Explore the most popular trail running 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.

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.

I was planning on doing the Chesler Park Loop, but took a wrong turn, due entirely to stupidity, and ended up at Devil's Kitchen. I did not do the loop by continuing back to the Elephant Hill Trailhead on the Elephant Hill 4X4 Trail, but backtracked the way I came and went up to the Chesler Park Overlook. It was a great hike with spectacular scenery, but from the overlook, Chesler Park looked like it would be a lot of fun to hike as well, so next time I will read the signs correctly. The way I did it, it was about 10 miles, and according to the map, it would have been shorter to do it as a loop, so I think the distance listed on AllTrails for the loop is off by quite a bit. But I am the guy who can't read a sign. There is quite a trail network in the area, and if you follow the signs, you won't get lost.

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
1 month ago

This a great hike, but I would not call it family friendly or easy. There are quite a few areas with drop off exposure and when you have 1200+ feet of elevation gain/loss, it’s not going to be easy. We made it down and back up, but not without considerable effort helping the kids. I would also not do this mid day as it has constant sun exposure.

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
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.

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
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
7 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.

The woman at the Visitor Center told us about this route saying that it was, in her opinion, one of the most beautiful ways out from the Chesler Park Viewpoint. We were not disappointed and were enthralled the whole time. Only thing about this route is that you have to walk 3.5m on the 4-wheeler road. She told us that she had not issued any permits for the road for the day, so we could go on it. It was wonderfully secluded although we did see a couple hikers entering the last mile or so as we were exiting at sunset. Little wildlife was seen, but we did see several coyote tracks and some scat. We played around a lot throughout the day, and with 3 liters of water (per person) we ran low/out the last mile or two.

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.

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.

10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail. Amazing views and not crowded.

hiking
10 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
11 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!

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