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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Fiery Furnace, UT

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Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List UT > Southeast
4.3 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Loop 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,295 feet
Elevation Gain 150 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 - 3
Kokopelli Seeds 3.75
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
3  2018-12-23 Steph_and_Blake
11  2018-01-13 arizona_water
14  2015-05-27 AZLOT69
2  2014-12-27 Lucyan
7  2014-09-28 AZWanderingBear
Author Steph_and_Blake
author avatar Guides 98
Routes 59
Photos 2,511
Trips 175 map ( 749 miles )
Age 70 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Sep → Early
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:05am - 6:17pm
0 Alternative
rotten popcorn flick - killer self guided tour
by Steph_and_Blake

Likely In-Season!
The Fiery Furnace is a maze of sandstone walls, spires, boulders and cracks that offers a fun and challenging (both for the body and the mind) "hike" to people of most ages. We say "hike" because, while there is traditional hiking involved, there's also a lot of scrambling over slickrock, shimmying through narrow passages, and some Class III moves.

To enter the Fiery Furnace you will need to obtain a permit for a nominal fee and watch a 10-minute movie. Please check with Arches National Park in advance to understand all the latest details.

In 2016 the park service installed on the rock numerous, small white arrows to guide you through the maze. This is the same path that the park rangers use on the guided tours. There are just enough arrows to prevent you from getting too terribly lost, but not enough to make this a walk in the park. It's easy to breeze right past one of the arrows as they often blend into the sandstone given that the background color of the arrow is brown. You'll likely find yourself back-tracking to the last arrow that you saw and wondering how in the world you got off course. Of course you're allowed to explore the myriad "fingers" of the labyrinth, but it's very important to pay attention to each turn and the rock features so that you can find your way out. I confirmed that there is not a "sweep" of the maze by park rangers at the end of the day. Furthermore, while the walls aren't so high that there is no line of sight to a satellite, a GPS is generally useless in the Furnace. Because of this you might want to do this hike earlier in the day, especially in the winter when the days are shorter.

One thing about the movie...We felt it was misleading in that there wasn't much footage concerning the physical ability required to navigate the "obstacles". In fact, we thought the movie could easily cause people to believe that the hike is along semi-narrow, shaded, sandy floors with plenty of time for quiet reflection and fauna-spotting. This is not to say that the maze was very taxing physically, but folks should be aware of the challenges ahead and decide in advance if they're up for the task.

All in all, it's a fun hike and certainly different from most others in Arches.

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2018-12-25 Steph_and_Blake

    Arches NP NPS Details
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Fiery Furnace
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    It was special to visit Edward Abbey's home-park again.

    We picked up permits at the VC to explore in the Fiery Furnace. These permits are limited and were completely booked last time I was at Arches. Thankfully we got some of the last permits for the day. I think it helps to try in January!

    This is a special place that contains over 50 arches and many bouldering opportunities as you pick your route over fins and through narrow slots. Definitely a quiet retreat from the business that is Arches NP. The Fiery Furnace is easily my favorite part of the park.
    Fiery Furnace
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    An amazing labyrinth of passage ways through sandstone fins carved by time. The park service guards this area with special regulations as certainly it would be destroyed by the public unrestricted. Due to someone else cancelling, I was able to see it. Tip, Make online reservation if you know you are coming here but check for cancellations.
    Fiery Furnace
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    "The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time." Henry David Thoreau

    Fiery Furnace requires a permit or an advanced reservation for the Ranger guided hike. Given that the area is a maze of towering Entrada Sandstone fins, we wisely made reservations a while back. The skies threatened early, but held off for the three hour hike.

    Anna, a young Ranger with a penchant for story telling and quoting Thoreau and Abbey at appropriate times, led our little group. Normal group size is 25. Ten unworthy souls let a few thunder claps frighten them into the relative safety of the Visitor's Center, so much the better for the rest of us. Anna seemed as pleased as we with their timidity, so much more intimate with fewer. And this is an intimate hike. There are no signs, no real trail, and most of the time no sense of where you are in this jumbled maze of nature's grand creativity.

    The rain had popped out the color of everything; rock, cryptobiotic soil, the ancient junipers, the red sands of the washes. We navigated the obstacle boulders, lept over some narrow crevices and squeezed through others. "Watch how I do this because I can't help you from below," was Anna's only cautions when we hit a particularly technical section of the hike.

    At various stops Anna brought the story of Arches to life with her voice and a few props she'd brought along. This was a story of an ancient sea, the salt it left behind, the influx of erosion of the ancient Rockies, an uplift, a collapse, and then of fins of stone and a little water over a long time, of grains of sand, and the wonderment of those who first came here and now us. We could touch the story as she told it, both massive and minute; ancient rock layers, fairy shrimp in a pot hole of rain water, arches formed over tens of thousands of years, and 600 year old junipers four feet tall,some of the first organisms that crawled out of the Primordial ooze growing in undisturbed soil we weren't to step on at any cost.

    And it was over too soon, and so was our time at Arches.

    Permit $$
    information is in description

    Arches National Park
    Vehicles: $10 (Good for 7 days) Fee Information

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Moab, drive north on 313 to the entrance to Arches National Park. After leaving the visitor center, continue on the main road through Arches (there is only one) for 14.5 miles to the turnoff (on the right) for the Fiery Furnace parking lot.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Mar 09 2010 11:51 pm
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