Hiking the Needles Canyonlands


Mar 2, 2017
My wife and I have a trip coming up in late September to visit the Needles. Our plan was to arrive at Squaw Flat -> Lost canyon -> Druid Arch -> Chesler Park -> Squaw Flat. This would leave out the Squaw flat loop. The question that I have is whether Lost canyon is worth the extra day or not, as there doesn’t seem to be much info on it. I only have 4 days, so I was wanting to consolidate some pretty cool hikes in the Needles or between the Needles and SLC airport without wasting time on the decent hikes.
Are you doing day hikes or backpacking?
The current layout would be strictly backpacking outside of leaving our gear at EC2 before hitting Druid arch & Ch Removing lost canyon would open up a day hike, assuming there are better options out there.
I won't comment on how that would work as a backpack, but I'll give some info from doing a couple dayhikes in that area. Druid arch is very cool and well worth the hike. Did a straight in/out hike from Elephant Hill trailhead last year. In April of this year, I dayhiked from Squaw Flat to Squaw Canyon, then hiked up to the "pass" to Lost Canyon, then contoured off trail around to hook back onto the trail down Big Springs Canyon back to Squaw Flat campground. The off-trail contouring was very fun (if you're willing to jump a joint or two that are kind of sketchy).

Hopefully others with better backpacking experience in the Needles will chime in. I'd like to backpack to Chesler Park sometime, and explore that area more thoroughly. So far, I have really enjoyed any time spent in the Needles area.
I spent a week in the Needles and I’d say to make sure you include Chesler Park and Druid Arch. After that it’s all really cool so just do as much as time allows and it doesn’t really matter which canyons you choose.

If it helps decide your route here is my report that covers Big Spring Canyon > Squaw Canyon > Lost Canyon > Elephant Canyon

And this report covers Chesler Park, Druid Arch, and the Joint Trail

Others on here are way more familiar with CNP though and could probably answer questions more specifically.

Enjoy your trip.
I did Squaw Canyon to Chesler Park to Elephant Canyon and then looped over to leave out the way I came in. I definitely would say to not miss Chelser park if you can help it. Out of my three nights, I think Chelser was my best one, though Squaw I felt was conducive to more exploration without seeing people.
In regards to a loop on the eastern side of the needles, which would you recommend from experience? Up Big Springs down Squaw canyon, Up Squaw canyon down Lost canyon, or another alternative loop involving the three canyons?
I think big spring is cooler than squaw. Either will be a blast tho. Haven't been in lost canyon so can't comment there.
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