Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dark Angel Trail-Devils Garden

The Dark Angel Trail is a side trail on the Devils Garden Trail in Arches National Park in southeast Utah. The Devils Garden Trail is at the north end of the paved road, about 15 miles past the Visitor Center.

The Dark Angel side trail begins at Double O Arch, about 2.1 miles from the trailhead. Most visitors to the Devils Garden Trail turn around at Landscape Arch after 0.9 miles. The trail becomes more primitive after Landscape Arch with slickrock sections and minor scrambling. More hikers turn around at Double O Arch with only a few continuing on the Primitive Loop or to Dark Angel.

It is about another 0.4 miles to the Dark Angel pinnacle. It took me about 1:00 hour of hiking to arrive at Double O Arch without any stops or traveling down the two other side trails. The route to Dark Angel crosses a drainage toward an area of fins.

Near the beginning of the side trail there are some good views of the backside of the Double O Arch.

The view to the west from the Dark Angel is across the Salt Valley and toward the Klondike Bluffs. The Klondike Bluffs area has the good hike to Tower Arch.

I hiked about 0.5 miles past Dark Angel along the cliffs on the east side. I was looking to see if any petroglyphs were along here.

I didn’t find any rock art but there is a small arch here. I think this one is called Cat Eye Arch.

My return hike from Dark Angel took 1:15 hours for 2.5 miles. My total hike took 3:45 hours for about 6 miles. I carried and drank 3 liters of water on a sunny 65 F late October day.

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