Hole-in-the-Rock Road, Part 1: Devil’s Garden and Cedar Wash Arch
I had been dreaming of seeing some of the canyons and magical formations out on Hole-in-the-Rock Road for over two years and was so excited to finally make it out there. I had quite the itinerary planned for us, but with all the recent rains two of the slot canyons we had planed to explore had at least 5 feet of water in them (I refer to this type of excursion as not dog-able) and an additional hike that required multiple wash crossings was flooded. And then the car became more fussy; nervous we would stall while climbing out of washes or going up steep 4-wheel drive tracks we decided it wasn’t worth the risk to drive out to a couple other places. But we really had an awesome time and have planned to just return to what we missed this trip.
Our first stop was Devil’s Garden, a collection of two-toned hoodoos and arches that have eroded into some amazing organic shapes. This small area is one of the most popular and accessible places along Hole-in-the-Rock Road, only 13 miles from Route 12. We spent a short time exploring the formations then decided to walk, crossing plateaus of petrified dunes and dropping into a rounded canyon. Turning back after a few miles we returned to the car and drove to our next destination: Cedar Wash Arch.
Cedar Wash Arch is a shallow arc, almost hidden among the gorgeous, creamy white Entrada sandstone that makes up the canyon walls. Though it was towards the end of our day we agreed that this wash would absolutely merit further exploration. Next we went looking for Covered Wagon Natural Bridge which should have been a half mile up the wash but we were unsuccessful. Walking along the canyon rim towards where we thought it was located provided us with more spectacular views into the wash and across the plateau though and was quite a spectacular place to explore.