The Needles Trail

MODERATE 34 reviews
#5 of 59 trails in

The Needles Trail is a 4.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Springville, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.4 miles
1220 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



mountain biking

nature trips

trail running


horseback riding





Directions from Quaking Aspen: Travel south to FS 21S05 then travel west to the trailhead.

3 months ago

I just hiked this trail today. It was a tough hike for me since I didn't prepare so it was an uphill battle for me. I took my time and made it. The view was beautiful.

4 months ago

Good hike but be forewarned the staircase is closed! And you can't get around it easily at all (would take some advanced rock climbing). Still a beautiful hike though. Only 2.5 miles from the trailhead

5 months ago

Great hike with lots of shade. If you drive about 3 miles in on the dirt path and start at the trail head it is just over 4 miles hiking. We went on a Friday in July during tower "open hours" but the gate was locked at the 2nd flight of stairs which was disappointing. 2 dogs and 10 yo daughter did ok. It's a lot of up hill on way to peak. bring water for dogs and be careful of all the bumble bees.

5 months ago

Hiked this yesterday. I was a bit confused at the overall length of the hike. Most sources I referenced list the trailhead about 3 miles up the dirt road (21S05) from HWY 190. AllTrails marks the trailhead starting right off the highway. I drove up the 21S05 in my Impreza for about a mile before I turned around and parked in a small clearing about 100-250 feet from the highway.

There is indeed a trailhead, outhouse and a campsite about 3 miles up the road. My Impreza probably could have made it but I had a very satisfying 10 mile round trip hike to the lookout, so no regrets. I started around 10:30 and only had two vehicles (who were on their way to the trailhead) pass me on my trek up the road.

6 months ago

It was a good hike got out there early and had the place to myself. There were a few small trees that had fallen on the path but nothing major. Great view point.

6 months ago

One of my favorite hikes to date; the precariously perched, burned down lookout tower is amazingly surreal. Someone had unhinged the locked gate (didn't notice until on the way back down), so I had no idea it was closed. It wasn't until I got closer, climbing the stairs and stepping on some rotted boards, that I realized the tower wasn't there. My friend eventually caught up and was like, "Oh, yeah. Forgot to mention it burned down." If I had known it was off-limits I would have stayed away. It is not kept it very good repair and therefore a bit dangerous. Kinda glad I didn't notice though. Have fun and be safe!

6 months ago

9 months ago

awesome trail

11 months ago

my first real trail hike in Cali I wasn't has prepared as I would have liked and was trying a new pack. need to do it again under better circumstances but it was still a great time.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

beautiful views and amazing trip for a family outing.

Monday, June 27, 2016

I loved this trail amazing views I nicknamed it "Stairway to Heaven". Take plenty of water there is no resources on the trail and most definitely some form of big repellent they will eat you alive. I have been hiking a lot and by far this was one of my favorites.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Easy 5ish mile hike.

Dirt road to trailhead June 2016 - good condition, my Prius did fine.

Trail itself was great, gorgeous views once you get to the staircases mentioned by others. Will visit again!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

fun trail that leads to a great view

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Gorgeous views but the stairs are not for the weak at heart or stomach. If you fear heights be cautious as you climb the not so well kept stair case as you may find yourself panicking half way through your stairway to heaven. Views are impressive but the lack of a kept staircase earns this hike a 4 star rating. As a side note i have looked into if the staircase and lookout will be rebuilt and there is currently money being raised to rebuild the lookout. This project is supposed to take place in 2015 depending on funds. Currently i read they are at 30k out of 50k needed to rebuild

Monday, September 07, 2015

Just hiked this about a day ago and the view is gorgous! Unfortunately, the lookout burned down recently and so you can only walk the sketchy stairs up to the notorious last step and look out over the canyon. Overall though, it was a great hike! If you are hiking close to sun set, make sure to bundle up or the wind will really give you a chill.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Enjoyed this hike to get out of the valley heat! Those stairs are sketchy but nice views!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

This is one of my favorite California excursions. I wish the tower was back, I miss Margie and her cookies. I have climbed the rock face of this tower many times, using the trail for access. One of the gems of the Southern Sierra. Great views, great hike.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

This was a great hike I did with my wife and 1 year old. We did it as a trail to train before climbing Mt. Whitney. It was easy enough with great views! The lookout and last bit of stairs are gone due to a fire, but it is still worth the climb!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

This is a short ( about 2 miles one-way ) hike but the views are great. The lookout tower is not there anymore due to a fire.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

More of an adventure than a hike. When I went the lookout tower still stood. I have some good photos. Incredible views!

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