Explore the most popular nature trips 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!

hiking
12 days ago

Hiked here and had to dodge a red 4runner climbing the rocks. Insane what people do with vehicles here!

hiking
18 days ago

Full day hiking over varied terrain, over red rocks, down washes, and climbing up some ladders and rock scrambling near the end of the hike.

This is a good intro to the area. We walked this trail at the end of September in midday sunshine with temps nearing 90 with strong winds. We had no trouble following the cairns. I don’t understand why others had a hard time. Hats off to those maintaining them—we found them evenly spaced about 30-40 feet apart where no trail was apparent. A word of caution: whatever the weather in the area, you’ll get it in spades on this hike. You’re traversing completely exposed rock at the highest elevation in the area. Although it was hot we hiked through very strong winds that left me thinking I wouldn’t want to be out there unprepared in extreme weather—you won’t find cover anywhere. That goes for sun exposure as well. That said, we really enjoyed the walk. The trail was fun but I highly recommended heading to the Elephant Hill area for a truly spectacular experience.

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
28 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.

The arch wasn't nearly as impressive as the hike leading up to it.

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.

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.

Great moderate trail. The cairns were in good shape and the markings easy to follow. Beautiful views.

off road driving
2 months ago

4 Wheeled and Motorcycled many years ago. Fun time

hiking
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

Good views of the Needles formations. Trail is completely exposed and at times hard to follow.

hiking
3 months ago

We did the Big Spring Canyon to Squaw Canyon loop, which I'd describe as perfectly pleasant but not mind-blowing. The highlight for us was climbing out of Big Spring Canyon at roughly the halfway point – definitely a fantastic place to stop for lunch. Some shade (especially in Big Spring) but not a ton. Only saw one other person on a Thursday morning in August. Decent bathrooms at the trailhead.

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
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.

hiking
4 months ago

We did this trail in the early morning quick before heading back home, took us just a little over an hour, but we were moving pretty fast. I found the trail to be very well marked, so am unsure of the other reviewers. I did see this trail marketed as a good trail for beginner hikers to learn how to follow carins and hike over slickrock. Nice views in all directions, and one of the only not 10 miles but more than .5 miles hike in this section of the park that we were able to find.

hiking
4 months ago

Great view, but barely a walk. Yes do it for the view.

hiking
4 months ago

As the previous reviewer mentioned this was a confusing hike because of poor signage. We did this about a week ago and passed our concerns along to the Rangers. The hike itself was interesting and generally well-marked with cairns. However, once you hear lookout 4 is where the mis-marking came into play. We got lost and having seen no one else the entire trip we started to get worried. Obviously we made it out, but a couple of additional signs and cairn clean-up are needed,

hiking
4 months ago

Not much of a hike, quick loop around pockmarked section of slickrock. A couple of nice rock formations. good for kids.

great hike. bring plenty of water. fantastic views.

Pot holes were dry (as expected) and the views were about the same as what you can see driving around. I didn't think it was worth a stop

I was conflicted on the rating for this hike. The views are spectacular, and you have the trail mostly to yourself. We saw a total of 6 other people the three hours we were out there. However, getting off the loop that takes you to the scenic overlooks was super confusing. The signage was incorrect, there were wayward cairns that led nowhere. The rangers said they've had a few complaints about the social cairns and would try to get out there to clear them.

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