Devil’s Garden, Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument
The previous day was the hardest day I’ve ever had, hiking seventeen miles into Coyote Gulch. Today would be a day of recovery, one in which rehydrating my body would take priority. This would be a salvage day, a day I would not be able to do much but I would still have to do something to make my visit here worthwhile. My legs and my body were strong enough to do another hike but it was best that I didn’t.
The Devil’s Garden was originally planned on the same day as Coyote Gulch but I had to postpone it since the gulch was further and more time consuming than I expected. So, I chose to do it today. It was off the same bumpy dirt road called Hole in the Rock in Escalante.
The Devil’s Garden isn’t a hike but a scramble around strange rock formations called hoodoos. Again, there is no trail. From the parking lot, you enter the garden and wander among these hoodoos and arches carved out by thousands of years of erosion. I chose to hike up the small hill first to see the garden below. From this perspective, I can see the entire garden and all it’s strangeness. The best plan for this was just not to have one but to wander the garden.
I went in and discovered a couple of arches hidden among the large stones, Metate Arch above. The formations are so unique you’ll want to take a photo in front of each one.
Some stones are balancing precariously as if a slight breeze would topple them to the ground. Some appear to be goblins or dwarfs.
I wandered some more and followed the trail down to the dried river bed but there weren’t anymore strange stones beyond this so I made my way back to the parking lot. I spent less than an hour here which fueled my imagination and I had forgotten about yesterday’s hike for a short while.
My plans for today were to hike Zebra Slot Canyon and Lower Calf Creek Waterfall but I was still rehydrating and another hike wouldn’t have been beneficial. These, and other hikes, would have to be accomplished on my next visit.
Devil’s Garden was just the attraction I needed for today. It took very little effort but it picked up my mental well being with it’s strange but beautiful rock formations.