Needles Overlook is worth a visit for those travelling in southeastern Utah.
While not actually in Canyonlands National Park, from here one looks into the Needles District of the park in the distance.
One needs to be on the lookout for the sign on US 191 (between Moab and Monticello) for the turnoff for Needles Overlook. After you turn off the highway, you quickly come upon this sign.
The road to Needles Overlook is paved. (The other overlook in the area, the Anticline Overlook, is reached by a 17 mile long dirt/gravel road that branches off from the paved road about 14 miles in from US 191.) Clouds were in abundance this afternoon.
At the overlook area, other visitors are gazing out from one of the viewpoints.
The confirmation that you have reached your destination.
While these “trails” are quite short for the hiker, the vistas these afford are indicative of what one can see on many of the longer hikes in the region (in Dead Horse Point State Park for example, and in the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park).
A person can see for miles along the canyon rim. The dark areas on the ground are the shadows of the clouds overhead.
Another view with rock walls not far off (looking northwest).
Further away and a few minutes later, we take this pic.
Now, looking west or slightly to the southwest.
Some of the rocks along the trail.
Sky, clouds, rocks and a tourist. This pic turned out very nice with crisp color.
In this image, we can see a distant view when looking through the gap in some large rocks just in front of us.
Looking behind us, we see these rocks and trees.
A nearby rock shelf.
A closer view.
More of the scenery along the trail to the various viewpoints.
Some trees and plants struggle to survive in this windswept, rocky area.
Another scene looking back behind us.
A lizard pauses for our camera. There are birds, insects, reptiles and small mammals here in the desert.
A plant in the rocky soil.
Another view along the trail. The desert floor is perhaps one thousand feet or more below.
A placard along the trail.
Moving further away from the scenery of the first viewpoint, we see the rock walls from a distance.
More scenes on the trail before reaching the main overlook.
Known as slick rock because of its smooth surface, this type of rock is found throughout the region.
Approaching the main overlook area.
Continuing past the main overlook area, we come back around to a view that looks east.
It is hard to appreciate from the photo how far the drop off is to the floor of the desert below. One can see dirt roads for 4 wheel drive vehicles in some of these photos.
Some visitors have said it feels as though they could “see forever” from some of these lookout points.
A view looking down and in to the distance in this pic. We are walking back towards the main overlook.
Clouds above, obscuring the sun’s light, make for dark areas on the ground below.
Perhaps, a better image here.
From above, we can look down and see various rock formations that one can hike through in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.
We like this next shot. One can see the view downwards to the dirt roads far below and one can see the distant horizon at the top of the photo.
A rock shelf that one can hunker down under to get a slight break from the pesky wind.
Lucy in front of the rock shelf.
A brief rest on the slick rock for water. Note the wire fence for the protection of visitors.
A closer view.
At the edge of the cliff, we see this informational plaque. We are at the main overlook area.
A few words on the geology of the area.
Let’s share some pics with people in them.
The wind was gusting here at the edge of the promontory. Sometimes it sounded like spirits screeching in agony.
Visiting the overlook was an incredible experience. In this view, we are looking a little south of due west.
In this image, we can see how a visitor can stand right at the fence and view the sharp drop off to the ground far below.
On a bench, in front of the safety fence, we see this view.
Lucy asked some German tourists to take a picture for us.
A person in the image helps lend some perspective to the shot.
More rock along the trail.
Getting in among the rocks.
The rocks may begin to “grow on you” as you warm to them so to speak.
Lucy play acts at pushing the giant rocks apart.
Another nearby scene.
Nice crisp color here with clouds and trees and rock.
Now we offer some more views of the rock walls to the northwest.
A closer view of the rock wall.
The sheer cliffs and the drop offs to lower and lower areas are impressive.
This is a very lengthy photo essay, but one that gives the reader a good feel for what it is like to be there.
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