Of the short hikes in the Needles District of Canyonlands NP, this trail is the most fun and offers good picture taking opportunities.
The hike is relatively easy and you can do the whole loop trail from the parking area in about an hour or so.
This trail had a couple of ladders to climb up which was an added bonus.
Let’s start at the beginning, The parking area is accessed from a short dirt road which branches from the main park paved road not far from the Needles District Visitor Center. The dirt road is packed hard and is level and is about a mile long I seem to recall. This dirt road can be traversed in any passenger car. High clearance vehicles are not necessary.
Early settlers to the area (southeast Utah) made use of these overhanging rock ledges and “caves” for shelter from the elements.
We start along the trail. This is an easy walk. Carry some drinking water and wear appropriate clothing. Use sunscreen as this area is high elevation and a person can suffer sunburn rather quickly, especially in the late Spring and in the Summer. As well, you can bring a snack with you for eating in the shady areas along the trail if you wish. Bring a camera.
We quickly reach the entrance to the “cave”.
A view along the trail under one of the overhanging rock ledges. Canyonlands is a great park in no small part for the variety or diversity of scenery and the numerous trails it offers.
We share several pics of the rock texture to be seen along the trail.
The shade is welcome and keeps one cool on this Sunday in May, 2016.
The colors and textures of the rock layers are seen in this next pic.
More natural rock surfaces.
An interesting view under the overlying rock shelf.
Time to move along. My wife was in better physical shape than I was on this vacation.
Continuing now along the sandy, fairly level trail.
We enter one of the large rooms or “caves” along the trail.
The information plaque.
More texture and color in the roof or ceiling.
A zoomed in look.
The trail winds back out to open skies.
Farther along ,we traverse this rock strewn patch.
A glance back here.
A short while later, we look back the way we had come.
Lucy walks along in peaceful walking meditation.
No abstract art approaches the beauty of nature in our opinion. Here, we look up at the rock ceiling.
Another scene along the trail.
The “crawl space” of the room.
Back in the sunlight, we see sky, sandstone and trees and bushes.
The first of 2 ladders used to reach the top of the rock formation.
My hiking companion awaits my ascent up the wooden ladder.
. . . . to be continued . . . .
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