The Needles, Canyonlands National Park

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The Needles

Visitors come to the Needles district, located in the southwest corner of Canyonlands National Park, to experience one of the most extensive trail systems in the area. Popular highlights include Druid Arch, Elephant Hill, and Squaw Flat campground.

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  • The Needles has over 60 miles of hiking trais.
  • Home to one of only two developed campgrounds in Canyonlands, Squaw Flat Campground.
  • Popular four-wheel drive trails include Elephant Hill and Lavender Canyon.

Overview

Home to one of the most extensive trail systems in Canyonlands, the Needles District, located in the southeast corner of the park, is an outdoor enthusiasts dream. Explore the areas massive sandstone spires and sweeping canyons on miles of scenic hiking and four-wheel drive trails. At the end of the day, bed down in Squaw Flat Campground.

Location & Information

The Needles district is located in the southeast corner of Canyonlands National Park.

Access the area from Moab by driving 40 miles south on US- 191, then take Highway 211 35 miles west.

Take Note:  Some roads may become impassable during or after storms.

Contact Information

Canyonlands National Park
2282 SW Resource Blvd.
Moab, UT 84532
435-719-2313

Activities

Visitor Center
The visitor center is a great introduction to the Needles district, complete with exhibits, information, and publications about the area. The center is open year-round from 9am to 4:30pm, with extended hours March through October. The center closes on a few winter holidays.

Hiking
The Needles is home to over 60 miles of interconnected hiking trails. Remember, conditions are primitive, and longer trails may include negotiation of steep passes, narrow spots, drop-offs, or ladders. Water is scarce. Popular trails include:

  • Druid Arch: Canyonlands answer to Stonehenge, this unique stone arch is truly a site to behold. Along the 11 mile route, make sure to enjoy scenic Elephant Canyon.
  • Confluence Overlook: This 10 mile trail treats visitors to expansive views of the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers.
  • Squaw Canyon: This 9 mile trail travels through a scenic sandstone canyon complete with abundant wildlife and beautiful riparian vegetation.
  • Cave Spring: If you’re looking for a shorter trail, Cave Spring is a great option. Only .6 miles in length, the trail climbs two ladders and leads to prehistoric pictographs.

Camping
The Needles is home to one of two developed campgrounds in the park, Squaw Flat Campground. Here you’ll find 26 sites available on a first-come first-served basis. Amenities include bathrooms, fire grates, picnic tables, tent pads, and water. There are also three group campsites available for parties of 11 or more.

Four-Wheel Drive Roads
The Needle is home to over 50 miles of exciting four-wheel drive roads. Popular roads include:

  • Elephant Hill: If you’re looking for a white-knuckle ride on some of Canyonland’s most challenging terrain, Elephant Hill is for you. The route is steep, rutted, and includes many technical challenges.
  • Lavender Canyon: This sandy trail follows a rough canyon basin across two major creek crossings. Along the route take time to view several stone arches and historic Puebloan granaries. A permit is required.

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