Canyonlands Needles District simple backpack with a close friend April 1-3, 2021

John Morrow

May 22, 2015
I was delighted that about a week before departing for the desert, my friend Lori called to say she'd take a week off of work and fly into Grand Junction to join me for a few hikes. I crafted a plan for a couple backpacks and secured permits. It had been 10 years since we'd been in Southern Utah together and she'd never been to Canyonlands nor Greater Bears Ears. We started with two nights in the heart of Canyonlands National Park Needles District. Our plans for Bears Ears backpacking were continually modified as the Zags Men's hoop team made their run to the NCAA Championship Game. But, this is a Canyonlands report first.
April 1:
I picked up Lori at the Grand Junction Airport around noon. We had time to shop for food in Moab, pick up our permit, pack and hike into our first camp at Elephant Canyon EC1 Camp, a short hike from Elephant Hill TH.

Elephant Canyon Evening
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Not sure what is going on here...
by John Morrow, on Flickr

April 2:

We packed up leisurely, hiked to the Elephant Canyon/Chesler Park junction, and stashed packs. Then we did the wonderful hike to Druid Arch at the head of Elephant Canyon.

Lori heads toward Druid Arch
by John Morrow, on Flickr

deepening canyon
by John Morrow, on Flickr

by John Morrow, on Flickr

infamous (poor afternoon light)
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Then back down canyon and on toward Chesler Park for our second night camp at Chesler Park CP4 Camp. Once again I explored for routes to Chesler Wash/Virginia Park to no success.

Down Elephant Canyon
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Lori for perspective
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Arriving into Chesler
by John Morrow, on Flickr

by John Morrow, on Flickr

Evening Light by John Morrow, on Flickr

April 3:

Another leisurely morning and great (camp) neighbor conversation and we were off to complete the Chesler Loop Trail back to the TH.

Fins to Ernies Country
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Above Elephant Canyon
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Chesler Park
by John Morrow, on Flickr

Then it was time to find a Television to watch the Final Four Gonzaga vs. UCLA and it did not disappoint!!!!
That Gonzaga-UCLA game was the best college game I've seen in quite a while. Too bad the final was such a dud.
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