Chesler Park Loop Trail

MODERATE 79 reviews
#4 of 63 trails in

Chesler Park Loop Trail is a 10.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Blanding, Utah that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from February until November.

DISTANCE
10.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1811 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

rocky

no shade

no dogs

Directions from Needles Visitor Center: Follow the main park road to Squaw Flat Campground. Bear right onto Elephant Hill access road and follow that 2 miles to the trailhead. Hike 1.5 miles from the trailhead to a trail junction. Turn right and beginning hiking westward from this junction. In .6 miles you'll reach Elephant Canyon and another trail junction. Turn left at this junction and begin following the Elephant Canyon/Druid Arch Trail southward.

10 days ago

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

hiking
14 days 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.

25 days ago

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.

29 days ago

Lovely trail - closer to 11 miles than 10 miles.

hiking
1 month 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.

1 month ago

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

1 month ago

Amazing scenic trail

2 months ago

hiking
2 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.

3 months ago

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)

hiking
4 months ago

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.

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail! Always seemed to be something new and unexpected around every corner. We started pretty early (7:30) and finished in about five hours. Definitely be sure to have enough water if you're doing the full loop. I finished my last drop (3L) just as we reached the end, and we weren't hiking during the hottest part of the day. Highly recommend coming here if you're deciding between Needles and Island in the Sky. Much quieter with less tourists.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail. Amazing views and not crowded.

hiking
5 months ago

This is one of my all-time favorite treks, even after getting lost and enduring 106-degree temps. In short, it transports you to an out-of-this-world Martian landscape you'll never forget. If it's anywhere close to hot, it's critical to start early (sunrise) as you're exposed for most of the trail. Bring a gallon of water, too -- seriously.

I think most people only hike to the Chesler Park overlook as I didn't see a single soul after passing through the double spires. I got lost -- twice -- both times unable to find the correct exit point out of the Joint caves (although the Joint trail was one of my favorite parts!). At one point, I literally had to sit down and have a chat with myself, urging my brain to calm the hell down as heat, dehydration, and exhaustion swept in and clouded my judgment. I probably shouldn't have hiked this trail alone to avoid such neurosis. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I followed my downloaded AllTrails map (a MUST for this trail), but the GPS was sometimes 10-20' off (and obviously didn't work in the caves without a line of sight), which led me astray multiple times. In fact, that's why on my recording you'll see I took a different trail back -- by the time I realized I was off track, it was easier(?) to pick up the new trail home. Be diligent about looking for rock stacks; they're your only markers for most of this trek.

Random: There's a porta-potty and picnic table under a tree at the halfway point (although it's not a picturesque stop, so I wouldn't eat lunch here).

This trail CAN be difficult; come prepared. BUT, I met a father with his young daughter returning from camping overnight and if that little she-warrior can do this trail, so can we!

backpacking
6 months ago

Wow! What an incredible trail. It's like going from one fantasy world to the next in a video game. I highly recommend doing an overnight for this one (snag CP5 if available). This will afford you more time to absorb the extraordinary, otherworldly beauty of this special place. Definitely do the loop counter-clockwise (as recommended by the park rangers). I'm really glad we saved the joint trail section for last. There are a few shaded spots to rest in periodically, but you are otherwise exposed to the sun. Note you must pack in all water (bring a lot) and human waste bags are required. Stay on the trail and enjoy this spectacular experience!

hiking
6 months ago

Amazing incredible hike. Joint trail was the favorite part much less crowded, going through wide open areas then descending in and out of ravines and some tunnels between rock formations. There is a section of the loop where you walk on dirt road for a bit between joint trailhead and connecting back to Chesler park loop trail. Bring lots of water. Follow the rock stacks. Was about 11 miles total doing the whole loop.

hiking
7 months ago

This is my new all time favorite hike. 11 miles of awesomeness. The views of the needles and the mushroom formations are there with you throughout the trail. But there are slots to hike through, rocks to scramble over, open brush land to hike through, 4wd roads to hike on, and even a tunnel. The views, the variety, this hike has almost everything and it is never boring, never drudgery, never wishing I was back at the parking lot already. So it was 50F, partly cloudy on the day we hiked it which helps tremendously when hiking in the desert. The park ranger recommended we hike the loop in a counter-clockwise direction. So we did. And I agree with her that it was best for the views plus there is no chance of missing the trail from the 4wd road which is possible if hiking the loop clockwise. Took us 4 hours moving but 6 hours total because of all the photos I took. And make sure you consult your all trails app at each junction. The signage can be confusing. We almost took the wrong trail at the junction just before reaching the loop itself because I miscounted the number of junctions needed to reach the loop.

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing loop - bring water & sun screen. Pretty exposed. Welcome to Mars.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful tour of what canyonlands has to offer. Loved every step of it.

7 months ago

We did the out and back to the viewpoint in a late afternoon in April. Wildflowers and wildlife were plentiful: lizards and chipmunks kept popping up and all sorts of flowers were blooming. The trail was the perfect mix of challenging and rewarding. Loved it.

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