I’ll make sure that you don’t miss the sights that make this park so famous, but I also want to provide a few treasures that are off-the-beaten-path as well. Day 5 From Bakersfield continue to travel southeast to the city of Needles, California located on the California, Arizona, Nevada boundary. A lesser-populated hike, but still worthy of its spot on this list of the best hikes in … Canyonlands is split up into three districts, with Island in the Sky being the closest to a town (Moab), and sporting incredibly expansive views. Hike to Druid Arch to see one of Mother Nature's great artworks. The route between the canyons climbs steep grades that are dangerous when wet and may make people with a fear of heights uncomfortable. Protect Your Park - Keep off the Arches. You can also watch a park orientation video. Discover a landscape dominated by signature towering Cedar Mesa sandstone spires poking up from the desert floor and over 60 miles of trails that create the colorful canvas painted with red-and-white striped mesas, buttes, and needles. Learn more about sites, reservations, and facilities. The Needles The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park makes up the southeast corner of the Park. Surfaces can be uneven. With more than 4 Needles trails covering 21 miles, you’re bound to find a perfect trail like the Riverwalk Exploration Trail or Lake Havasu City Island Trail. Trail crosses uneven surfaces. Don’t be fooled, though; the Needles District of Canyonlands is a hidden gem, featuring an extensive hiking network, amazing geology, and relatively few people. Horseshoe Canyon is a popular hiking destination in The Maze. Read about backpacking. The Needles : This 20-mile collection of trails crisscrosses the Needles District, which is considered a remote part of this already out-of-the-way park. Carry a map, extra gallons of water, and a flashlight. The Needles district of Canyonlands National Park is easily accessible, with three short and scenic hikes that most families can finish in half a day. A tower structure marks the historic home of ancestral Puebloan people. Check at the visitor center and on bulletin boards for subjects and times. The entrance to The Needles Canyonlands is 75 miles south of Moab and is accessed via the UT 211 road. Trail follows cairns. The Needles is a district in the Southeast corner of Canyonlands National Park. Water available seasonally. Follow the wash to the White Rim Road. One-hundred-foot elevation change (30 m). A wonderful loop hike with some difficult sections climbing between the two canyons. Cave Spring: Cave Spring is the best hike in the Needles district. Features include: exhibits, book and map sales, backcountry permits, picnic area, general information, wireless internet, and park rangers on duty. All are considered strenuous, with an elevation change of 1,000-2,000 feet, and require negotiating steep slopes of loose rock as well as sections of deep sand. Download road and trail information for The Needles. Canyonlands has hundreds of miles of hiking trails which explore the park’s … A short hike leads to a cliff-edge arch. It’s named for bizarre sandstone spires (that’s the “needles”), and offers up some of the best backpacking in Canyonlands. Entering, touching, or climbing on archeological sites is strictly prohibited. Camping Near Needles Canyonlands and Hiking Trails. Walk to an east-facing overlook for views of the Colorado River, Monument Basin, and La Sal Mountains. This trail features expansive 360-degree views. Here's information on Moab Utah river rafting, canoeing, mountain biking, national parks, arches & canyonlands, camping, motels, dining, 4x4, arial tours, jeeps, horseback riding, music festivals, rodeo, petroglyphs, dinosaur bones, Native American artifacts, movies, and those wild sandstone arches in the red rock desert! It might be better to backpack out to Chesler Park, stay the night and then hike the loop. Rough switchbacks cross sheer cliffs and scree slopes. A primitive trail with steep switchbacks drops 1,600 feet (488 m) into a long, sandy wash. 25 East Center Street Moab, UT 84532 800-635-6622 Visit website Long trails at Island in the Sky begin on the mesa top and descend via switchbacks to the White Rim bench, or beyond to one of the rivers. Elevation change: 100 feet (30 m), The trail follows a sandy wash, then splits. Because of the remoteness of The Maze, most other trails are best for overnight trips. There are 43 moderate trails in Canyonlands National Park ranging from 0.6 to 104 miles and from 3,946 to 7,076 feet above sea level. A great introduction to the landscape of The Needles, connecting two canyons for a loop across varied terrain. The eastern fork to your right ascends Aztec Butte for spectacular views. A stunning out-and-back trail, this walk showcases spectacular panoramic views as it follows the canyon edge. Read about backpacking. Net elevation change is generally several hundred feet or less, except for the Lower Red Lake Trail, which drops 1,400 feet to the Colorado River. As a result, the park is divided into three regions: The Needles, Island in the Sky and The Maze. This trail offers one of the most spectacular views in The Needles. Steep grades & exposure to heights. Trail guides are available at the visitor center and at the trailheads. And there needs to be a special shout out to the rangers/trail maintenance and just Canyonlands National Park Service, this trail was so immaculately marked! Along White Rim Road. No need to climb the technical routes on Moses and Zeus towers to enjoy stunning views of Taylor Canyon. Druid Arch Trail (Needles) The first 3 miles of this trail is shared with Chesler Park Loop (below) and can be turned into an all-day adventure if you plan ahead. Druid Arch The Needles District offers over 60 miles of interconnecting trails as challenging as they are rewarding. Water is usually available. The Joint Trail winds through deep, narrow fractures in the rock. Sort By: This video describes the hike starting at the Elephant Hill Trailhead and going to Chesler Park the way it was on 10-28-2017. No shade. Route in Lost Canyon passes through dense vegetation and may be very wet. Title. Trails are marked with cairns (small rock piles). Be careful: steep drop-offs. It is only.6 miles around the loop, and much of it is cool and shaded even on the hottest day. Hours vary by season. Moab Area Travel Council. Water is scarce; bring at least 1 quart (1 L) of water per person for short trails, and up to 1 gallon (4 L) for long trails. We hiked this trail near sunset and loved the colors filling the sky and the lighting of the rocks to shades of purple. Entering, touching, or climbing on archeological sites is strictly prohibited. Most park rescues occur on this trail. The Needles gets its name from the color-splashed sandstone spires that populate the area. Trails are usually marked with cairns (small rock piles) and have signs at intersections. A short but steep trail leads to a clear view into Upheaval Dome. Some of the campsites can be reserved during certain times of the year. Canyonlands is massive, clocking in at almost 530 square miles. Electric outlets are not available. The Needles offers over 60 miles of interconnecting trails as challenging as they are rewarding. Canyonlands National Park Long Hikes Needles Needles District. Trail guides are available at the visitor center and at the trailheads. GPS units frequently lead people astray. With minor elevation changes, this trail is a great way to see some varied plant life. Cottonwoods and tamarisk offer some shade near the river. Canyonlands National Park Hikes Canyonlands National Park is an enormous region; in fact, it’s the largest national park in Utah. Surfaces along the hiking trails at Needles Canyonlands can be uneven. begin on the mesa top and descend via switchbacks to the White Rim bench, or beyond to one of the rivers. Just to review, here is my suggestion if you’re looking for easy hiking in Canyonlands. View structures from a distance to protect fragile walls. It follows the first part of the Chesler Park trail, then branches off to travel along the bottom of Elephant Canyon through deep sand and loose rock. Although most trails can be hiked in a day by strong hikers, many form loops and may be combined with other trails for longer trips. With how hot it is here we never attempted to do that. The Slickrock Foot Trailis advertised as an introduction to hiking in the Needles Districtof Canyonlands National Park, though at 2.4 miles (loop) it is still relatively long, taking at least an hour. Several short trails explore the mesa top with minimal elevation change, enjoying canyon views from above. Exhibits at the end of the trail discuss this unique geologic feature. The geology of the Joint Trail will blow your mind without requiring canyoneering skills. If backpacking isn’t your cup of tea, I recommend staying at The Squaw Flat Campground and doing one of the best Needles Canyonlands hikes: Chesler Park Loop Trail. Very strenuous climb in and out of The Grabens and then descend steeply toward the river. Both trails require scrambling up to slickrock and ledges. This longer hike leads past a historic corral on the mesa top. The trail offers vast views from the Murphy Hogback, then returns up a wash. After descending 1,300 feet (396 m) past a large alcove, the trail meanders in a wide canyon to the base of the notable Moses and Zeus towers. All backcountry hikers should carry a topographic map. The Needles forms the southeast corner of Canyonlands and was named for the colorful spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstone that dominate the area. Backpacked this hike and went further into the joint trail then were lucky enough to stay in CP1. Elevation change: 1,400 feet / 427 m. This challenging trail follows the canyons around Upheaval Dome and requires navigating steep switchbacks, climbing and scrambling through boulder fields, and a 1,300-foot (396 m) elevation change. Water reliably available. Tucked away in the southeastern corner of Canyonlands National Park, Utah, the Needles District is a backpacker’s paradise. In case you haven’t had enough views! Hike this trail clockwise for more afternoon shade. Distance - 1.8 miles (2.8 km) Difficulty - … Foot trails and four-wheel-drive roadslead to such features as Tower Ruin, Confluence Overlook, Elephant Hill, the Joint Trail, and Chesler Park. There is a lot more you can do and see in this section of the park if you have a 4WD vehicle, or more time to hike. The Needles Visitor Center is open daily, spring through fall. Conditions of other trails are more primitive, traversing a mixture of slickrock benches and sandy washes. The last 0.25 mile at the upper end is steep with one ladder and some scrambling. Recommended as a multi-day hike. Best in late afternoon. The Maze sees only 2,000 people per year, compared to the 264,000 people that visit Island in The Sky, just to give you an idea of how remote it can be. Long trails at. This means that some parts of the park are far more remote than others. This trail leads up the side of a sandstone dome, ending with broad views of Island in the Sky. Two backpacking sites in each canyon. The Needles forms the southeast corner of Canyonlands and was named for the colorful spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstonethat dominate the area. All are considered strenuous, with an elevation change of 1,000-2,000 feet, and require negotiating steep slopes of loose rock as well as sections of deep sand. Foot trails and four-wheel-drive roads lead to such features as Tower Ruin, Confluence Overlook, Elephant Hill, the Joint Trail, and Chesler Park. Lower section is at-large camping only. Hiking to second overlook adds 1 mile (1.5 km) and 50 feet (15 m) elevation change. The most popular backpacking loop is the Chesler Park Loop, though we … Two ladders must be climbed. Many hiking trails take you to remote locations in this park, so you don’t want to be caught hiking without a map. Geology guide available. Elevation change: 225 feet (68 m), A walk back in time, this loop trail passes historic ranching features and two springs where cowboys watered cattle. The western fork on the left climbs the smaller butte then drops below the rim to two ancestral Puebloan structures. Uneven slickrock leads to diverse pothole communities as well as views of the Needles. Many archeological sites and arches. Roadside Ruin is an easy, 0.25 mile long loop trail that uses trail markers to distinguish the species of flora that … You will firstly arrive at the visitors centre where you can get the Canyonlands Needles map before deciding which Needles Canyonlands hikes you want to do on your visit. The views along the way make this one of the best hikes in Canyonlands but the last stretch makes it one of the more incredible hikes that you will ever do. Check the calendar for other special events. The Needles campground is open year-round. Pretty as the Grand Canyon. Four designated campsites in upper section. great introduction to the landscape of the Needles. Luckily, some of the best hikes in Canyonlands lead you to these unforgettable formations. Along White Rim Road. It is possible to hike out and back to Chesler Park on a short day hike. A short trail leads to a storage structure built by indigenous people. It has stunning views toward the La Sal Mountains any time of day. Canyonlands is broken up into three districts, The Maze, Island in The Sky and The Needles. Rangers present evening programs at the campground most nights, March through October. Mesa Arch is a classic sunrise spot and is popular among photographers. To promote visitor safety and the opportunity to view natural features undisturbed, climbing, scrambling, walking or standing upon, or rappelling off any arch is prohibited in the park. Riparian areas in both canyons attract birds and other wildlife. Steep slopes and nearby cliff edges make this a challenging route. Trails along the White Rim Road —You cannot reach these trails from the mesa top. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time! Moderate trails involve elevation, such as climbing a sandstone feature or descending partway into a canyon. The wilderness further west (The Grabens) and either side of Salt Creek to the south is essentially pathless. For those interested it is a short ... the Canyonlands National Park and the other ... hike or walk in Note the rock layers distorted by salt pushing up from below. UT 211 ends in The Needles, and is the only paved road leading in and out of the area. Trail crosses open grassland, then drops 1,600 feet (488 m) into the canyon below. The trail ends with panoramic views of Candlestick Tower, the Green River, and the White Rim Road. This short loop leads to a historic cowboy camp and prehistoric rock paintings and peckings. Along Taylor Canyon Road. Three backpacking sites. The closest section or "district" to the town of Moab is the Canyonlands Island in the Sky district. At-large camping only. Starting at Cathedral Butte, the trail follows drainage often obscured by dense vegetation. Roadside Ruin Trail. The Needles District, more remote than Island in the Sky, boasts tremendous hiking and backpacking trails, and four-wheel-drive roads. Druid Arch in The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park Chesler Park Loop Trail Chesler Park Loop Trail is by far the best trail in the Needles, but it takes a lot of sweat equity, water, and the whole day. Even backcountry rangers are required to follow strict commun… Continue on Lathrop Trail by walking south on the White Rim Road, then follow Lathrop Canyon Road to the Colorado River. This short walk ends abruptly at an overlook of a meandering gooseneck bend in the Colorado River. Water is available at the visitor center year-round. Longer trails are especially rough and require negotiating steep passes with drop-offs, narrow spots, or ladders. Enjoy views of the La Sal Mountains and fanciful sandstone knobs on this varied and challenging hike to the White Rim. View structures from a distance to protect fragile walls. Pothole Point Trail is another short trail in The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. Many remote trails do not receive regular maintenance and may not be adequately marked. No water before reaching the river. Recently Updated Trail ascends 500 feet (152 m) to the base of prominent sandstone spires. Backpacking permits required. Many of the trails intersect, and a typical hike involves combining several of them, to form a loop. Moderate trails involve elevation, such as climbing a sandstone feature or descending partway into a canyon. Many different itineraries are possible. On US 191, drive 40 miles (60 km) south of Moab or 14 miles (22 km) north of Monticello, then take UT 211 roughly 35 miles (56 km) west. Total descent from the mesa top to the river is 2,000 feet (610 m). This trail crosses both Squaw and Lost canyons on its way to Salt Creek Canyon, passing along high slickrock benches with spectacular views. Located along the access road coming into the Needles District, take a step back in time to explore one of Utah’s Historic Monuments, Newspaper Rock… The drive-in is beautiful with so much different land to view and newspaper wall with all kinds of petroglyphs to view. This trail provides many great panoramas of the Needles formations. This is the map I use and recommend for Canyonlands National Park. Many different itineraries are possible, but some of the more popular ones are listed below. What an absolutly beautiful place. There are two paved roads to reach it- a sparsely traveled black top road just south of Wilson Arch which leads to To promote visitor safety and the opportunity to view natural features undisturbed, climbing, scrambling, walking or standing upon, or rappelling off any arch is prohibited in the park. Very limited trailhead parking. Toddlers will need to be carefully carried up. The Needles offers over 60 miles of interconnecting trails as challenging as they are rewarding. A great full-day hike, this trail drops off the side of the mesa top for a 1,400-foot (427 m) elevation change. Unlike other Needles hikes, this trail traverses dry, open country along the northern edge of the geologic faults that shaped the Needles. Carry a flashlight, map, and basic first aid equipment. View detailed trail descriptions, trail maps, reviews, photos, trail itineraries, directions and more on TrailLink. Having hiked most of the trails in Canyonlands National Park, here are the hikes easiest and most accessible for everyone: Mesa Arch trail (.5 miles) White Rim trail (1.8 miles) Grand View Point trail (2 miles) Hiking trails offer many opportunities for long day hikes and overnight trips. Water in the backcountry is unreliable and scarce in some areas. Had a great visit to the Canyonlands needles section of the park! Relevance No camping at river. Trail ends at a cliff overlooking the junction of the Green and Colorado rivers 1,000 (304 m) feet below. Vault toilet at end of trail. Explore the best trails in Needles, California on TrailLink. Many different itineraries are possible, but some of the more popular ones are listed below. The Maze is the least accessible district of Canyonlands, so hikers must be self sufficient and deal with their own emergencies. There are 2 short ladders to climb, which are easy for the 4 and up crowd. Exposed trail crosses a narrow mesa to a high point in a bend of the Green River. You will climb two ladders to complete the route. Along the way you’ll see wildflowers and amazing vistas. Step carefully, and don't forget to look up to take in the view. We strongly recommend using a map to reach The Needles. View prehistoric rock paintings at the end of the trail near Peekaboo camp. Aztec Butte Trail. Avoid hiking during peak heat on summer days. The Needles District is the park’s hub for … All trails are marked with cairns (small rock piles). Planning an overnight trip? But we were happy with what we did do and see in Needles and feel it was well worth a visit. - White Rim Overlook. To really get back to the needles area you have to do a long 6+ mile day hike. Hiking trailsoffer many opportunities for long day hikes and overnight trips. Four short, self-guided trails along the paved scenic drive highlight different aspects of the park's natural and cultural history. About 50 miles of challenging backcountry roads lead to campsites, trailheads and many natural and cultural features. The Needles district of Canyonlands National Park covers a vast area and has plenty of trails, though the majority are concentrated in just one part, south and west of the park road. Easy hikes in Canyonlands National Park. If you want to get an up-close look at the “Needles,” the sandstone spires that make the Needles district of Canyonlands National Park so uniquely beautiful, put Chesler Park on your list. One ladder must be climbed.imilar to the Big Spring to Squaw Canyon loop, but travels deeper into a canyon. The Needles district of Canyonlands National park is roughly an hour southwest of Moab and is far less crowded than the better known Island in the Sky district. Elevation change: 300 feet / 91 m, Island in the Sky's steepest trail rapidly descends 1,400 feet (427 m) to the White Rim bench. 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