Explore Utah

Explore Devils Garden Near Escalante, Utah

This place is filled with faces, creatures and cartoon figures.  It’s weird yet wonderful.  This is a place to let your imagination run wild as you discover different images in the rocks.  Created by erosion, Devils Garden Outstanding Natural Area is a world of Navajo sandstone hoodoos, passageways and arches.  It’s only 200 acres and there’s no definitive trail.  You simply wander through and on fascinating formations from minature domes to mushroom rocks in the slickrock landscape.

@jenniferbroometv

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♬ Gravity Glidin – Masked Wolf

Getting there:  Take Hole-in-the-Rock Road, 5.8 miles east of the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center.  Follow the graded dirt road for 12.1 miles and turn right.  Drive 0.25 miles to the spacious parking area with bathrooms.  You can’t see the formations from Hole-in-the-Rock road so watch your mileage and look for the Devils Garden sign.

My friend Lisa and I discovered Escalante on a road trip in Fall 2017.  I’ve since been back numerous times.  On a recent road trip from Greater Zion to Denver, we decided to return to Escalante partly for pizza.  Check out my blog on Escalante Eats for that part of the adventure.  On our first visit we wandered around Devils Garden at sunset but felt rushed.  On this trip, we got up early, grabbed coffee at Escalante Outfitters and headed to Devils Garden on a glorious morning with temperatures in the upper 30s.

From the parking lot we headed toward a row of mushroom rock columns.  Hoodoos kindof look like mushrooms since the top part hasn’t eroded as much as the rest of the rock spire. We laughed as we pick out figures from faces to birds including one formation we dubbed “three little birds” as we climbed up the slickrock for a panoramic view.

As we traversed the slickrock, we took a moment to enjoy the expansive scenery near two rock columns that look like something you might see in ancient Rome or Greece.

From there we entered a maze of secret passages that lead to sandy garden and arches.  Looking up in the narrow slots, we picked out more images including a cartoonish face and one we couldn’t decide if it’s a gorilla or Star Wars storm trooper.  We also nooks with rock windows and crevices with wonderful views.

We were surprised to find several arches, including one named Mano Arch.  On our way back to our car we giggled at a few more faces and animals in the rocks and taking in the vast landscape surrounding this fantasy like world before continuing on to our next stop at Kiva Koffeehouse for breakfast burritos and coffee with a view.

Allow for at least an hour to wander around Devils Garden.  If you have more time, there are some trails across the wash to explore.

Author Jennifer Broome has traveled extensively in southern Utah.