Not to be confused with the popular hike in Arches National Park, this Devils Garden is a collection of geologic curiosities and several family-friendly trails near Escalante, Utah. Atop a weathered plateau, wind and water have carved layers of sandstone into enigmatic shapes that resemble ghouls, goblins, witches, and other spooky sculptures.
The formations are consolidated in one area, and social trails crisscross throughout. You can see most of the formations in under one hour and with less than a mile of hiking. This place is something of a natural playground. Kids will love scrambling on rock slabs and exploring the many nooks and crannies between. Photographers will appreciate the visuals of light and shadow. Dogs are welcome if they are kept on a leash. Although there is no camping, there are picnic tables with grills and fire rings. Several groups can spread out and spend a comfortable afternoon here. Try to stay on well-worn trails so as not to damage fragile desert plants.
Notable figures in the garden include Metate Arch, Mano Arch, and the Four Wise Men. Numerous others are unnamed, but each has a certain charisma all its own. Spend time viewing the rocks from all angles and decide what you think each should be called. The phantom-like figures look especially spooky at night, when the sky over this remote desert mystifies with stars or moonlight. Reached in a short drive from Escalante, Devils Garden can make a quick side trip, an exciting nighttime excursion, or pleasant afternoon-long outing.