The Dark Angel is a 150-foot sandstone tower sitting half a mile to the northwest of Double O Arch, and the western end of the Primitive Loop Trail. It sits atop a short hill above the Devils Garden, standing as sentinel over the arches and fins within. It is a unique formation in this area of the park, a great obelisk surrounded by fins, arches, and canyons. Dark Angel is located 2.34 miles past the Devils Garden Trailhead and parking lot at the north end of the Arches Entrance Road.
Trail Type: Hiking
Length: 4.9 miles round trip
Devils Garden Trailhead
The trail begins at the Devils Garden parking area, at the end of the main access road in Arches National Park. The Devils Garden Trail is nice, wide, and level, as good as it gets in the barren Arches landscape. The improved trail ends at Landscape Arch; a Primitive Loop Trail extends from there, providing access to many of the area's most spectacular structures.
Devils Garden Primitive Loop Trail
This whole trail is undeveloped, though it is the north end that is considered the actual primitive section of the loop. The Primitive Loop begins near the viewing area for Landscape Arch, the largest arch in the world.
Trail to Navajo and Partition Arches
Closer to Landscape Arch and the beginning of the trail, both of these arches can be visited on the way to Dark Angel. Navajo Arch and Partition Arch are located on the Navajo Arch Spur Trail, with Partition splitting off of Navajo’s trail. Partition is a window-like arch found along the same fin as Landscape Arch, though farther to the northwest. Navajo is heavy and deep, and parallel to Partition on the next fin to the southwest.
Dark Angel Spur Trail
The spur to Dark Angel leaves the Primitive Loop just south of Double O Arch. A sign marks the junction and the spur trail is well defined. The hike requires moderate scrambling, much like the Primitive Loop.
To return from Dark Angel, hikers can go back the way they came in or can complete the Primitive Loop (completing the Loop ads another mile to the route). Those completing the loop can also see Private Arch, which is located at the end of another short spur trail.
Click here for more information about Arches and the surrounding area.