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

    Canyonlands

    National Park Utah

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • New backcountry requirements in effect

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

Backpacking in the Needles

Backpackers take a break while exploring Horse Canyon in the Needles.
Backpackers take a break while exploring Horse Canyon in the Needles.
NPS Photo by Neal Herbert
 

The Needles is the most popular backpacking destination in the park. Most trailheads are accessible by two-wheel-drive vehicles, and water may be found seasonally in many of the canyons east of Chesler Park. Inquire at the visitor center about the status of backcountry water sources.

Permits are required for all overnight trips in the backcountry. During the spring and fall, demand for permits frequently exceeds the number available. If you plan to visit Canyonlands during peak season -- especially during spring break (March) -- it is recommended that you make reservations well in advance.

Designated campsites (one group per site) have been established along most trails. In some areas without designated camp sites, groups may camp at-large.

Did You Know?

Spanish Bottom on the Colorado River

At Spanish Bottom on the Colorado River, scientists discovered 260 feet of sediment below the water's surface. This could make Cataract Canyon one of the most actively filling canyons in the world. More...