Next time you are planning your trip to Arches National Park, also plan on booking a reservation to take the Fiery Furnace Tour. This is a two mile, three hour scramble through a labyrinth of cracks. I’ve driven by the entrance to Fiery Furnace several times and have never been in before. You have to have a permit or a guide to go into the Fiery Furnace as it is easy to get disoriented.
The tour was well worth the $10/adult $5/child fee. There is an age limitation – you have to be at least 5 years old. There are several tours throughout the day, but they do book up months in advance. Lucky for us, my brother in law scored some last minute spots on a tour the week before we went.
During the tour, the ranger explained different aspects of the biology, geology and history of the area. The kids had so much fun squeezing in and out of things and crab walking. The 6 year old had to be lifted up a few times, as her legs simply weren’t long enough, but everyone else had no problems.
While reading about the tour ahead of time, I was nervous about how hot it would get, as our tour time was 2pm. Also, you will read that it is really strenuous. But it turned out that for much of the hike, we were in the shade of the rocks. Also, the hike was only 2 miles, so if you are reasonably fit, you will be just fine.
After the tour, it was great to come back to the Devils Garden Campground – one of my favorite campgrounds anywhere. It’s clean, gorgeous, peaceful, and has multiple hiking trails right out of the campground.
SJPmama is the schemer, founder, and the editor at San Juan Parent. She created San Juan Parent because she wanted to find fun activities for families in the San Juan Mountain Region that would tire her kids out and make them go to bed at a decent hour. She has been banging away on computers for longer than she can remember and freelances at various tech jobs. She considers herself extremely lucky to have such awesome friends and family who are willing to let SJP feature their stories on the interwebs.