Explore the most popular camping trails near Blanding with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful 360 views the whole hike. Only saw 2 other people the entire time. Highly recommended.

It's a great medium difficulty hike. You can call it hard if you estimate the scrambling in a couple of sections doesn't qualify for a medium walk. In summer, it is difficult regardless. I did it in spring so it was fine, but there is no shade, so beware if you do it under the summer sun. Beautiful mushroom rocks, canyons, juniper trees, it is all about the journey. The Overlook is nice, but the color is pretty uniform, so it must be a better spot at sunset or sunrise. Also, you join a 4WD track at some point, so you're not hiking on a trail all the time. I saw several people in a 4x4 and was disappointed by that.

hiking
1 month ago

Outstanding trail. One of the best in Canyonlands or Arches. Went counterclockwise on the loop. The sights are amazing and you really do feel like you’re on another planet sometimes. The loop is almost completely exposed, so take the water requirements very seriously. Really took our time to enjoy (7 hours) and started at 6am / dawn. Only ran into one person on the first 10 miles and throughout the entire loop and he was a ranger going out to check on some back country campers. Saw about 10 people in the last mile and a half or so. No real difficult parts, moderate climbing, just long and very hot. There were 4 of us dad, mom and teenage son and daughter. We’re in pretty good shape and went out with 15 liters of water between us and had about 2 liters left at the end.

One of my favorite hikes I’ve ever done. Joints, rock scrambling, views- this hike has it all. It rained late in the afternoon which sent it to a new level of magical, but do bring jackets if it’s monsoon season— be prepared for lightning and flash floods. Water, at least a gallon, is a MUST for in the summer. 5L is better.

What a spectacular trail! My husband and I have been hiking and camping a ton in the last few years, and this is one of our top 3 favorite hikes of all time. We didn't see any hikers until we closed the loop and were back at the viewpoint. If you wanted a taste of this trail but not the full 11 miles, you could just hike to the viewpoint where the trail begins the loop and head back, that'd be about 6 miles I think, and you'd still see some pretty amazing stuff. Google pictures of the 'joint' if you want motivation to do the full loop though :)

It can be brutal in the heat of the day, so PLEASE be smart and bring tons of water and start EARLY. We got to the trail at 6:30, but really 5:30 would have even been better. It was a 100+ degree day and took us about 7 hours. We had a real fast pace the first half, but as the trail had more incline/slickrock areas and the day got warmer, we slowed a bit. We had 3L in water bladders plus about 5 nalgene sized water bottles (include tabs of electrolytes/vitamins to mix in our waters) for the 2 of us, and wish we would have had maybe 1 more litre of water. We saw so many people ill-prepared heading out on the trail late in the day, don't let that be you. Found the trail to be well marked as well.

great hike. bring plenty of water. fantastic views.

Great views. Easy hike.

hiking
2 months ago

This is truly a must do trail if you are in the area. We went on 4-4-18 and it was an overcast day, so luckily water wasn't an issue for us. We hiked it in six hours (stopped for lunch and to play on some rocks). We took our boys, 14 and 12, and they had no problem, other than the occasional whining, lol. Easily a day trip from Moab. I had read a review to hike this in a counter clock-wise direction and I'm really glad we did that. The first part seemed mostly downhill (once on the loop) and I couldn't imagine having to do that all up-hill. Plus, it really saves the best for last on the loop. I read an REI blogger compare this hike to "Alice in Wonderland" meets Dr. Seuss. It really does have that whimsical feeling with the rock formations. It's amazing!!!

Hikes just don’t get any better than this! The Needles District completely blew us away! (and we’ve been to Bryce, Zion, Arches and Canyonlands Island in the Sky District). Well worth the additional drive time to get there, and NO CROWDS! Words can’t describe the beauty and diversity of this hike! We took a ranger’s advice and did the loop clockwise, although most reviews recommend counter-clockwise. Wish we had listened to the reviews on this one. My husband struggled going down a ladder in one of the slot canyons (going up would have been easier). I also think the back 1/3 of the loop would have been easier counter—clockwise. We also regretted not bringing more water. Trust me, take what you think you need and double it! Having to ration our supply made the last two hours pretty brutal. It took us 7 hours including about 45 minutes for photo breaks and lunch. We also should have been on the trail by 7 a.m. instead of 9, which had us still hiking with very tired muscles during the hottest time of day (83 degrees),. If you don’t consider yourself to be in above average physical shape, don’t attempt the full loop. Just go to the viewpoint (that still 6 miles and quite a workout). This is also a very technical hike, so be sure you take poles and good hiking boots.

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.

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.

hiking
4 months ago

Much of this trail is slogging through sand, but the amazing panoramas make it all worth it, and the mile of trail just south of the junction with squaw canyon is one of the best stretches in the Needles.

hiking
4 months ago

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.

backpacking
5 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 the entire entire trail to all three bridges. We were the only two hikers out there the entire day. It was an amazing experience for us. Challenging trail, lots of ups and downs, quite a bit of elevation change and you will need to do this hike on a cool day and bring lots of water and snacks, a good sandwich. Be prepared for it to take longer than you expect. Great views the entire time, especially when you go up on the canyon. We had a little bit of trouble seeing/finding the cairns on the trail and therefore, we got lost towards the end of the hike and that extended our hike to a total of 11 miles. We passed by a beautiful native american ruin down in the canyon.

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.

This was the Sipapu to Kachina trail. A lot of reviews here seem to include the extended trail to the third bridge.

Did this Memorial Day weekend 2017 and had a good time. We parked at the Kachina bridge, hiked the top to the Kachina Bridge and worked our way down, and through the canyon. We made the mistake of not hitting the trail until about 11:00 am. It was already getting very hot in May in the canyon bottom. There was no water when we hiked, so plan on bringing a lot of water (3-4 liters). The trail in the canyon is essentially the wash, and the sand really zaps energy from your stride. It's a beautiful hike though, and if you're prepared, you should have a good time!

hiking
6 months ago

Went today and barely any crowds. It's very similar to Devils garden 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.

We did the entire loop under all three bridges. Great bridges - definitely recommend it but we don’t need to do it again. Took us 10.5 mi in under 5 hrs. Maybe about a mile of that was doubling back, trying to find the trail between Owachomo and Kachina bridges. Frustrating.

We parked at Sipapu and headed clockwise on the trail beginning with the Mesa - in case the winds picked up in the afternoon (they didn’t) - and so we wouldn’t have a 2.5 mile slog back to the car after climbing out of the canyon - and because we wanted to climb out of the canyon at Sipapu and descend into the canyon at Owachomo. There’s much more elevation difference at Sipapu than Owachomo and we’d prefer to climb than pound our quads on a long descent.

We lost our way a number of times between Owachomo and Kachina bridges. As others have noted, the trail is poorly marked - but we knew going in that the trail was unmaintained. Perhaps the trail is easier to read counterclockwise.

At one point around 3+ miles, we followed footprints and stayed too high on the east (right) side of the canyon. After a couple tenths of a mile, the “trail” would have required a little too much downhill scrambling for us to believe it really was the trail. And we hadn’t seen a cairn in awhile so we retraced our steps to find one, and figured that the trail had headed down to the streambed at that point. We were glad we backtracked to find the cairn.

Also, someone had stacked two beautiful cairns in the middle of the streambed at some point in there, leading us to believe the trail went there! Turns out the trail was elsewhere but since we weren’t confident about it, we left the cairns as we found them.

Part of our trouble may also be that a ranger warned us not to miss a left turn at the Knick-point pour-off (but she didn’t know what the pouroff was - FYI, it’s.a waterfall (when water is present) and is obvious when we passed it and looked back at it from the north side.). So we spent a lot of time not wanting to miss the turn, but when you’re going counterclockwise, that part of the trail turns out to be easy to find. Stay on the east side of the canyon and you’ll see the parking lot overlook rail high above you to the right. Way beneath the rail is a sign where the Kachina trail from the parking lot meets the loop trail in the canyon. Follow the sign

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
8 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.

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.

Lovely trail - closer to 11 miles than 10 miles.

hiking
9 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
9 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.

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