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Tag: needles district

End of Trails in The Needles

Big Spring Canyon – Elephant Canyon Loop
Friday – Sunday, November 30 – December 2, 2018

After looking over the official map for the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park earlier this year, I noticed that I had hiked just about every single trail on it, so I figured it would be a good goal to try and finish hiking them all this year. After hiking a few of those remaining trails earlier in the year, I only had a few segments of trails in the Big Spring Canyon area left, so Diane and I headed down to The Needles this weekend so I could finish them up in one big loop on Saturday.

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Horsin’ Around: The Return to Horse Canyon

Friday – Sunday, November 16-18, 2018

It’s been over six years since the last time I drove into Horse Canyon which is located in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. The road washed out again shortly after that trip and I don’t think it’s been open much, if at all, since then. When I noticed at the end of October that the road was actually open again, I quickly put together a last minute weekend trip with my friends Dave and Jared since I’m not sure how long it will stay open this time! Jared came along on my last trip here but this would be Dave’s first time in Horse Canyon and he was looking forward to it. I reserved a campsite for us at Peekaboo in Salt Creek Canyon on Saturday night so we could spend two full days in the canyon and not have to deal with getting day-use permits. I left work on Friday afternoon and met up with them outside of the Park along the Lockhart Basin Road where we spent the first night since we were able to have a fire here to keep warm on the cold night. On Saturday morning we got a late start since we had to wait until the Visitor Center opened at 9:00am to get the combination to the gate which wasted a couple hours of daylight on these short days. Once we had the combination we headed through the gate and spent the rest of the weekend searching for arches, ruins and rock art. We found plenty of all of them! Enjoy these photos from our weekend trip!

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Gallivanting Through The Grabens

Southern Utah Wanderings | Friday – Saturday, October 5-6, 2018

After spending the previous two nights at the Horsehoof Campsite in Canyonlands National Park it was time for us to move on. When we got our permit for Horsehoof on Wednesday morning we also picked up a backpacking permit for the Red Lake / Grabens At-Large Backpacking Zone for tonight, so we still had one more night left in the Needles District. Aside from driving through Devils Lane a bunch of times and hiking down the Lower Red Lake Canyon Trail earlier this year, I had never really explored this remote area of the park and was looking forward to it. I really don’t think very many people venture out this way.

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Searching for Starvation Pocket

Southern Utah Wanderings | Thursday, October 4, 2018

After driving into The Needles on Wednesday morning and spending the day exploring the fringes of Canyonlands National Park, it was time for us to spend our first full day hiking into Starvation Pocket. We had originally thought about doing this hike as an overnight backpack, but we were running short on time this trip and already had a different overnight trip planned, so we decided to just do this one as a long day-hike instead. In hindsight it probably would have been better to do this one as an overnighter since we found a lot of cool stuff and were unable to explore the whole area we wanted to. I guess that just means I will have to return again in the future for another hike here!

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The Edge of The Needles

Southern Utah Wanderings | Wednesday, October 3, 2018

All the rain we had received the previous day made me a little bit nervous about trying to drive into Beef Basin, which was our original plan for today. I’ve driven that road in the rain before and it was a slippery mess. I didn’t want to have to do that again! So instead of heading into Beef Basin we decided to see if we could get a last-minute campsite in The Needles and drive over Elephant Hill instead. Since the Visitor’s Center didn’t open until 9:00am we slept in later than normal and took our time taking down camp. We arrived at the Visitor’s Center about ten minutes before they opened and there were already a bunch of people waiting to get in. When the doors opened we were the first ones in the Backcounty Office and found that one of the Bobby Jo campsites and the Horsehoof campsite were still open, which is the area we wanted to be in. I had never stayed at any of these sites before, so we decided to give Horsehoof a try for the next two nights. It turned out to be an excellent decision since I think Horsehoof is now one of my favorite campsites in all of Canyonlands National Park! Thankfully we got into the Backcountry Office for our permit when we did, because as we left there was a long line out the door!

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