day hikes in Canyonlands Needles in late November

Carlos

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Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
84
Hi,


I will be hiking at Canyonlands for two days during the Thanksgiving holiday. I have been there a few times; this time I want to hike again in the Chesler Park area, using the Devils Kitchen trail to get to an Indian art area that I couldnt find last time I was there. I just love the Chesler Park area that it will be my 4th hike in there (including Druid Arch).

Now for the second day, I am starting to look at a loop including Lost Canyon loop and part of the Squawflat loop, which shares its loop with Lost Canyon. I need some feedback on this. I was thinking of the trail to the confluence, but from what I read the ending is pretty, but the trail is just not as scenic (maybe I am wrong) ....... or maybe a loop that includes Lost Canyon and Peekaboo trail ? My main interest is beautiful rock formations and possibly finding pictographs.

So I am thinking something in the lost canyon area looks good, but what part ? side trails that I can combine (since its not in the middle of the summer, I can afford to make the hikes longer).


Any feedback would be appreciated.
 

swmalone

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Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Messages
475
Hi,


I will be hiking at Canyonlands for two days during the Thanksgiving holiday. I have been there a few times; this time I want to hike again in the Chesler Park area, using the Devils Kitchen trail to get to an Indian art area that I couldnt find last time I was there. I just love the Chesler Park area that it will be my 4th hike in there (including Druid Arch).

Now for the second day, I am starting to look at a loop including Lost Canyon loop and part of the Squawflat loop, which shares its loop with Lost Canyon. I need some feedback on this. I was thinking of the trail to the confluence, but from what I read the ending is pretty, but the trail is just not as scenic (maybe I am wrong) ....... or maybe a loop that includes Lost Canyon and Peekaboo trail ? My main interest is beautiful rock formations and possibly finding pictographs.

So I am thinking something in the lost canyon area looks good, but what part ? side trails that I can combine (since its not in the middle of the summer, I can afford to make the hikes longer).


Any feedback would be appreciated.

I'm not overly familiar with the area but my wife and I are going to be down that way for the Thanksgiving Holiday as well.
 

Carlos

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Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
84
I'm not overly familiar with the area but my wife and I are going to be down that way for the Thanksgiving Holiday as well.

oh, you will love it !! The Needles is like nothing I have ever seen.
 

swmalone

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Apr 27, 2016
Messages
475
oh, you will love it !! The Needles is like nothing I have ever seen.

We are going to be staying in Moab, can we get to decent hikes in the Needles area in just a passenger car? I have seen that a lot of areas in Canyonlands recommend high clearance vehicles.
 

Carlos

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Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
84
We are going to be staying in Moab, can we get to decent hikes in the Needles area in just a passenger car? I have seen that a lot of areas in Canyonlands recommend high clearance vehicles.


no, I use a subcompact to the to the trailheads (for Druid, Chesler, etc). There is a well maintained dirt road for the last 4/5 miles to the trailhead for those, only it it rained cats and dogs it would be a problem. Many other "trails" are for 4x4 people that actually drive to inner parts of the area. What trails are you planning ? I can tell you for sure what you need to drive.
 

swmalone

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Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Messages
475
no, I use a subcompact to the to the trailheads (for Druid, Chesler, etc). There is a well maintained dirt road for the last 4/5 miles to the trailhead for those, only it it rained cats and dogs it would be a problem. Many other "trails" are for 4x4 people that actually drive to inner parts of the area. What trails are you planning ? I can tell you for sure what you need to drive.

Haven't really gotten to the point of planning which trails yet. Some of that depends on if my in-laws come with us or not. They have never been to the area so if they come we will most likely spend a fair amount of time in Arches, do the Island in the Sky drive and some short hikes that might be it. If they don't go we wanted to go to Needles because we have never visited that area. Any suggestions on where to hike that could be something that is in the 4 hours and under time-frame?
 

Carlos

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Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
84
Haven't really gotten to the point of planning which trails yet. Some of that depends on if my in-laws come with us or not. They have never been to the area so if they come we will most likely spend a fair amount of time in Arches, do the Island in the Sky drive and some short hikes that might be it. If they don't go we wanted to go to Needles because we have never visited that area. Any suggestions on where to hike that could be something that is in the 4 hours and under time-frame?

Under 4 hours in Island in the Sky ........... this webpage is pretty good: http://www.gjhikes.com/2013/12/canyonlands-national-park.html, with pictures and explanations of the trails.

Of all those hikes, the one hike that I would definitely recommend above all other is False Kiva (http://www.gjhikes.com/2014/02/false-kiva.html). You need to be careful since there is barely a trail at some point and people loose track and have to backtrack and then step on the cryosoil, which is actually alive (the rangers patrol the area since it happens to a lot to people that get lost), you need to follow rock cairns. But if you google False Kiva images, you will see how spectacular the view is. Just a reminder, that place is very fragile so please be mindful of what you touch and please do NOT walk inside the kiva structure. Too many people are touching the walls or the structures and I fear that at some point the rangers will close it. That hike is 3 hours at the most.

Some of the short hikes on Island in the Sky dont have a good trail path (I use GPS and these guys provide pretty good coordinates: http://www.protrails.com/area/13/canyonlands-national-park or that gjhikes webpage that has pictures of the critical areas in the path). When I say bad trails, I dont mean you will get horribly lost, I mean that you may not find the area where the ruins can be found for most of them. I didnt like Upheaval Dome, I would skip it. For Mesa Arch, I guess you may know that if you want a nice sunrise pic you need to be there very early, else it a cool short 1 mile hike to do anyway.

If you decide on Needles, let me know and I can give you details, but all hikes at the Needles are all day hikes.
 

Cool Danish

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Joined
Jan 13, 2013
Messages
136
Haven't really gotten to the point of planning which trails yet. Some of that depends on if my in-laws come with us or not. They have never been to the area so if they come we will most likely spend a fair amount of time in Arches, do the Island in the Sky drive and some short hikes that might be it. If they don't go we wanted to go to Needles because we have never visited that area. Any suggestions on where to hike that could be something that is in the 4 hours and under time-frame?
Druid Arch thru Elephant Canyon. Very scenic and nice payoff at the end.
 

Carlos

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Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
84
Druid Arch thru Elephant Canyon. Very scenic and nice payoff at the end.

done that already ........ agree, those views from the Druid Arch high ground back to the canyon are spectacular. But that one is also a day long hike.
 

Jackson

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May 31, 2015
Messages
2,825
Hi,


I will be hiking at Canyonlands for two days during the Thanksgiving holiday. I have been there a few times; this time I want to hike again in the Chesler Park area, using the Devils Kitchen trail to get to an Indian art area that I couldnt find last time I was there. I just love the Chesler Park area that it will be my 4th hike in there (including Druid Arch).

Now for the second day, I am starting to look at a loop including Lost Canyon loop and part of the Squawflat loop, which shares its loop with Lost Canyon. I need some feedback on this. I was thinking of the trail to the confluence, but from what I read the ending is pretty, but the trail is just not as scenic (maybe I am wrong) ....... or maybe a loop that includes Lost Canyon and Peekaboo trail ? My main interest is beautiful rock formations and possibly finding pictographs.

So I am thinking something in the lost canyon area looks good, but what part ? side trails that I can combine (since its not in the middle of the summer, I can afford to make the hikes longer).


Any feedback would be appreciated.
I can't recall exactly which canyon it was in, but I know there is at least one old cowboy camp in the Squaw/Lost Canyon area. Might be cool to go see that.
 

swmalone

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Messages
475
Under 4 hours in Island in the Sky ........... this webpage is pretty good: http://www.gjhikes.com/2013/12/canyonlands-national-park.html, with pictures and explanations of the trails.

Of all those hikes, the one hike that I would definitely recommend above all other is False Kiva (http://www.gjhikes.com/2014/02/false-kiva.html). You need to be careful since there is barely a trail at some point and people loose track and have to backtrack and then step on the cryosoil, which is actually alive (the rangers patrol the area since it happens to a lot to people that get lost), you need to follow rock cairns. But if you google False Kiva images, you will see how spectacular the view is. Just a reminder, that place is very fragile so please be mindful of what you touch and please do NOT walk inside the kiva structure. Too many people are touching the walls or the structures and I fear that at some point the rangers will close it. That hike is 3 hours at the most.

Some of the short hikes on Island in the Sky dont have a good trail path (I use GPS and these guys provide pretty good coordinates: http://www.protrails.com/area/13/canyonlands-national-park or that gjhikes webpage that has pictures of the critical areas in the path). When I say bad trails, I dont mean you will get horribly lost, I mean that you may not find the area where the ruins can be found for most of them. I didnt like Upheaval Dome, I would skip it. For Mesa Arch, I guess you may know that if you want a nice sunrise pic you need to be there very early, else it a cool short 1 mile hike to do anyway.

If you decide on Needles, let me know and I can give you details, but all hikes at the Needles are all day hikes.


Yeah it was actually needles that I was wondering about good 4 hour and under hikes. I have done upheaval dome, mesa arch, elephant rock, and a few other of the really short hikes in Island in the Sky. I am just having to make a couple different sets of plans depending on if it is just me and my wife or my in-laws as well.
 

swmalone

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Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Messages
475
Yeah it was actually needles that I was wondering about good 4 hour and under hikes. I have done upheaval dome, mesa arch, elephant rock, and a few other of the really short hikes in Island in the Sky. I am just having to make a couple different sets of plans depending on if it is just me and my wife or my in-laws as well.

Carlos - I think I might have accidentally hijacked your thread. My apologies since it seems you were looking for info and a lot of time has been spent answering my questions.
 

Carlos

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Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
84
Carlos - I think I might have accidentally hijacked your thread. My apologies since it seems you were looking for info and a lot of time has been spent answering my questions.

dont worry about it, i think short hikes in needles there maybe just something like some cowboys ruins on a short hike next to the road an also cave springs but I have not been there, probably its mentioned in of the webpages I sent you. But driving one hour (i think its one hour, may 1.5) from Moab for one short hike it may not be worth it. OR just drive there for the lookout for the needles, do the road side ruins and cave springs and on the way back do False Kiva at Island in the Sky.
 

Carlos

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Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
84
I can't recall exactly which canyon it was in, but I know there is at least one old cowboy camp in the Squaw/Lost Canyon area. Might be cool to go see that.
yes, I think i read something about it, need to google more about the squawflat area.
 

Carlos

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Joined
Jan 24, 2014
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swmalone

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Messages
475
By the way thanks for the tip on False Kiva. My wife and I went their the day before Thanksgiving. We were a little worried it would be crowded because of how many people were in the park and also the ranger we spoke with mentioned that it was unlikely we would have it all to ourselves. There was one other car at the turnout to Alcove Springs but they must have been hiking somewhere else because we didn't see a single person. It was a really fun hike with a surprising amount of solitude considering where it is located. When we approached the cliff my wife asked "How the hell are we supposed to get up that?" Then as you proceed the trail just suddenly materializes before you. Thanks again.
 

Carlos

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Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
84
By the way thanks for the tip on False Kiva. My wife and I went their the day before Thanksgiving. We were a little worried it would be crowded because of how many people were in the park and also the ranger we spoke with mentioned that it was unlikely we would have it all to ourselves. There was one other car at the turnout to Alcove Springs but they must have been hiking somewhere else because we didn't see a single person. It was a really fun hike with a surprising amount of solitude considering where it is located. When we approached the cliff my wife asked "How the hell are we supposed to get up that?" Then as you proceed the trail just suddenly materializes before you. Thanks again.


You are welcomed. The weather was great during Thanksgiving.
 
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