We’ve hiked most of the trails in Needles during our five week volunteer stint, but still hadn’t been able to replicate the hike we did a decade ago with Northwest friends, Jack and Mary Lange. We remembered that we had started and ended in Loop A of the campground
The Joint trail in Needles district of Canyonlands National Park is really a destination, a long crack between rock masses. It can be reached by a mix of trail loops ranging from ten to 15 miles. Any combination of these loops offers up a panoply of rock sculptures standing sentry over sage, juniper, pine meadows, perhaps even rock art if you go off trail (carefully!) a bit.
At Devils Kitchen we parked our bikes and did a five mile loop hike to Chesler Park, a large meadow area surrounded by red and cream sandstone spires, The Needles. For the entirety of the five miles we were surrounded by neck straining (both vertical and horizontal) vistas of, often anthropomorphic, specters of amazement. An Imax could not do the experience justice.