Saturday, May 2, 2009

Campground of the Week: Devils Garden, Arches National Park

Its prime time in Moab right now, and for good reason. The weather is ideal, not too hot in the day, nor too cold at night. There are wildflowers blooming in the desert, and there's still snow left in the La Sal Mountains. College spring breaks have finished, leaving the parks, the trails, and the rocks less crowded and more enjoyable. There couldn't be a better time to check out Arches or Canyonlands National Parks. So, this week's featured campground is a classic: Devils Garden, the only campground in Arches National Park.

Arches National Park contains over 2,000 natural sandstone bridges and arches. The whole park has a teetering feel to it, like if the wind blew any harder huge sculptures of soft red rock might crumble down all around. It doesn't however, and makes for some of the most fascinating geology in the world. Devils Garden is the only campground within the park and is conveniently located near some of the best, most popular hiking. Be sure to check out Delicate Arch, the relatively short hike is worth the effort to reach this great scene to photograph. You'll recognize it from Utah license plates and landscape calendars. Rock climbers should plan on scaling owl rock, one of the shortest, least demanding desert towers in the area. The 100 foot crack climb up Owl Rock is rated 5.8 and is the most popular climb in the park. More info about the climb here. Kids will love playing on and around the red rock landscape at the campground, making this one of the best in the state for families. Scrub juniper and pinyon pine trees grow out of the red dirt in the well-designed and spacious campground. The sites are well spaced and provide a decent amount of privacy for being in a relatively open desert environment. Check with the rangers at the entrance station to see if there is space available before driving the 18 miles into the campground.

Campsites and Facilities: There are 52 individual tent and RV sites(up to 30 feet) for up to 10 people. Two group sites are available for up 35 or 55 people, depending on the site. Flush and pit toilets, picnic tables, fire grills, and potable water are provided. Bring your own wood or charcoal for fires and grills. Leashed pets are permitted.

Reservations and fees: Up to 28 individual sites may be reserved March 1-October 31, anywhere from 240 to four days in advance. The fee is $15 per night. There is a $9 reservation fee. The 24 unreserved sites are first come, first served and can be booked starting at 7:30 AM at the park entrance or visitor center. Group sites may be reserved between 360 and four days in advance and cost $3 per person, $33 minimum; no RVs are allowed in the group sites. For reservations call 877/444-6777 or 518/885-3689 or visit Open year round.

Directions: From Moab drive north on Hwy. 191 for five miles. Turn right into Arches National Park and continue 18 miles to Devils Garden Campground on the right side of the road.

Contact: Arches National Park Visitor Center, 435/719-2299,

No comments:

Post a Comment