Key information: Chesler Park
- An unexpected area of dry grassland in the astonishing Needles area.
- Revel in amazing scenery of the multi-coloured sandstone spires, mushrooms, cliffs and walls surround this peaceful area. Gaze down onto the Devil’s Kitchen.
- Walkopedia rating88
- Natural interest18
- Human interest0
- Negative points0
- Total rating88
- Length: Your choice
- Maximum Altitude: N/A
- Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
In the south-west of the Needles area of Canyonlands NP is the peculiar, unexpected area of dry grassland surrounded by extraordinary needly formations known as Chesler Park, many would argue the area’s finest walking. It takes some getting to, but is accessible in some 3 miles’ hiking from Elephant Hill, or 1.4 miles from the Devil’s Kitchen campground, if you have a 4x4 (and pass); 4+ miles from Squaw Flat if not. (For many, the best way to explore the area is therefore to backpack in and camp for a night or two, giving time for local exploration without the long walks in/out.)
There is consensus that the best walk is the Chesler Park Loop/Joint Trail, a 11 mile (18km) circuit of Chesler Park from/to Elephant Hill (6miles appx if already in Chesler Park), which gets to admire the local rocky peculiarities, including the exceptional, even by local standards, formations and rocky psychedelia of Elephant Canyon on the way in, and sweeping views of the Needles. The dramatic Joint Trail section creeps through very narrow, deep gaps in the formations. If you don’t have time to walk the whole way in to Chesler Park there is a superb 6 mile there-and-back to Chesler Park Viewpoint.
If you have time, walk out along a canyon bottom to view the superb Druid Arch. 5+ miles round trip the SW edge of Chesler Park. Some scrambling and a ladder section.
(Walkopedia regrets not having time when we visited to get out to Chesler Park.)
This can be tough walking in dry desert. Come fully prepared, carrying sufficient water.
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See our Canyonlands National Park page for more walks in the Needles area and general and practical information and photos.
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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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