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.

hiking
scramble
8 days ago

Feb11- this hike is 16 miles. We went counter clockwise and loved it. Especially happy to descend to Druid arch trail from the Chesler Park Loop instead of scrambling up it. Thankfully a very well marked trail with cairns - it would be easy to head the wrong direction if not paying attention. Lots of scrambling up and down the entire trail but the climb up to Druid arch was the funnest. Druid arch was well worth the extra miles. Terrain had lots of variety and views were incredible everywhere we looked. Trail was 99% dry. Only a little patch of snow just before the loop which didn’t require any special gear to safely transverse. Beautiful day for a winter hike and loved the solitude, only saw 7 others on the trail.

hiking
14 days ago

Hiked early February. Gorgeous day, almost nobody in the canyon, breathtaking views. The descent and ascent were a little tricky for us, with some ice and snow. The 7 miles on the bottom mostly flat. Will definitely do it again!

This was a great hike with lots of beautiful scenery. We made this hike in late January and the trail was mostly clear of snow with the exception of faces of rock hidden from the sun. There is a bit of a climb at the beginning and a cool narrows towards the middle. The views are amazing and the hike is definitely worth taking. My husband and I made this hike in just over four hours.

Awesome hike and views. Secluded. Some scrambling.

We only made it to Chester Park. If you want to do this in one day you must get an early start. We did it in deep snow so it took us a mile an hour so we decided to turn back at the Park. Out of this world views all along. I cannot wait to come back and do the whole thing one day!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked Christmas day. There is a fresh coat of snow on the ground covering the first few miles, which makes the entire experience better. Due to my perennial late start, I only hiked part of the loop, about seven miles in total. Each part was awesome in a different way. There is a section of snow going down into the canyon. I had yaktraks and poles and felt very safe. The way back up was easier than expected, or perhaps more aptly ''a breeze''. Cairns are plentiful and well placed though I did manage to walk right past the descent into the canyon and had to backtrack. I also noticed that this would be a nice place to do some bouldering. I will be back for just that purpose.

hiking
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

Contrary to what most people on this page said, the ranger recommended taking the wash down (and the hogback up) to avoid walking up on the sand. I have to say that we were grateful that we had listened to him. The end of the wash also offered a beautiful view (we forgot we were supposed to turn onto the road and kept walking). The most challenging part was the descent from the mesa -- at first, we could not even figure out how they managed to fit a trail on that steep slope. Going back up was actually easier than we had anticipated. The thing we really liked about this hike is that it breaks down the Island in the Sky area into its individual components and gets you to experience "views within views" (for lack of a better expression).

Anyone know if this (or any) trail is accessible via the Green River? We're paddling it this summer and am looking for good side/day hikes. We did the saddle of Bow Knot Bend a few years ago...thanks!

We loved this trail. It is a great day hike. We had no trouble staying on route, follow the carins. It took us about 4 hours 45 minutes of hiking. We took the trail counter clockwise and had some of the harder climbs first. There is a rest area about half way in the trail. Perfect for a spot to get lunch and regroup. Restroom at the stop is a plus. Highly recommend this trail.

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Challenging secluded hike with great views. Our best hiking while visiting the Big 5 National Parks for the last 10 days.

Pretty cool hike, nice views. Nice to walk on the ridge

Nice but not the best hike around. Some views, but nothing overwhelming, except passing that high point. Prepare for some sand too

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

This is a long but extremely rewarding hike. It's kinda strange, because there is no summit, no great, dominating viewpoint, or such. It just steadily goes from one area of the park to the next. When I did it (end of October, the first day it had snowed in the year), there were no people around either, making it really feel like being at the end of the world. In total it took me about 4:45 hours - time well spent.

This was an amazing trail. One of the best trails I have hiked it has what some might a little challenging as far as scrambling over a few rocks. There is a cool slot canyon (that is what I call it) that is very long which you hike through as well as some prairie like fields you walk through. This is definitely a worthwhile hike!

We absolutely loved this trail. It was challenging but not harrowing, with views and surprises around every turn. Slot canyons! Stairs! And oh... those views! We found the trail to be fairly well-marked; once you learn to look for the cairns, they're pretty hard to miss. It took us about 6 hours to complete the loop trail (go counterclockwise). We saw a good number of kids and families on the out-and-back part, but the loop was fairly deserted and we loved it. Huge thanks to the AllTrails map, too — we used the 'record' feature to make sure we didn't get lost, and it was key. Biggest advice: pack plenty of water — even in winter. We're two fit 40-year-old women, and we each consumed 4 liters of water on a mild day in late October.

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing hike, other worldly scenery. This route is long, but large stretches are fairly flat. There are a few quick scrambles mixed in.

Such a beautiful hike the entire way. It just kept on changing and getting more sci fi the further we went.

ohv/off road driving
4 months ago

Gorgeous views, climbing a very high cliff on switchbacks that at least provide room and don't get too narrow. Make it to the top where the visitors center is and you'll see the climb was worth it. More stunning scenery is hard to find.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

My husband and I hiked this trail Monday October 8 2019, counter clockwise using the Big Spring trail then connecting to the Squaw Flat trail. From the saddle at the connection of the two it was a terrifying hike down the side of the sandstone cliff to continue on the side of the cliff following the cairns down into the canyon. I was scared to death and my husband had to talk me through it. One misstep and one would roll off the sandstone cliff into the canyon; returning the direction we came would have been just as precarious trying to get off of the sandstone ledges. If we had known it would be so dangerous, we would not have done that portion of the hike. We are both seasoned hikers, and are careful. (We just hiked Hope Lake in Telluride last Friday with no issues). I’m 65 and my husband 69. We did not feel safe on the connection part of the Big Spring/Squaw Flat trail. Maybe the young people like the dangerous situations, but I prefer to be as safe as possible.

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

Amazing interesting terrain hike up and down over rocks and boulders. There are signs marking the trail that I found was a little confusing! Watch for Anasazi ruins, you might miss unless you are not watching.

hiking
4 months ago

So much fun the entire time. Enjoy:)

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

I backpacked in to Chester 5 on Friday. It was about 80 degrees. It was 3.7 miles from the trail head to the camp site. I took 5.5 liters of water in the advice of the ranger and drank 2liters on my way in to the camp site. I drank another 1.5 at camp and for food rehydration. That left 2 liters for the hike out in the morning. There is no water in Chester and you have to bring in all your water. Water is very heavy! Every liter is 2lbs! The trail is strenuous. There were lots of nice slick Rock areas that were easy but also lots of places where you are scrambling up and down rocks. I dropped off my pack at the camp and took off to the joint. Pretty cool! It took 3hours from the trail head to Chester 5 camp and about the same time to go out. This is not the entire trail so estimate accordingly. As a note I thought about leaving by the Druid trail but backed out. This trail is boulders after the first half hour. I can’t see anyone who is not extremely fit being able to hike out this way.

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