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!
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!