• Spires of Cedar Mesa sandstone in Chesler Park (Needles District)

    Canyonlands

    National Park Utah

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  • Some unpaved roads are closed

    Recent rains have caused extensive damage to the Lavender Canyon road, Colorado Overlook road, and the Salt/Horse road. The White Rim Road is impassable from Hardscrabble camp to Upheaval Bottom. Roads will be closed until repairs can be made. More »

  • Extreme Fire Danger

    Due to extremely dry conditions, fire restrictions are in effect in all national park units in Utah. More »

  • New backcountry requirements in effect

    Hard-sided bear containers are required for backpackers in parts of the Needles District. More »

Suggested Activities in the Needles

photo: Artifacts at the Cave Spring Cowboy Camp
Artifacts at the Cave Spring Cowboy Camp
NPS Photo by Neal Herbert
 

If you have...

1 Hour:
Hike any one of the short interpretive trails and drive to Big Spring Canyon Overlook to enjoy the view.

2 Hours:
Drive the three-mile unpaved Elephant Hill access road for a distant view of the Needles. Hike one or two of the short interpretive trails.

Half a Day:
In addition to enjoying the scenic drive, hikers can explore the Slickrock Trail or walk to the edge of Chesler Park for a closer look at the Needles. Visitors with four-wheel-drive vehicles might consider driving to the Colorado River Overlook. Spend some time at the visitor center learning about the area.

Full Day:
Hike one of the longer backcountry trails, or spend time exploring the four-wheel-drive roads, traveling up Horse Canyon to see the arches, or over Elephant Hill to the Confluence Overlook.

Many Days:
Use the Squaw Flat Campground as a base camp and explore some of the hiking trails. Backpackers could spend a night in Chesler Park or Lost Canyon. Visitors with four-wheel-drive could move their base camp into the backcountry, stay at Devils Kitchen or Peekaboo, and explore the area around those locations. (Permit required for backcountry overnight visits.)

Did You Know?

Tadpole Shrimp

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...