Hike the Labyrinth of the Fiery Furnace Trail

The Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park is a burnt orange labyrinth of sandstone canyons that is (very) easy to get lost in. This trail will take you to slot canyons, small coves cut from sandstone, and surprise arches… but you’ll need to explore off trail every now and again to find these hidden gems. There is technically a trail, but the arrows are small brown signs that blend into the canyon, so you have to keep your eyes peeled if you want to eventually escape the maze. In this post, I’ll give you the info you need to hike the Fiery Furnace Trail.

Hiking Info

A permit is required for this hike, and you’ll have to watch a video at the visitor center in Moab to inform you of the rules. Alternatively you can reserve a ranger led tour up to seven days in advance or by calling 877-444-6777 (in North America) or +1 518-885-3639 (international).

  • Trailhead location

  • 2.1 miles roundtrip loop trail (sometimes longer if you explore some of the off shoots, or get lost)

  • Moderate to Hard, mostly because of rock scrambling

  • Elevation change: 492ft

  • Admission: This hike is inside Arches, so you’ll need a National Park pass. You also need to acquire a permit for this specific hike.

  • Free Parking inside the park

  • Bathrooms at trailhead

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The Hike: Fiery Furnace Trail

We started the hike from the parking lot heading downward. There isn’t a rail so you have to trust your instincts at first. We made it into the maze, but quickly found it hard to find the very tiny brown arrow trail markers. This is very fun at first because we went and found a passageway with a small arch and another with a “window” or small skylight. We spent some time exploring and coming back to the same spot trying to find the next correct marker.

After about 45min of wandering we finally came across the indicator, and were on our way through the maze, paying close attention so we didn’t get too lost again. It can be cool to go off trail though as long as you can track back to where you started so you can find your way. I’d give you some hints but that’s no fun. If you’re an adventurous spirit have fun exploring. If this may make you feel anxious then try to book a ranger led tour.

Biological Soil Crust

You’ll get a rundown on how to keep this area in tact, but as a reminder avoid walking on the biological soil crust that looks like the image below. This soil is full of microbial communities that help protect the plants and animals of the region by preventing harmful erosion. While you’re inside the Fiery Furnace, or anywhere in the park, walk on the marked trails, sand or rock.

You could spend a month in the this region of Utah and find something new to do each day, but for any weekend warriors here's a list of great activities.


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