Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Canyonlands National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Wow! Easily one of the best hikes I’ve ever done. There was lots of variety on this hike and unbelievable views from many different angles of each canyon. We started at 8:45am in May and completed in 5.5 hours. This hike had it all...nice elevation gain, scrambling, some slot canyons that were only 2ft wide, and wide open flat area inside the needles that felt like another world.

First hike of Canyonlands for this Canadian. I initially thought hey- great loop location so I can check out other trails along the way. But wow did this ever WOW. The views of The Needles are magnanimous. The enormous size of the park is captured into perspective when doing the Chesler Park Loop. It’s amazing, great for all ages and levels of experience. Just prepare to take your time if you go in +25C weather- don’t time budget at risk of heat exhaustion.

hiking
17 days ago

Not the easiest wander. 1300 drop-which means after 10 Miles you have a 1300 climb out. But , honestly, worth it. Lizards, birds, cactus. A great way to see the south without the crowds of arches.

This is a great trail and has some amazing views! Getting up to the loop at times seemed more of a difficult trail, but there are places to take a quick rest if need be! The loop was great, marked well with cairns! Completed the trail clock-wise.

We started this trail around noon, which made for a very sunny, hot hike. We stayed on top of re-applying sunscreen, brought plenty of water, and did just fine.

Glad this was one of our lasts hikes though, definitely got some blisters. Completely worth it, but good socks and shoes are a must!!

Also, this would be a good trail to download before completing. Cairns mark the trail well, but having another way to confirm you’re on the trail is helpful at certain points.

Amazing hike. Superb views. The trail is marked really well. The elevation is not a problem either.

This was a great trail to take in all different kinds of scenery! The views from every turn were unreal. This is a great option if you spend just a day in Canyonlands.

Fantastic hike on Easter Sunday with temperatures in low seventies. Definitely not for those afraid of heights. When you get to the rim it’s hard to believe you can hike down to the wash. A ton of fun. We did the loop clockwise, which worked for us as you gain part of the elevation halfway through the loop. A little confusing when white rim trail forks off. GPS feature works great.

Hiked on March 22, 2018. This hike had a bit of everything! Gulches, a “meadow” (park), rock scrambling, hoo doos, slot canyons, and skies for days. So far, this is my favorite Southwest hike. If you’ve only got one day to spend on Canyonlands, this is a great place to spend it.

camping
1 month ago

Gorgeous and secluded. You likely won’t see anyone

backpacking
1 month ago

Beautiful views. It is a strenuous climb out of the canyon.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! Not for those afraid of heights. We decided not to follow the other reviews and head down the hogback and up the wash. I didn't really notice a difference, other than the amazing views hiking out on the ridge. The views the switchbacks were amazing! It was fun scrambling over the rocks down (and back up) the switchbacks. Very unique for even the experienced hikers.

backpacking
2 months ago

Stayed at Chester Park 4 and it was an amazing campsite. Perfect views of the sunset. Trees and nice area to set tent under. A private cave behind the camp you can climb up in.

We hiked this trail on 13 February 2018 and loved it. The weather was comfortable and cool. We hiked it counter clockwise and that worked very well for us. We were the only ones on the trail, the entire time. The trail is easy to follow, it is well marked but you do have to pay attention to the markers all the time. It is very strenuous and rugged and involves a lot of scrambling and climbing. Great stunning views the entire time, so this trail never gets boring. A great workout with amazing scenery. Make sure to take plenty of water, no matter what time of year you go. Pick a cooler time to hike, preferably in the off season. Bring a lot of snacks and a sandwich. Pack more than you think because it can take you all day out there. The trail offers back country campsites for those who want to sleep out there and finish the next day.

hiking
3 months ago

Went today and barely any crowds. It's very similar to Devils playground in Arches. Super relaxing hike and definitely a hike to feel complete solitude. Also pretty strenuous. You'll be ready for bed afterwards. Follow markers carefully, had to backtrack a few times due to poor markers. Definitely my new favorite hike in all of Moab.

This is a great hike. Stay at the back country sites and hike about! Many great archeological sites.

This is one of my favorite hikes I’ve ever done. We did the loop counter clockwise like recommend but the overall elevation isn’t bad. There were quite a few spots where you had to scrambled up and down rocks and squeeze through tight spaces but this made the trail so fun. 360° views the entire time. There are designated campsites along the way. Highly recommend this hike!

Wow what a hike.The Wild West meets Alice in Wonderland.

hiking
5 months ago

Wonderful! We loved the red rock formations. And the Joint Trail section with its narrow tunnels was so fun. The Park is a true hidden gem: a large green valley in the middle of a desert.
If you want to go counter-clockwise then pay close attention to the map and take the right exit. We missed it and ended up going clockwise. FWIW clockwise was fine too and we had no problems crossing the final rocky part as the overall elevation gain of the trail is quite forgiving.

Yes, like the other review said.. Do the wash first. 3 miles uphill in the sand is no fun,

Beautiful hike on 11/22 - completed in 5hrs. Couldn’t have asked for better weather. Echoing others who’ve recommended taking the loop counter-clockwise, this gets one of the rockier sections out of the way a little earlier in the hike.

hiking
6 months ago

The description says to hike the hogback 1st and the wash on the way back, but it think it's better to do the wash 1st. That way the climb back up to the top isn't as bad.

Lovely trail - closer to 11 miles than 10 miles.

hiking
6 months ago

We only hiked a little over half of the trail since some members of our party had leg fatigue. What we hiked was spectacular with a rim hike, ladder descent, and varied terrain. I would definitely do this hike again and complete it! Take water and sunscreen.

hiking
6 months ago

What a hike! Continuously amazing views the whole way. Just breathtaking in a couple spots. We did it counterclockwise as recommended by Gabriella's review. Our hike was 12 miles, only 1200 feet elevation gain according to my Gaia maps recording, but we did an optional viewpoint that was a short worthwhile spur and we got off trail for a little bit near the end that may explain the extra distance. Because this is a cairn following hike, paying attention to the cairns is a good idea. :) There are signs along the way so you don't go off onto the Druid Arch trail or toward Elephant Hill CG area. Didn't see too many people, only 12 on the trail and 4 more off in the distance either camping or hiking, so you'll have the place to yourself, or so it will seem. The Joint trail section blew our minds and was so fun. It's a fantastic hike.

6 months ago

Fantastic hike even though we turned around at the view and Chesler Park because of time.

Amazing scenic trail

hiking
8 months ago

Really beautiful. We were all novice hikers in pretty good shape. We did the 11 miles, and this was a good challenge that didn't leave us feeling totally dead afterwards. Tired but not dead. I highly recommend this trail.

Amazing scenery and very quiet and isolated! You get a good variety of type of trail (slick rock, dirt, even jeep trail) and variety of scenery. Best part by far is the Joint section of the trail. DO TRAIL COUNTER CLOCKWISE. (When you get to the Chelser park sign take a right)

My favorite hike in Canyonlands. Start early, take enough to drink and something to eat. We hiked an extended version, where we included on the way to Chesler Park the first part of the Druid arch trail. That entrance into Chesler Park is much more fun and beautiful than the normal route. Also , you hike not the same part up and down. Route is Just a bit longer. See my route below.

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