Fiery Furnace and Surprise Arch

MODERATE 97 reviews
#5 of 42 trails in

Fiery Furnace and Surprise Arch is a 1.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Moab, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until September.

DISTANCE
1.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
777 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

old growth

rocky

scramble

no dogs

You will need a permit to hike in this area.

hiking
22 hours ago

What an amazing experience! I took the reverse route, so promptly got lost about five minutes in. Stumbled back to the trail (all thanks to this app's map actually, though shortly after I lost signal and couldn't see the trail route for the rest of the hike) and wound up at Surprise Arch. Caught the last bit of the first guided hike then climbed up below the arch for a snack and to write some postcards. The second guided hike group arrived, I heard their presentation, then about four more small groups came by. I carried on and quickly got lost again, though these were easy back tracks and mainly stops so I could sit in the shade and write. After being in the Furnace for about three hours I realized I should really start getting going since I had no clue how much of the hike I had left to do. I spent almost another two hours finding my way back and routinely getting lost.

The scenery is amazing, the canyon walls just tower over you and there is so much to watch out for. I saw countless little lizards, some swallows, many plants and wildflowers, and of course other hikers. There were stretches where I went almost an hour without seeing anyone, which was particularly frustrating when I ran into directional problems. I spent quite a while trying to decipher people's instructions while looking over a 100-foot cliff face and thinking "there's no WAY they came up this!", backtracking multiple times through really tight and complex canyons (hands and feet holding you up on either side - great work out), only to finally go a bit farther (my fourth time down that way) and see the route marker that I was following backwards! I went off trail a few times, though did my best not to disturb anything other than sand, and if I thought the route was looking too hard for a group I started backtracking again. I did follow footprints, especially in the last hour, though that got me off route once but because there were so many tracks I committed and followed it down a 15-foot cliff crag (wow, tough drop!). When there are so many tracks and so few markers (really small arrows glued to rocks or on posts) it is really hard to know you are off trail sometimes.

What a thrill to be able to explore and feel I was genuinely choosing my own way at times. I completely get the solitude and silence appeal, though I would love to do the route in October or June when it might not be so hot. I brought two water bottles but probably should have had more.

Did the whole thing in about three hours but was in the Furnace for 5 hours (spent time sitting in shade for lunch and writing postcards). Definitely need 2 bottles of water MINIMUM!

hiking
9 days ago

16 days ago

Completed this trail with my dad, sister and my three children (9, 6 and 6). It was very unique. We lost the trail once and it took us a moment to find the path again. An absolutely magical place. Take snacks and water as it was very hot!

hiking
24 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Fantastic walk through spires and fins. We went anti-clockwise. Trail quite hard to follow in parts and some doubling back needed. Beautiful and some nice shade along with some fun scrambling. Recommended! Need a permit from the visitors centre.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely breathtaking views! Unique side of Arches that you can't see anywhere else in the park.

2 months ago

Great experience-- should be agile climbing boulders required

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Great hike! Arrows located on rocks help throughout but aren't always the most noticeable the first time around, which was fine with us. I used the map and locator with my phone on airplane mode, but only referenced once in the beginning as finding you way is half the fun! My husband and I completed this hike in 2 hours. I recommend starting early if you can.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

I didn't know anything about this trail, but my sister did, so we ended up getting a permit and going on our own. The rangers were a bit intimidating in their preparation speech, but if you are prepared you can enjoy this unique place. I downloaded the offline map to use and we also followed the arrows. The offline map works, but you're still going to have to figure some spots out on your own. I really enjoyed the beginning of the trail, I felt the arrows were very easy to follow. Towards the middle things got a little harder to follow, which was a bit stressful. I'd recommend going when you have the time and energy to get lost and not care! We spent about 2.5 hours on the trail and that included several periods of sitting around. While I'm sure it may be nicer in the early morning, we did this during the middle of the day and it was manageable because there is some shade and temperatures are cooler within the Furnace.

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

2 months ago