Fiery Furnace and Surprise Arch

MODERATE 137 reviews
#5 of 45 trails in

Fiery Furnace and Surprise Arch is a 2.5 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
2.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
620 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

old growth

rocky

scramble

no dogs

You will need a permit to hike in this area.

hiking
19 days ago

We hiked the Fiery Furnace on our own as there are no ranger-led tour in the winter. We spent four hours exploring the area and although we did meet some other hikers, we were on our own most of the time. There was a lot of snow and some iced spots, but other than that we did not encounter any special challenges for being here in the winter. We did not follow the arrows at first so it took us a while to get to the most interesting parts. I would definitely follow the arrows the first time, and then go back to explore on your own. It is definitely a must if you are in Arches NP.

23 days ago

The rangers give you pretty much full rein and encourage you to go exploring, following just a few basic rules to preserve the ecosystem. Fabulous hike with a bunch of great arches. Some fun technical parts, hopping over chasms and hugging fin walls.

1 month ago

We followed the arrows (my young daughter is a good arrow seeker) and also the trail map from AllTrails. We had a lot of fun, but at first round, we missed the walking through Arch, crawling arch and skull arch too. So we went back for a detail exploring. We were so happy we did that!! We found all the arches we wished to see!!

hiking
2 months ago

So much fun getting lost in the fiery furnace. The hassle of getting the permit was well worth it. I'll be back next time I'm in arches!

hiking
2 months ago

Wow! This was an amazing hike/Rock scramble. We are fit, not scared of heights and hike at home in CO all the time. I would caution anyone with young kids, not in good shape or afraid of heights to avoid the permit and do other easy hikes! There was a search and rescue today...there is no room for error in a few spots. That said, it was awesome!

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing time exploring! Start the trail on the right so incase you loose your way you can follow the arrows.

3 months ago

A must do if you are here. We spent a good 3 hours exploring the maze. Some beautiful scenery, a bit of light climbing. Easy enough not to get lost - the park recommends doing it with a tour but go on your own it's a permit that you get from the visitors centre, just be careful to or tread anywhere you shouldn't!

hiking
5 months 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!

5 months 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
6 months 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
7 months ago

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

7 months ago

Great experience-- should be agile climbing boulders required

7 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
7 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.

8 months ago

Loved it. We did not need the app truthfully . There are arrows along the way to follow. If it says dead end, TAKE IT! You will see some great stuff. Then just back track. We spent about 3 hours. We took our time. This is a lot of scrambling and a ton of fun.

hiking
8 months ago

Incredible hike! Didn't do it with a ranger and I'm glad we didn't... ranger stops too often. Got a bit lost but not bad. Great adventure!

8 months ago

This was a fun and amazingly beautiful trail.

hiking
8 months ago

My AllTrails app said we hiked 2.5 miles, 630 ft total elevation gain, 46 minutes moving, in 2:36 total time. We did the ranger led hike which meant a lot of stopping, a LOT of ranger talk (which was varied and somewhat interesting for the ranger that led our hike...ymmv), and a lot of slow hiking as we had a group of 15 and we had to navigate some narrow spots and do a bit of psuedo-stemming. I'll call it butt stemming or seated stemming, but it was slow going regardless. VERY cool and interesting hike to be IN the fins and canyons. Very beautiful. Since we were with a ranger we were able to relax and enjoy the hike without worrying about getting lost, which is a very real possibility. The park service added arrows and dead end signs to help those going it alone navigate the maze, but we still ran across lost hikers. One last thing, we got the rentor to buy us tickets a week in advance. Polling the other members on our hike, seemed like you needed to get tickets in person at least 4 days in advance. This is for a 2017 hike where you cannot buy tickets online, only in person at the visitor center. This may change for 2018 and beyond.

hiking
8 months ago

Did it for the first time with a ranger. Glad I did. Would be difficult to navigate without an experienced person. Such a great hike with some challenges.

8 months ago

Fantastic hike/scramble. Beautiful and surprising around every corner. Take water and pack a lunch and go in the cool of the morning!

Load More