Fiery Furnace Facts: Explore Arches National Park

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Editorial Team

The Fiery Furnace is a captivating maze of sandstone canyons nestled within the beautiful landscapes of Arches National Park in Utah. This natural wonder offers a unique and thrilling adventure for outdoor enthusiasts seeking to explore its rugged terrain and stunning geological formations. Whether you choose to embark on a ranger-led tour or opt for a self-guided exploration, the Fiery Furnace promises an unforgettable experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Visiting the Fiery Furnace requires joining a ranger-led tour or obtaining a self-guided exploration permit.
  • Ranger-led tours accommodate up to 14 people and cost $16 per person.
  • Self-guided exploration permits cost $10 per person and only 75 permits are available each day.
  • Age restrictions apply, with children under 5 not permitted on the hike.
  • Reservations for ranger-led tours can be made up to seven days in advance.

The Fiery Furnace beckons with its challenging and visually stunning landscapes. As you navigate through its intricate network of canyons, be prepared to don sturdy hiking shoes or boots with gripping soles, as sandals or high heels are not allowed. This ensures your safety and enhances the overall experience.

It is crucial to carry at least one quart or liter of water during your hike to stay hydrated amidst the desert environment. Additionally, all members of your hiking party must be present to watch a required educational video and listen to an orientation talk, ensuring that everyone is well-informed and prepared for the journey ahead.

Go with a Ranger: Fiery Furnace Hikes

To fully immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of the Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park, consider joining a ranger-led hike. These guided tours provide a unique and informative experience, allowing you to explore the remarkable landscape under the guidance of experienced park rangers.

Visiting the Fiery Furnace on a ranger-led tour offers several benefits. First and foremost, it ensures your safety in this challenging environment, where careful navigation and scrambling are often required. The rangers will lead the way, pointing out points of interest and explaining the geological significance of the area, making the journey both educational and awe-inspiring.

Reservations for ranger-led tours open one week in advance at 8 am Mountain Time, and they tend to sell out quickly, especially during the busy summer season. The tour costs $16 per person, in addition to the general entry fee for Arches National Park. With limited permits available, securing your spot well in advance is highly recommended.

Prior to embarking on the ranger-led hike, you will need to pick up your permits the day before. In order to obtain the permits, you will be required to watch an 8-minute video and listen to a 10-15 minute ranger presentation. These informative resources will familiarize you with the unique challenges and dangers of the Fiery Furnace, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.

Joining a ranger-led hike also provides you with a chance to connect with other outdoor enthusiasts and learn from their experiences. The shared journey through the Fiery Furnace creates a sense of community and camaraderie among participants, making it a memorable adventure.

The Fiery Furnace landscape, characterized by tightly packed, long rows of alternating fins and canyons, presents both logistical and physical challenges. It is highly recommended to bring navigation tools such as trail maps and compasses to enhance your exploration of this intricate trail.

Embarking on a ranger-led hike is a remarkable way to discover the hidden treasures of the Fiery Furnace while ensuring your safety and enriching your understanding of this unique natural wonder. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to join a ranger-led tour and create unforgettable memories in the heart of Arches National Park.

Tour Type Permit Cost Permit Availability
Ranger-Led Tour $16 per person Limited permits available
Self-Guided Tour $10 per person Limited permits available

Self-Guided Exploration: Fiery Furnace Permits

If you’re feeling adventurous and prefer to explore the Fiery Furnace at your own pace, self-guided permits are available. These permits allow you to experience the stunning beauty and unique challenges of the Fiery Furnace independently. However, it’s important to be aware of the guidelines and requirements in place for self-guided exploration.

Firstly, self-guided permits for the Fiery Furnace can be purchased for $10 per person. These permits are only valid for the specific day indicated on the website, so make sure to plan your visit accordingly. It’s worth noting that there are approximately 75 self-guided permits available each day, so securing your permit in advance is recommended.

When exploring the Fiery Furnace on your own, it’s crucial to be prepared and follow the rules set in place to protect the area. Remember that children under 5 years of age are not allowed to hike in the Fiery Furnace. Additionally, all members of your hiking group must be on the same permit and stay together throughout the hike.

Responsible stewardship of the Fiery Furnace is paramount. Please ensure that you carry out all solid human waste and trash to help preserve the pristine natural environment. Commercial groups are not permitted to obtain permits for the Fiery Furnace, as these permits are intended for private use only. Furthermore, pets are prohibited from entering the Fiery Furnace to maintain the safety and well-being of both visitors and wildlife.

Permit Pickup

Prior to your self-guided exploration, it’s necessary to pick up your permit. Advanced permit pickup is available at the Arches Visitor Center the day before your trip, at least one hour before closing. Same-day reserved permit pickup is also available at the visitor center. Make sure to check the park’s operating hours and plan your permit pickup accordingly.

Please note that in the event of snow on the ground, reservations for the Fiery Furnace will be canceled and refunded to ensure visitor safety.

Fiery Furnace Parking

Arriving at the Fiery Furnace parking lot early is highly recommended, especially during busy seasons. The parking lot can accommodate approximately 40 cars, so securing a parking space early ensures a smooth start to your self-guided exploration.

While there is a bathroom in the parking lot area for your convenience, it’s important to remember that there are no restroom facilities available along the hiking trail itself. Plan accordingly and use the facilities before embarking on your adventure.

Exploring the Fiery Furnace

Once you have obtained your self-guided permit and are ready to begin your Fiery Furnace exploration, be prepared for a thrilling and challenging hike. The loop trail covers a distance of 2.1 miles with an elevation gain of 500 feet.

Throughout your hike, you’ll encounter various stunning arches, including Surprise Arch, Skull Arch, and The Pit of Possible Return. These breathtaking natural formations are a highlight of the Fiery Furnace and should not be missed.

It’s important to be aware that sections of the hike involve stemming/chimneying, narrow slot canyons, boulders to traverse, and carved steps in rocks. Navigating the Fiery Furnace can be challenging at times, and the terrain may lead to moments of route ambiguity. Some hikers have described certain sections as “sketchy” due to perceived difficulties in navigation.

While exploring the Fiery Furnace, take the time to appreciate the unique environmental features it offers. From mesmerizing rock formations to captivating arches, slot canyons, and even occasional sightings of moss, the Fiery Furnace is truly a remarkable place to immerse yourself in nature.

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, we recommend following specific recommendations for the hike. Carry at least 3L of water per person, pack some snacks, wear a long-sleeve UV-proof shirt, and don’t forget your hat to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. It’s also a good idea to have a small backpack to carry your essentials and a fully charged phone for capturing beautiful moments along the way. Personal preferences for additional comfort during the hike are also encouraged.

Remember, exploring the Fiery Furnace with a self-guided permit allows you to embrace the challenges and rewards of this remarkable area. Enjoy the journey and make unforgettable memories as you navigate this extraordinary landscape.

Difficulty and Gear Requirements

Exploring the Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park is an exciting and challenging adventure. The trail is known for its breathtaking rock formations, narrow passages, and rugged terrain. Before embarking on this journey, it’s essential to understand the difficulty level and gear requirements to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Fiery Furnace Difficulty

The Fiery Furnace hike is labeled as strenuous due to its demanding nature. Participants will encounter uneven terrain, climb on irregular and broken sandstone, navigate narrow ledges, and traverse sandy surfaces. The hike involves gaps to jump across and narrow places to squeeze into, requiring agility and stamina.

To successfully complete the Fiery Furnace trail, hikers should be in good physical condition and comfortable with moderately challenging hikes. It’s important to note that this hike is not recommended for individuals with mobility issues or fear of heights.

Hiking Gear

Proper hiking gear is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience in the Fiery Furnace. Participants are required to wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots with gripping soles. Sandals or high-heeled shoes are not permitted due to the rugged terrain.

It is crucial to carry enough water to stay hydrated throughout the hike. Day hikers are advised to bring 3-6 liters of water per person, especially during hot weather. Salty snacks and a packed lunch are recommended to maintain energy levels.

Trekking poles can provide stability and support while navigating the challenging terrain. They also help distribute weight and reduce strain on the knees and ankles. Carrying a backpack is highly recommended to keep hands free and carry essential items such as water, snacks, and personal belongings.

Please note that tripods are not recommended due to the nature of the terrain, which may hinder their stability and usability.

Remember, it’s essential to be prepared and equipped with the right gear to tackle the Fiery Furnace’s unique challenges. By having the proper gear and taking necessary precautions, hikers can fully enjoy this remarkable adventure in the heart of Arches National Park.

Age Restrictions and Fees

Before planning your adventure to the Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park, it’s important to be aware of the age restrictions and fees associated with hiking in this stunning landscape.

Age Restrictions

The Fiery Furnace hike offers a challenging and rugged terrain, making it unsuitable for children under the age of 5. For the safety of all visitors, children aged 5 and older are permitted on the hike but must be accompanied by an adult. This ensures a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Ranger-Led Tour Fees

If you’re looking for a guided experience, ranger-led tours are available for the Fiery Furnace. These tours provide expert knowledge and insights into the unique features of this remarkable area. The cost for ranger-led tours is $16 per person and lasts approximately 2.5 hours. This fee covers the guided experience and the expertise of the park rangers, who will ensure you have a memorable and educational journey through the Fiery Furnace.

It’s important to note that tickets for the ranger-led tours can be purchased in advance, up to 6 months prior to your visit. Alternatively, tickets can also be obtained at the Arches Visitor Center up to 7 days in advance, depending on availability. To guarantee your spot on this incredible tour, it’s recommended to secure your tickets early.

Fiery Furnace Tour Fees Adults (13+) Children (5-12)
Tickets $16 $8

For those who prefer to explore the Fiery Furnace at their own pace, self-guided hikes are available. Permits are required for self-guided hikes and can be purchased at the park for $10 per person. These permits allow you to navigate the Fiery Furnace independently, offering a more flexible and personal experience.

With its age restrictions and carefully managed group sizes, the Fiery Furnace ensures a safe and enjoyable adventure for visitors of all ages. So, plan your visit, secure your permits or tickets, and get ready to immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of the Fiery Furnace at Arches National Park.

Reservation Process for Ranger-Led Tours

Exploring the majestic Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The ranger-led tours offer a unique opportunity to discover the beauty and wonder of this captivating area. To secure your spot on these unforgettable tours, it is crucial to make ranger-led tour reservations in advance.

Reservations for the ranger-led Fiery Furnace tours can be made up to seven days in advance. There are two convenient options for making your reservation: online at or by calling the reservation hotline. It is highly recommended to make your reservations as early as possible, as these tours are incredibly popular among visitors.

Once your reservation is confirmed, you will need to pick up a physical copy of the permit on the day of or the day before your scheduled tour. The permit serves as your entry ticket to the Fiery Furnace and must be presented to the ranger upon arrival.

Making Fiery Furnace tour tickets reservations ensures that you don’t miss out on this incredible adventure. The ranger-led tours allow you to explore the Fiery Furnace area with the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable ranger. The limited capacity of these tours, accommodating only 50 people daily, makes it essential to secure your reservation in advance to guarantee your spot.

Reservation Details Important Information
Reservation Fee $16 for Ranger-Guided Tours
$10 for Self-Guided Tours
Reservation Release Three months in advance in monthly blocks
Ticket Transferability Non-transferable and non-refundable

Due to the limited capacity of the ranger-led tours, Ranger-Guided tickets tend to sell out quickly, especially during the peak season. Therefore, it is advisable to book your reservation as soon as the tickets become available.

The Fiery Furnace ranger-led tours normally depart at 9:00 and 9:30 a.m., so please plan your arrival accordingly. All hikers participating in the ranger-led tours are required to have a valid permit.

For a detailed map of the Fiery Furnace trail and additional information, you can utilize the AllTrails app, which offers comprehensive guidance to enhance your hiking experience.

Embarking on the ranger-led Fiery Furnace tour guarantees a memorable adventure filled with stunning scenery, thrilling challenges, and moments of solitude. To prepare for the hike, make sure to wear sturdy shoes, apply sunscreen, and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout your trek.

Please note that the Fiery Furnace hike involves scrambling on large boulders, navigating a natural labyrinth, and encountering occasional steep descents. As such, it may not be suitable for individuals who are claustrophobic or have a fear of heights.

The Fiery Furnace ranger-led tours have been highly rated, with a perfect 10 based on categories like scenery, difficulty, personality, and solitude. It is truly an adventure you won’t want to miss during your visit to Arches National Park.

Exploring the Fiery Furnace on Your Own

While the Fiery Furnace section of Arches National Park is primarily accessible through ranger-led tours or special permits, there is also an opportunity for self-guided exploration. With a Fiery Furnace hiking permit, visitors can navigate the canyons and experience the unique beauty of this area independently.

Obtaining a Fiery Furnace hiking permit is essential for anyone looking to embark on a self-guided adventure. These permits can be purchased online in advance, allowing visitors to plan their exploration accordingly. It’s important to note that tickets for self-guided permits sell out quickly, so it’s recommended to secure them well in advance.

The Fiery Furnace offers a maze-like environment, with towering sandstone fins and narrow passages to navigate. While it can be an exhilarating experience, it’s crucial to have prior knowledge or experience of the area. Approximately 50% of hiking visitors using GPS apps find Arch landmarks challenging to locate inside the Fiery Furnace, emphasizing the need for preparation and familiarity with the surroundings.

Visitors venturing into the Fiery Furnace independently should come prepared with appropriate gear and supplies. Comfortable hiking shoes are essential for traversing the uneven terrain, and it’s recommended to bring at least 1 liter of water per person to stay hydrated during the journey. Additionally, carrying salty snacks can help replenish electrolytes and provide energy during the hike.

Restrooms are available at the beginning of the tour, but it’s advisable to bring a “bathroom emergency pack” to handle situations where restrooms may not be easily accessible. The Fiery Furnace hike can take around 1.5 to 4 hours, covering a relatively short distance of 2 miles. However, the uniqueness of the terrain, with its maze-like features, can make it feel like a longer and more challenging journey than expected.

Permit Type Price
Adults (13 and older) $4
Children (5 through 12) $2

Exploring the Fiery Furnace on your own provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the stunning natural formations and intricate maze of the area. It allows for a more flexible and personalized experience, where you can delve deeper into the canyons and spend hours discovering hidden wonders. However, it’s crucial to approach this self-guided exploration with caution, ensuring you have the necessary permits, knowledge, and preparation for a safe and fulfilling journey.

Navigating the Fiery Furnace

Navigating the Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park can be an exhilarating adventure, but it requires careful planning and observation skills. The canyons within the Fiery Furnace can be maze-like, and there is only one marked route with small signs. However, there are numerous other possible paths to explore, making it crucial to have a good sense of direction and an understanding of the area.

It’s important to note that GPS units do not work well within the Fiery Furnace due to the towering sandstone walls that can interfere with reception. Therefore, relying on traditional navigation methods like map reading, observation, and physical agility is essential.

The Fiery Furnace offers a range of hiking routes with varying levels of difficulty. Some paths require navigating through narrow passages, tight canyons, and precarious ledges. Experienced canyoneers may even find routes that involve the use of ropes. It is recommended that only experienced hikers attempt these challenging routes and that they do so with a partner for safety.

Self-Guided Exploration

For those who prefer to explore the Fiery Furnace without a ranger-guide, there is a 100% guaranteed guide available for purchase. This comprehensive guide offers detailed trail descriptions, pictures, and stages with short descriptions to make navigation easier. The guide is in PDF format, designed to be downloaded onto phones and can be used without cell service.

Purchasing the guide allows for three downloads within a seven-day period, ensuring that you have access to the information you need during your exploration. In the unlikely event that the guide does not adequately help in navigating the Fiery Furnace, a refund option is available.

In addition to the self-guided exploration guide, there is also a variety of Fiery Furnace merchandise available for purchase. These items include stickers, mugs, totes, and t-shirts, featuring designs like the Arches National Park Fiery Furnace Hike Skull Arch Stickers, Arches National Park Fiery Furnace Hike Sandstone Fins Mug, Arches National Park Fiery Furnace Hike Slot Unisex Tee, and more. Different sizes are available to accommodate individual preferences.

Effective Navigation Tips

For those utilizing the self-guided tour, it is essential to emphasize the importance of starting from the trailhead and following the guide from the beginning for effective navigation. By following the stages and descriptions provided, hikers can ensure they stay on the designated route and explore the Fiery Furnace safely.

If you have further questions or need more detailed information about navigating the Fiery Furnace, there is an FAQ page available for reference. This page provides additional insights and answers to common questions related to the self-guided tour.

Remember, whether you choose to explore the Fiery Furnace with a ranger-guide or embark on a self-guided adventure, navigating this unique landscape requires careful planning, observation skills, and respect for the surrounding environment.


In conclusion, the Fiery Furnace is truly one of the highlights of Arches National Park. Whether you opt for a ranger-led hike or explore on your own with a permit, this breathtaking landscape offers a unique and adventurous experience for outdoor enthusiasts.

Preservation and protection are paramount within the Fiery Furnace to ensure the longevity of its delicate ecosystem. Visitors must adhere to designated paths and leave no trace of their visit, allowing the enchanting beauty of this desert landscape to thrive despite challenging conditions.

Ancient pictographs and unique rock formations provide insight into Native American history and offer remarkable photography opportunities. Seasonal changes bring varying displays of beauty, creating a dynamic and ever-evolving landscape within the Fiery Furnace.

So, whether you’re a history buff, photography enthusiast, or simply seeking an unforgettable outdoor adventure, make sure to include the Fiery Furnace in your visit to Arches National Park. Explore its geological formations, bask in the radiant glow of the sandstone, and experience the magic of this remarkable place.


Can I visit the Fiery Furnace on my own?

Yes, you can explore the Fiery Furnace on your own by obtaining a self-guided exploration permit.

How do I obtain a self-guided exploration permit?

The self-guided exploration permits can be reserved online up to seven days in advance. They must be picked up in person at the Arches Visitor Center.

Are ranger-led hikes available?

Yes, ranger-led hikes are available for those who prefer a guided experience through the Fiery Furnace. Reservations are required and can be made up to seven days in advance.

What is the cost of ranger-led Fiery Furnace tours?

The cost of ranger-led Fiery Furnace tours is per person.

Is there an age restriction for the Fiery Furnace hikes?

Children under the age of 5 are not allowed on the Fiery Furnace hikes. Children aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

What gear is required for the Fiery Furnace hikes?

Good hiking shoes or boots with gripping soles are required. Sandals or high-heeled shoes are not allowed. Each person must carry at least one quart or liter of water.

How can I make reservations for ranger-led Fiery Furnace tours?

Reservations for ranger-led Fiery Furnace tours can be made online at or by calling the reservation hotline.

How should I navigate the Fiery Furnace?

Navigating the Fiery Furnace requires good observation skills and physical agility. There is one marked route, but there are many other possible paths to explore.

Why is it important to come prepared when visiting the Fiery Furnace?

The Fiery Furnace is a challenging terrain and it is important to have appropriate gear and follow the rules and regulations set by the park.