Chessler Park – Canyonlands National Park – Places To Go

One of the best things about Utah are the National Parks. Of the five parks in Utah, each one is unbelievably unique. A few years ago I spent some time in Canyonlands National Park, in the Needles District. I had never been to the Needles side of the park, and I was so inspired by how beautiful it was, even in the Winter, which in some ways almost makes it more beautiful. Our destination for this trip was Chessler Park and Druid Arch. Chessler is a very unique setting. As you are hiking from the Elephant Hill parking and trail head, you make your way through a drainage and eventually get to a trail break that either leads you to Druid Arch or up into Chessler. As you make your way into the park the “needles” begin to tower over you and begin to open up into an amphitheater type setting. The view of the park is absolutely amazing and provides some really great camping.

My time spent there was during the Winter in February. It was actually quite pleasant temps and it was really nice having snow on the ground for a water source. Sometimes it’s really nice not having to filter water when in the backcountry. This time of year was also a great time to go as there are not a lot of camping spots. With it being a National Park you are required to camp in designated spots. The camping is fantastic, but there are few choices before Chessler. In the drainage before Chessler there are a couple spots and then several more in Chessler itself.

Our whole purpose for going on this trip was to go see Druid Arch. It’s by far one of the more unique looking arches that i’ve seen. Canyonlands has several arches that are very much worth seeing. Angel Arch being one of those. Druid however does require some pretty aggressive hiking and can be tiring to get to. Make sure to follow the carins so you don’t get turned around. Once at Druid the view is amazing and is worth spending some time at. Druid is a good day hike from the Elephant Hill parking, but doing a three day backpack trip to make a loop through Elephant Hill and Chessler Park is so worth the time spent. Use this map when visiting The Needles.

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