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

Absolutely beautiful hike. My sister and I did this hike, ages 64 and 66. Parts of it are nice and easy and parts if it kicked our butts. While the Joint part of the loop had some difficult areas it was quite short and doable. It’s tough coming back as it feels like it will never end. One of our most beautiful and most strenuous hikes.

We did this hike in late October, so it was cool enough to be pleasant. Wouldn’t want to do this hike if it was over 70 degrees. We’re in our mid-sixties, and felt the hike was not worth the view at the end. We almost needed a rope to scale one of the boulders, and had to use our hands pretty frequently to either hoist ourselves up, or lower ourselves down. Also, the Jeep track isn’t much fun, dry, dusty and not very scenic. We much preferred Chesler Park and Squaw to Big Spring Canyon! They’re long, and fairly difficult in places, but the views are way worth it!

Great hike with interesting sceneryalong the way. Some hard patches as well as some fairly easy stretches. Bring lots of water. Vegetation is dominated by juniper, piñon, live oak, and other hardy species. The scene of two different colored rivers mixing is cool. Great echoes yodeling (yes it’s worth it) at the overlook.

Amazing hike. Beautiful changing views the whole way. Bring lots of water.

Nice hike. Agree with the others that suggested just doing the hogback as an out and back instead of the loop through the wash.

hiking
23 days ago

We loved this hike, with its great views and changing scenery. We did the loop in a counterclockwise direction and were glad we did it that way. The slot canyon section was unexpected and amazing. No technically difficult sections. A 1 3/4 hour drive from Moab but well worth it and the roads are good.

24 days ago

Incredibly memorable. I did this in the clockwise direction starting with a super steep descent. The trail was really varies and interesting the whole time and the views are amazing.

An easy hike with amazing 360 degree views. I recommend adding the Joint and Druid Arch for a perfect day hike.

Epic views and a wonderful hike with light scrambling. The last mile of the return was a little tiring.

I did the upheaval dome then continued on with the sycline loop. Note the warning sign in the photos at the beginning of the trail. That was a fair warning for what’s ahead. The trail wasn’t that hard to follow except for a couple spots, but the rock scramble in the back of the loop was pretty difficult. I added a photo of that area although it’s hard to get an idea of the difficulty here. Definitely not for anyone afraid of heights or lack of mobility and strength to climb. It seemed like it took me about 20 minutes to get through that area. There was only a couple holes with water and wouldn’t want to drink it. One was a good place to soak and cool off.

wonderfull

Fantastic hike would highly recommend. A walk with stunning views all day. Trail was well marked with cairns and signposts. Would definitely advise to do the loop counter clockwise as the last part of the loop is more enjoyable. Great lunch spot at the joint trail head. Just heed the advice of others and take plenty of water.

hiking
2 months ago

Loved it!

I did this trail counter clockwise starting at 7am. It was fairly easy to navigate. The steep incline the last 1.5 miles was a great workout. The scrambling (since I did counter clockwise) was all downhill. As I’m very comfortable it was not difficult or scary but a. It jarring on the knees for those with injuries.

The signage for the trail is pretty threatening, while I get it, I think they could back off a tiny bit.

All in all, I’d do this hike again but only early as it got hot by 10:30 when I finished .

2 months ago

I have done a fair amount of desert hiking and this is one of the best day hikes I have experienced that gives you an experience in each layer of desert. High desert, Mesa, ground, wash, and slot canyon all in one hike. Beautiful hike and well maintained trail with some trail finding via cairns. A challenging hike , recommend starting at first light to avoid the heat

hiking
2 months ago

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
3 months ago

Very rewarding hike but try to avoid going on the switchbacks when going counter clock wise during the middle of the day during summer. Sun saps the energy out of you.

hiking
3 months ago

My wife and I hiked this path without reading other reviews or doing any research. The [my] decision was solely based off the official NPS map and its descriptions. Sure it was in the difficult section but it was harder than I imagined. Some context, we live in zero elevation coastal town, work in offices, and exercise a lot less than we should. Our hike started around 9:30am in early June. Went clockwise and had a blast the first 3.4 miles. Had a short lunch at the canyon wash marker sign. Our last picture taken (fun, free-spirited, enjoyment mode) was at the white steps before the trail sign that split to the canyon spur. This is when the ascent began. The trail was iffy in some spots but eventually finding the cairns we were able to press forward. I am now familiar with the terms switchbacks and scrambling. So many times I thought we were going to climb out of this canyon only to see a never-ending uphill in front of us. To the person who put the "trail" sign there, thank you. The few times we were able to find shade under an outcropping we took it. I thought the breach was going to be a narrow flat canyon on the map. Nope. At about 3 o'clock on the trail clock face the scrambling ended and it just became a gradual upward climb, then down, then up and down. We brought 6 liters of water but ran out. Probably poor rationing and inexperience is the main cause of this. It was easily 95 degrees for most of the hike. While we were properly equipped, this trail was physically and mentally challenging for us. Luckily I was able to keep a positive outward appearance to my spouse. I told her a couple of times, please yell at me when we get to the car - not in the middle of this hike. Many times I swear I heard cars thinking the end was near to only later find out it was the wind rustling through the distant trees. In the beginning of the hike the screaming bugs (youll know what i mean if you hiked this trail) caught me off guard and had me swatting at them. By the end I could not care less and was focused only on continuing to put one foot in front of the other. Finally seeing a real car was such a welcome site. We made it out and I nearly drown my self in water in the car. We finished at around 5:30pm and the total hike was in the 8 hour mark.

All negatives aside I am happy we did it and conquered it. To the inexperienced, please pass or prepare better. I would say there are many better views in the park than this trail. A high effort to lower reward hike. If I could do it over I would have hit the overlooks and all other scenic easy trails and left this loop for another visit. This is a beautiful park which has had a profound impact on me and I cant wait to return.

hiking
3 months ago

So strenuous but worth it! Go as early as you can. I start at 7:45 am finished 4 and 1/2 hours later in the hot, hot sun.

3 months ago

Hard, but a lot of fun

hiking
4 months 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.

hiking
4 months ago

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.

We did the hike in early June. It was pretty hot. We did the wash first and came back hogback. The wash is really boring. I think the next time we do the hike we just make it an out and back using hogback only. The White Rim Road is okay to hike on, but also not that exciting. The Syncline trail is much better.

hiking
5 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.

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