Southwest Desert Trip VI: Needles District of Canyonlands

Needles District

The morning of the fourth day of our trip brought beautiful weather. We drove to the Needles District, one of the four Districts of the 527 square-mile Canyonlands National Park. The multiple red and white spires that are prevalent in the Needles provides the source of the District’s name. The visit turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. 

We parked at the Elephant Hill Trailhead after stopping at several vistas to enjoy the multi-colored views of the various rock formations. I hiked by Chesler Park and then to the Devils Kitchen area for a total of seven miles and close to 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Not only were the individual Needles amazing, but there were many desert wildflowers in bloom too. Dan joined me on a good portion of the hike and also marveled at the beauty of the Park.  

Near the entrance to the Needles District

Devils Kitchen

After spending most of the day at the Park, we took the scenic drive to Moab and checked in at the Redstone Inn. I was fascinated by Moab. The youth and vitality of the town reminded me of Hood River many years ago. Buying the jeep or mountain bike franchise in Moab in the early days would have been a great investment.

One of the Needles

A Red Claret Cactus

Friend Dan at Needles

Hikers in a slot canyon

Red sandstone


Desert Daisy



Near entrance to Needles

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