Devil’s Garden Campground at Arches NP

Devil's Garden Campground at Arches National Park

From May through October, Devil’s Garden Campground is reservation only.  Our sort of last minute trip to Arches National Park was at the end of October and by the time I called to get reservations they were pretty full.  We would drive in Sunday night and stay through Tuesday and the only campsite I could reserve was for Tuesday night.  We almost cancelled the trip.

Most campgrounds expect a certain number of no-shows and cancellations and I had heard that Devil’s Garden could take walk-ins if you got there early enough to grab one of the cancellations.  So we decided to try.

There are a ton of campsites around Moab, near the park.  The first night in to town we camped at one of the many campgrounds along the Colorado River on Highway 128.  These all seem to be first-come-first-serve and ours was $15 self-pay.  It was a quick 10 minute drive to the park and is a decent backup plan if you can’t get in to Devil’s Garden.  We spent a windy Sunday night along the river then decided to head into the park Monday morning to see if we could get a spot for that night and spend the rest of the trip in the National Park.

I asked about the campground at the entry gate when we paid our fee and the ranger told us we had to check with the camp host at the campground, but that the night before they had about 6 no-shows so chances were good if we caught them early.  Devil’s Garden is about 18 miles into the park so it’s a long drive past all the cool features of the park to get there, but we flew past everything and got there early enough to catch the host doing rounds.  Turned out they had a spot for Monday night and we got to spend the rest of our trip in the park.

Even though the campground is pretty far into the park, it is surrounded by a ton of hiking opportunities.  Broken Arch, Sand Dune Arch and Fiery Furnace are to the south.  Skyline Arch is adjacent to the campground and can be accessed directly from camp.  Devil’s Garden has a ton of arches and some great trails and is one of the main attractions in the park, walking distance from camp.

Camp facilities are as would be expected with toilets, water, a wash station and firewood available from the camp host.  Each site has a picnic table and firepit with a grill for cooking.  Choose wisely, some sites are very exposed and others are tucked in and protected by trees and rock.  We grabbed a nice spot at the very end of the campground that was protected and tucked in to provide some shelter and privacy.  The photo is from the rock formations that separate the campground from the road and offer a fantastic vantage point over the park and it great for watching sunset.

Highly recommended, but make your reservations early.

Moderator’s Note:

From the Arches NP website: The campground has 50 individual sites which are $20 per night and will accommodate up to ten people.  These sites may be reserved for nights between March 1st and October 31st.  Reservations must be made no less than four days and no more than 180 days in advance. There is an additional $9 booking fee for reservations. To make a reservation, visit recreation.gov, or call (877) 444-6777, (877) 833-6777 (TDD), or (518) 885-3639. During the winter months (November 1st to February 28th) sites 1 – 24 are available on a self-serve basis at the campground.  

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