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"Needles: Good stuff to know" Top 5 Page for this destination Canyonlands National Park Things to Do Tip by goodfish

Canyonlands National Park Things to Do: 153 reviews and 320 photos


This unit of Canyonlands is more remote than Island in the Sky: 75 miles from Moab and about 50 from Monticello. Hikes here are either very short or very long with just one 2.5 and another 6-miler in between. That said, if you're wanting to do more than one day of exploring, you'll need to camp or plan on putting in some road time. The way in is paved and there's a scenic drive of sorts but if you're unwilling or unable to get out of the car, this is not the unit for you; go to Island in the Sky.

You do need a pass ($25 per vehicle; $15 motorcycle; $10 for bikes and walk-ins) to hike here and it's $20 a night for a spot at Squaw Flat campground. Group sites are available as well: see the website. This is a very popular location with backpackers and there are lots of designated, primitive sites scattered around the park which fill quickly during the spring/fall seasons so apply for your permit well before your trip.

It has a small visitor center for maps, chats with the rangers, drinking water and restrooms but no food. Drinking water is also available the Squaw Flat campground but nowhere else so bring plenty with you. The center is open seasonally and is closed on some holidays so check the website for hours.

There are also a number of primitive roads for 4-wheeling ( permit required) but they're not for novices and cost over $1,000 to be towed out if you hang yourself up. These can also become impassable after heavy rains. Nope, your own two feet are the best method of transport here!

Address: Needles, Canyonlands National Park
Directions: On US Highway 191, drive 40 miles (60 km) south of Moab, then take Utah Highway 211 roughly 35 miles (56 km) west to the park.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 10, 2015
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