"Chesler Park (Needles)" Canyonlands National Park Things to Do Tip by Karnubawax

Canyonlands National Park Things to Do: 148 reviews and 297 photos

One of the highlights to a visit to the Needles district is the famous Chesler Park loop hike. It's a tough one - 11 miles total - but those who do it will be richly rewarded with some awesome scenery.

Park at the Elephant Hill trailhead, MAKE SURE you have plenty of water and food, and hit the trail. Along the way you'll get great views of the park, which is a large meadow surrounded by the picturesque spires that give the Needles its name. Most postcards you see from Canyonlands are taken here. The Chesler Park loop also includes the Joint trail - a narrow path running through a crack in the rocks.

Some things to remember - NEVER hike in Canyonlands (or, ideally, anywhere else) without a map and a compass! Signposts are few and far between, and it's easy to get lost in this remote area. I know this because it happened to me, turning my 11 mile hike into a somewhat stressful 14 miler. In particular, be careful coming out of the Joint. There are jeep roads surrounding the area, so if you do get lost, you can get one of these and it should lead you - eventually - back to the trailhead. There is no water along the trail, so bring what you need. If you have backpaking experience, you should look into staying in some of the backcountry campsites along the way.

Although I did get lost I thoroughly enjoyed this hike! Just be prepared.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 31, 2006
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