (or more) if coming during peak hours in the day. The lines to get into Arches can be very long, and you won’t want to be arriving to your hike late, as the group may have already left! If this happens, you will not be able to go on your hike (if you are part of a tour), so make sure you arrive early.
Fiery Furnace Map / Trail Location from the National Park Service
There are about 30 parking spots in the parking area. Since most of the people that park here tend to be on guided tours, the spaces don’t vacate as frequently as other lots in the park. However, when tours are finished, many spots tend to open up at the same time.
Restrooms are available at the trailhead. As you probably have guessed, restrooms are not available while on the hike and finding a place to go on the hike will be pretty much impossible (so plan ahead!).
THE HIKE INSIDE THE FIERY FURNACE
If you are part of a guided-tour, you’ll start off with a quick safety brief from your guide and then you’ll be ready to start your journey!
After the hike starts, you’ll quickly find yourself inside a seemingly endless labyrinth of rocks that can be very disorienting! If you are like us, you’ll stay close to your guide for fear that you’ll get lost during the trip. Don’t worry, though! The Rangers are great at making sure the group stays together the entire way, and we never felt the slightest bit in danger.
While the Fiery Furnace may be intimidating once you get inside, it is actually a highly concentrated area of rock formations, fins and arches (all made from sandstone) that covers an area of only about 0.5 square miles.
Though the hike is listed as “difficult” on the Arches National Park hiking page, it really isn’t overly taxing. The hike is slow-paced and there is only about 750 feet of total elevation gain on the two-hour adventure. Your guide will also make sure that you have plenty of breaks, which are always in the shade (and shade is not particularly common inside of Arches National Park!).
However, what is challenging is what makes this hike the most fun and memorable.
Rock scrambling and balancing happens throughout the entire trip, including an opportunity to shimmy your way through the appropriately named Crawl-Through Arch!
Along the way, your guide will pause several times to provide insight to how arches are formed and information about the local flora and fauna. Our Ranger guide was extremely knowledgeable, and of course very friendly and enthusiastic. We felt lucky to have him as our guide, but based on our experience with other Rangers, our guess is that all guides would provide a similar experience.
RESERVATIONS AND PERMITS FOR THE FIERY FURNACE HIKE
There are essentially two ways to hike the Fiery Furnace:
- Reserve a guided hike with a ranger. Ranger-guided hikes for the Fiery Furnace are available during the spring and summer. Reservations can be made for morning tours up to six months in advance and cost under $20. Children must be at least five years old to hike the Fiery Furnace. Check out this link for ranger-guided reservations. As of 2017, guided tours from third party concessionaires is no longer approved.
- Obtain a permit and hike yourself. Visitors to Arches National Park can hike the Fiery Furnace on their own, provided they obtain a permit. Permits have to be purchased in-person from the visitor center and are available up to 7 days in advance. The park recommends that all people attend a guided-hike in the Fiery Furnace before attempting the hike on their own. Although this is not required, it is advised as it is easy to get turned around while amidst the towering fins and rocks! Further information on obtaining a permit can be found on the Arches National Park-Fiery Furnace page.
- Arches National Park can get very hot in the summertime, and it is always dry. Make sure you bring plenty of water with you on your trip. We recommend the Platypus pack.
- We strongly recommend sturdy hiking shoes when on this trail. You’ll be glad that you have proper support going up and down the rocks and through some of the tricky parts of the trail. The last thing you want to worry about is your feet slipping!
- Arches National Park is accessed through one, long road. We recommend hiking the Fiery Furnace in the morning (though afternoon hikes are available). After your hike, continue to the Devil’s Garden (at the end of the park road) and continue to explore the park before returning to the main entrance.
FURTHER INFORMATION ON ARCHES NATIONAL PARK INFORMATION FROM JUST GO TRAVEL STUDIOS
- Things to do in Arches National Park, the best Arches National Park hikes, lodging near Arches and camping information is covered in detail in our 12+ page itinerary for Arches National Park. We also cover Arches National Park together with the other Utah National Parks in our 60+ page itinerary for Utah’s Big Five National Parks (Arches, Bryce, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion).
- Another great hike in Arches is the Delicate Arch Trail. This was one of the many hikes that we cover in our blog on the Best Family-Friendly Hikes in U.S. National Parks. Check out which other hikes made it to the list!
- Keep in mind that we also create custom, vintage travel posters from photos from your trip! These are one-of-a-kind and are lovely to hang on your walls. Check them out here: Custom, vintage-style travel posters
OTHER USEFUL LINKS INFORMATION ON ARCHES NATIONAL PARK
- The National Park Service has a great site covering Arches National Park.
- Frank and Gráinne cover what you need to know before you visit Arches National Park in their blog.
- Renée from The Good Hearted Woman covers seven great reasons to visit Arches National Park in her blog post. She also has an extensive library of information about the Northwest in particular. Check it out!