The Needles District forms the southeast corner of Canyonlands and was named for the colorful spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstone that dominate the area. The district's extensive trail system provides many opportunities for long day hikes and overnight trips. Foot trails and four-wheel-drive roads lead to such features as Tower Ruin, Confluence Overlook, Elephant Hill, the Joint Trail, and Chesler Park.
On US Highway 191, drive 40 miles (60 km) south of Moab or 14 miles (22 km) north of Monticello, then take Utah Highway 211 roughly 35 miles (56 km) west. Highway 211 ends in the Needles, and is the only paved road leading in and out of the district.
Visitor center is open daily most of the year from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with extended hours March through October. Thanksgiving Day and December through mid-February the visitor center is closed, but restrooms remain open. Exhibits, information and publications are available.
Interpretive programs are offered from March through October with evening programs presented most nights in the Squaw Flat Campground. Check at the visitor center and on bulletin boards for subjects and times. Other programs are offered throughout the season.Campground
Squaw Flat Campground is an ideal base camp for day hikes to popular destinations like Chesler Park, Druid Arch and the Joint Trail. There are 26 sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. Bathrooms, fire grates, picnic tables, tent pads and water are available year-round. Fee is $15 per night. Squaw Flat typically fills every day from late March through June and again from early September to mid-October.
The Needles District offers three campsites for groups of 11 or more people which may be reserved in advance:
Squaw Flat (Group Site): 50 people, 10 vehicles
Nightly fees are $3 per person.
Group Site Reservations
To reserve a group site in the Needles, please download and complete the Standard Application Form (30kb PDF file). Reservations for group campsites are accepted no earlier than the first business day in January for trips during that calendar year. A fee is charged.
Did You Know?
Naturally occurring sandstone basins called “potholes” collect rain water and wind-blown sediment, forming tiny ecosystems where a fascinating collection of plants and animals live. Tadpole shrimp, fairy shrimp and many insects can be found in potholes. More...