Fiery Furnace- Arches N.P.

Permit acquired! As we already knew, the ranger-led tours were full. I have no idea how many permits they give out a day, but we were very excited to get one! The Fiery Furnace was a highlight of my last visit to the park, so a trip without it would’ve seemed incomplete. When we initially asked about the permit, they cautiously asked us if we knew what we were getting into. I replied that I had been on a ranger-led tour before so I knew what to expect. In reality, I was probably last there eight years ago, so I didn’t remember anything. At first, they tried to scare us about getting lost and we almost fell for their trap. By the end of the short orientation video, they shifted their tone to “Go get lost! Have fun and look for the arrows if you get lost.”

We were informed that the ranger-led tour follows a set path marked by small arrows on rocks and signposts. While the rangers have a wealth of knowledge and we would’ve learned more, it was nice to journey through the Fiery Furnace at our own pace. Also, some of the highlights were venturing out to the many dead-ends, which the tour would’ve missed. With the permit you can basically go wherever you please as long as you stay on the rock and off the sand dunes and fragile crusted areas. Regardless of your preference or how you go…GO!

We decided to enter going the same direction as the arrows since we weren’t sure where to go at first. The Fiery Furnace is only about a square mile total, but it is tricky.
Diving in
Lot of interesting colors
Down one of the dead-ends
Probably the biggest lizard we saw on the trip!
Elizabeth Arch…not sure if it actually has a name, but that sounds good.
Dead-ends were lit, as the kids say.
Feeling small
Climbing up on the rocks a little
It was a fun game to look for the arrows. Many of them are far more subtle tucked on the rocks.
Lots of fun little channels to explore!
One of my favorite sections
One of my favorite sections.
Elizabeth climbing up on the rocks a little. Another dead-end!
Similar to one of the earlier photos, but I love this one too
We found a different way back!
Hmm, am I going to fit in here…
Lots of room when you crouch…or, just enough room.
Pretty sure these steps aren’t natural…
Looking back
We’re trapped!
In the middle of the furnace!
In the middle of the furnace!
It was actually pretty pleasant hiking weather in the furnace with the shade cover provided by the formations. Definitely bring lots of water though.
We only saw two other people and no tour groups. This was a remote timer photo we took of ourselves.
Lots of twists and turns in the furnace.
Working our way up
More arrows
Cool to see the trees mixed in
Lots of rocks to climb on if you feel like it.
Banana for scale
This is the route…
Posing as the clouds built up a little.
Looking toward the park center
Slicing through
More fins
With Mt. Tukuhnikivatz (Mt. Tuk) in the background. We hiked up Mt. Tuk a few days later!
The middle group of the La Sal Mountains…Mt. Mellenthin (12,645′), Mt. Peale (12,721′), & Mt. Tuk (12,482′)


Wow, such a great hike and meander through the Fiery Furnace! Definitely a highlight of our trip! I had a hard time narrowing down our photos and still ended up with this many!

You can get the in-person permits up to 7 days early, so stop by the visitor center as soon as possible if you are in town for a few days. You don’t want to miss this!

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