The Needles District in Canyonlands | Travel

The Needles in Canyonlands During a brief visit to Canyondlands National Park in November, I decided to focus my exploring on the Needles District of the park. Canyonlands has four distinct areas - the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze and the rivers. I would love to venture back to Utah for two weeks to explore each area of the park!

Traveling to the Needles

The Needles District is located in the southeast corner of Canyonlands. The name came from the beautiful spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstone that dominate this area of the park. Reaching the Needles District requires a bit of traveling in the car. If your starting point is Moab, you will travel 40 miles south on US Highway 191 and 35 miles west on Utah Highway 211. If you are coming from Monticello, you will only travel 14 miles north on US Highway 191 before reaching Utah Highway 211. Highway 211 ends in the Needles and is the only paved road leading in and out of the district.

Elephant Hill Trail

Recommended Hike

Elephant Canyon - I chose a long hike in the Needles District, spending hours among the rock spires! I parked at the Elephant Hill Trailhead and hiked eight miles, round-trip, to the Elephant Canyon. I was tempted to hike to the Druid Arch, but knew I would run out of daylight before making my way back to my car. Next time!

Have you been to Canyonlands National Park? If so, I would love to hear your recommendations on hikes and locations to visit within the park!

Sun Setting in the Needles