Backpacking 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.

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