Fiery Furnace and Surprise Arch

MODERATE 204 reviews
#5 of 46 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
5 days 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
7 days ago

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

7 days ago

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

hiking
10 days 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
13 days 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. Look for our upcoming video on YouTube: TheAdventureTravelers

hiking
15 days 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
17 days 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!

1 month 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.

1 month 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.

1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

hiking
2 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!

2 months ago

Great fun.

hiking
2 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
3 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
3 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
4 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.

4 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.

5 months 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
6 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
6 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
6 months ago

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

7 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
9 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!

9 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
10 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
11 months ago

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

11 months ago

Great experience-- should be agile climbing boulders required

11 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.

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