Fiery Furnace and Surprise Arch

MODERATE 231 reviews
#4 of 43 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

A permit is required to hike in this area. It can be purchased at the Arches National Park Visitors Center. Buying several days in advance is suggested as this is an extremely popular trail.

hiking
26 days ago

If you have good knees, no fear of heights/cramped spaces and don’t mind scrambling up and down over boulders and squeezing through small spaces do yourself a favour and get the permit to do this hike!!! Best $6 we ever spent (per person). Full body workout, such an adventure and the best sense of solitude that we have had in Arches. We got lost for about 30min at one point but that’s half the fun (just keep retracing your steps to look for the trail marker). Follow advice of other reviewers and take the time to find surprise arch. Set off 3 hrs before sunset and only saw one other person on the trail - amazing! We got out just after sunset. Honestly can’t recommend this enough. If you are super worried about getting lost consider a ranger tour - apparently around 15 people per group.

30 days ago

Great shady trail with a lot of surprises and places to explore. A must do hike. We went counter clockwise on the trail. Make sure you find the arch located in the area before the true steps in an area marked dead end. Arrows on trail are a little (lot) misleading at times making exploring easy. Have fun!

hiking
1 month ago

Don't miss out on the surprise arch. It's near the end at the last dead end sign before you go down the man made stairs. Have fun on this awesome hike!

1 month ago

If you want adventure this one is for you. We hiked a total of 7.3 miles. Unbelievable opportunity to blaze your own trail. Get the permit ahead of time and go on your own.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is definitely worth your time, and different from most things that you will do. We took about 2 1/2 hours, with at least 1 real detour off the trail because we missed the marker. But just remember where the last one is you saw, and you can get back on the trail. There are a lot of very small spaces to fit through, and man is it fun.

hiking
1 month ago

Such a neat experience! Highly recommend getting the permit and doing it on your own instead of a guided tour. There’s just something special about getting lost in the Fiery Furnace! Make sure to download the trail before you go, it can be super helpful at times.

hiking
1 month ago

Got to the visitor center on Saturday and grabbed up the last permit for Monday morning. Just a magical experience with surprises around ever corner, and lots opportunities to get lost in this beautiful maze. Lots of climbing over boulders and crawling through tight spaces. Took my family about an hour, but if you have time, you could extend your adventure in the maze.

1 month ago

Great hike! We did it with my brother (who works at Arches) as our guide. Nice shade for most of the way in the canyons and fins. Lots of arches to see with fun scrambles over rock. Glad for gripping shoes.

1 month ago

Awesome hike! We did this on our own and had a blast! We took several wrong turns but always got back to the trail. The trail is marked, you just have to look for the arrows. We completed it in less than 2 hours, even with our wrong turns. I think we did more climbing and scrambling than hiking but that was part of the fun. Definitely will do this again!

1 month ago

Devils Garden was amazing. This trail is too I. It’s own way. More bouldering. Definitely more primitive. Not for the faint of heart. All Trails made it easy. Could have spent more time but we were on a time crunch. Go counterclockwise for an easier hike.

1 month ago

amazing. don't forget permits are required, you can get your permit at the visitor center

hiking
2 months ago

This was my favorite hike of my trip so far! I loved how you could get a permit and just explore. Not being tied down to a group tour was wonderful. My husband and I just took our time exploring the different crevices and canyons inside. Make sure to bring sunblock (there are some portions where you are hiking in the sun), some snacks, and plenty of water. The temperature inside is much cooler than I expected and was nice in the shade with the wind.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing trails with a ton to see! Very beautiful. I love how you can kind of just roam through the many different canyons.

2 months ago

My favorite hike! It was beautiful and very shady. So interesting and the scrambling was a lot of fun

hiking
2 months ago

Second time in the Furnace and we decided to start at the bottom and work our way up!
Took us some time to figure it out-but that is what makes it so much fun! We did a lot of scrambling and once we were in-completely by ourselves!

Get your permit early! We went on Friday and had to wait until Sunday.. Not a big deal because our time was flexible.

hiking
2 months ago

There is nothing like being the only people in a very sought after hiking destination.

My wife and I got a permit (everyone has to) at the Arches National Park Visitors Center the day before our hike. We would suggest you do this a couple days or a week before, if you have time. During the summer months,it fills up quickly. You will have to watch a video and sign some documents, so allow at least a half hour to process the permit paperwork.

To be the only ones in the fiery furnace, you will need to do like we did, and get up around 5 AM to be the first ones there. It rained the night before, so we literally laid the first footprints within the hiking trails.

We found that most of the trail was laid out very well. You just have to look for the little arrows or the cairns‘s that are placed by the Rangers and you will find your way through.

This is a little bit of a challenging hike as you will have to climb up over boulders and along some rock faces. Ensure you carry lots of water, because you will get lost once or twice but you will easily find your way back to the correct path. Getting lost here is half the fun.

We did the hike in about two hours but I’m sure it may take a little longer for others.

The entire hike from beginning to end is absolutely amazing and beautiful. One of our favorite hikes.

We will be uploading videos to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheAdventureTravelers

hiking
2 months ago

My family and I did it with a guide and I really enjoyed it. Since you need either a permit or a guide the trail isn't crowded which was really nice. This hike was beautiful and there were some crawl areas and going through cracks in the rock. I would recommend it! The hike was also mainly shaded which was great!

hiking
2 months ago

One of the best hikes I’ve ever done! You need a permit, but recommend doing it without the guide. The arrows are fairly easy to find and I loved figuring the trail out for ourselves. It doesn’t get any better than this!

3 months ago

This was worth every penny for the guided hike. We enjoyed getting to try out some beginner canyoneering skills. It's beautiful in the fiery furnace.

3 months ago

We are 60 years old, in average shape for our age. We went unguided and just watched for the arrows. It wasn't too hard to stay on track. However, you want to be sure and explore the off-track areas. There is some climbing using both hands and feet. You will need a little bit of agility in places. But, it is not as daunting and scary as some would have you believe. It's a really fun hike.

3 months ago

Great hike. Took us about 3 hours. It was our first time, we were without a guide, and we had no problem. I would like to do it again and do more exploring off the route. We are 60 years old and I consider us moderate hikers.

hiking
3 months ago

We loved all the narrow slot canyons in the fiery furnace and all the scrambling required to make your way throughout. We tried and failed to make our own way before we looked up the trail in AllTrails. Thank goodness for this app!

hiking
3 months ago

Great loop. We found navigation without the app quite easy. The arrows pointing the way are clear. The scenery is beautiful.

hiking
4 months ago

Truly beautiful hike. My first time on this hike and first time using this app. Unfortunately, didn’t finish the hike. Got halfway through and the. Just couldn’t figure my way out. Not even with the app. Signage (arrows) lacking at critical points - others (not with me) had to turn back as well... Still enjoyed the hike immensely. I hope to get another shot at it!

4 months ago

Great fun.

hiking
4 months ago

Did this hike when it was 45 degrees out, probably the best three hours we've spent this week. Take a few minutes and get the required permit, then enjoy getting lost in the 'Furnace'. The trail markers are there, and honestly it was more fun going the wrong way for an hour, then retreating to find the trail later.

hiking
5 months ago

This is not a walk in the park. There are parts that are really tough and require a lot of flexibility and also a bit of fearlessness (I never slid down a rock before... it wasn't much of a drop, but still there is a bit of anxiety about it when it's your first time!)....

We found the default alltrails app map quite reliable and helpful (if you want to follow the main trail without taking the side trails).

Though there are parts of the trail where you are walking on flat sand, this is only for short durations. You will scramble up and down rocks, through skinny slots, some with steps and some flat, straddle over rock cracks, scooch along the wall with your butt on one side, legs on the other, do little jumps from one rock to the other, and more. We aren't too fit, but got up to about the 6th or 7th arrow then called it a day and turned around mostly because we couldn't find the route, and the area there was a bit hard to figure out where to go. As we were there on Feb. 11, there was not a ranger led hike, so we relied on our own route finding skills. We spent about 2 hours to get through at 1.5 miles... with all the twists and turns to get in, the side trails (skull arch, walk through arch- but missed the crawl through) and a few other offshoot trails. We walked out quite quickly in about 45 minutes tracing back the path we came in on without taking offshoot trails, but did manage to get a little lost three times before getting out!

Though we did not finish the trail, I am happy we were able to see what we saw. I think we did well considering we were without a ranger or a guide. It's well worth a try if you have the time!

I recorded our trail, and the images will be loaded with GPS points to the trail.

hiking
5 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous adventure! Spent 5 hrs exploring every offshoot I could. The arrows were nice in guiding one through the loop, but the good stuff was found exploring the canyons and slots just off the path. Seemed like every 10 minutes a new surprise was encountered. A MUST DO hike!

hiking
6 months 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.

6 months 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.

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