Big Spring Canyon Overlook and Trailhead

Brown rock spires, beige sandstone benches, and green shrubs line the canyon at Big Spring Overlook.
The view from Big Spring Overlook

NPS/Veronica Verdin

Quick Facts
The Needles, Canyonlands
Viewpoint, Overlook

Parking - Auto, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Trailhead, Trailhead/Hiker Register


Big Spring rests at the end of the Needles Park Road. From the overlook, unique rock spires and multi-colored sandstone benches line the bend in the canyon. The presence of the spring allows trees and plants to flourish in the spring and summer months.


From the overlook, follow marked cairns down to the canyon to begin the Big Spring to Elephant Hill loop, a challenging hike which spans 10.8 miles (17 km). This loop features extended hiking on slickrock benches and mesa tops overlooking canyons. There are excellent views of sheer cliff walls and other rock formations. You will have to climb two ladders in the pass between the canyons, making this a particularly strenuous hike.


Portions of the canyon are visible from the paved parking area. The trail into and along the rim of the overlook include slopes and rocky, uneven surfaces.


The Trailhead and overlook are located at the end of the Needles park road, approximately 6.5 mi (10.5 km) past the Needles Visitor Center. Several parking spaces at the roundabout and alongside the last section of the park road are available.

Canyonlands National Park

Last updated: June 9, 2022