- Hiking, Natural Wonders, Sightseeing Type
- 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Read about how we rank Things to Do.
Adventurous types love to explore the Fiery Furnace, a series of narrow passageways that leads through towering sandstone walls. Since it's easy to get lost among the labyrinth and because GPS technology does not work effectively within the walls, visitors must either take a ranger-guided hike or apply for a permit to enter the area alone (after watching a required orientation video). This is no ordinary hike. It is physically demanding, with areas that have irregular and broken sandstone, narrow ledges above drop-offs, gaps you must jump across and narrow spaces you must squeeze into and pull yourself up and through. In some places, you must hold yourself above the ground by pushing against the sandstone walls with your hands and feet.
The park highly recommends that first-time visitors join a ranger-guided tour or go with someone who has been before. Visitors who have completed the hike call it "incredible" and "exceptional," but warn that it can be quite challenging and suggest skipping it if you are claustrophobic or scared of heights.
The Fiery Furnace sits about 15 miles north of the park entrance. No commercial tours are allowed to access Fiery Furnace. Rangers lead two different tours through the Fiery Furnace, a 2 ½-hour loop hike and a slightly shorter, less physically demanding out-and-back hike. No children younger than 5 are allowed on either hike, and an adult must accompany all children 12 and younger. Tickets for the ranger-led loop hike cost $16 for adults and $8 for kids age 5 to 12. The ranger-led out-and-back hike costs $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 5 to 12. You can purchase tickets at the park's website in advance (which the NPS highly recommends since tickets during peak season sell out fast). The individual hiking permit costs $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 5 to 12. You much purchase these at the visitor center in person during regular business hours. For more information about the Fiery Furnace, visit the NPS website.