The Needles District of the park lies to the east of the Colorado River and has some of the prettiest and most accessible canyons. Hikers enjoy an extensive trail network, while four-wheel-drive enthusiasts have both easy and challenging backroads to explore. Mountain bikers can ride the backroads as well, but those following canyon bottoms are too sandy to ride. A visitor center offers exhibits and staff who will answer your questions and sell maps and books. Two campgrounds, one inside and one just outside the park, make handy bases. Paved highways US 191 and UT 211 provide easy access from Moab or Monticello. On the drive in, it's worth a quick stop to see the rock art panel at Newspaper Rock Historical Site just off UT 211.

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Expert Review of Needles District

Active and Adventure Review of Needles District

Away Travel Expert: Bill Weir
expert favorite Active Expert Favorite
ActiveExpert Rating 5.0 out of 5 Recommended for:
Camping,Canyoneering,Day Hiking,Mountain Biking,Trekking and Backpacking
Active and AdventureExpert Tips & Helpful Hints
  • Hikers wander down easy interpretive trails, head out for the day on one of the loops, or go for days in the backcountry. Because some areas usually have water, the Needles District is the most popular backpacking area of the park.
  • You'll need a permit for backcountry camping. Reserve well in advance for the peak season of spring break in March.
  • Look for rock art in alcoves along the canyons; they aren't signed and usually won't be shown on maps. Arches are another attraction in the backcountry; Angel Arch in Salt Creek Canyon is 150 feet high.

Canyonlands National Park
2282 SW Resource Blvd.
Moab, Utah 84532
Parking: always open
Price: $10/vehicle or $5/person (motorcycles, bicycles, or walk-ins) for a 7-day permit; or a federal pass

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: 435-719-2313
Fax: 435-719-2300
Transportation: car
Price Information: $10/vehicle or $5/person (motorcycles, bicycles, or walk-ins) for a 7-day permit; or a federal pass
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Away Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.