Arches National Park
Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park is a labyrinth of narrow sandstone canyons and fins.
The route requires minor scrambling and squeezing through tight spaces. This relatively
small area is one of the most incredible and spectacular places in the park. The Fiery
Furnace has restrictions on access and requires that you sign up for a ranger guided tour
or obtain a special permit.
The Fiery Furnace is
a natural labyrinth of narrow passages between towering sandstone walls. To
enter the Fiery Furnace, you must accompany a ranger-guided hike or obtain a
hiking permit at the visitor center.
There are small markers
for one counter-clockwise route in the Fiery Furnace, but there are many
other possible paths, and getting lost is a real possibility. GPS units do
not work well due to the towering sandstone walls. Navigating its complex
passages requires physical agility and careful observation. To protect the
wildlife and plants that inhabit sand dunes and drainages between the rock
walls, you will need to choose your steps wisely. We recommend first-time
visitors to the Fiery Furnace join a ranger-guided tour or go with someone
who has been before.
The ranger guided hike
is suitable for all healthy adults and older children. The loop hike is 2 miles around and
will require 2 1/2 to 3 hours to complete. The hike winds through terrain that
occasionally requires the use of hands and feet to scramble up and through narrows cracks
and along narrow ledges above drop-offs.
Navigation for this route
is easy with a ranger and extremely difficult without one. A GPS is useless in this deep
canyon maze. The USGS 7.5' Maps titled "The Windows Section" and "Mollie
Hogans" show the Fiery Furnace. All waypoints and maps for this route use the WGS84
datum. This route is rated 1A II using the Canyon Rating System.
Ranger Guided Hike:
Every visitor entering the Fiery
Furnace must obtain a ticket for the ranger-guided hike or a hiking permit at the visitor
center. Guided hikes are offered daily. Additional
information, pricing and on-line reservations are available through the
Ranger Led Programs. These popular hikes often fill weeks in advance, so
it's a good idea to plan ahead.
If you want to enter
the Fiery Furnace without the ranger-guided hike, you must obtain a hiking
permit at the Arches NP Visitor Center. Restrictions, pricing and additional
information is available from
Follow the main road into Arches National Park and do not turn off until told to do so.
From Arches National Park Visitor Center drive into the park for 14.0 miles to the signed
"Fiery Furnace Viewpoint" turn-off. Turn south (right) into the Fiery Furnace
Viewpoint and find a place to park (N38° 44' 34", W109° 33' 58"). The trailhead is identified by a large paved parking lot
that will accommodate many vehicles. There is a pit toilet located at the trailhead. The
trailhead is accessible to all vehicles in all conditions.
The Fiery Furnace is home to several technical canyoneering routes. Because of the
sensitive nature of the area the technical routes are not betaed on this or
any other website. Canyoneers have adopted a voluntary restriction on the
area with the understanding that those new to the area must first do the
routes with someone that has done them before. Please honor this voluntary restriction
to keep the area open to future canyoneers. If technical canyoneering in the
Fiery Furnace becomes an issue with the National Park Service the area will
be closed to all but ranger guided tours. The best place to find a
partner to show you the routes is in the canyoneering section of
Bogley Outdoor Forum.
Below is a
short video documenting some of the fun to be had inside the Fiery Furnace.