The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park: serenely lonely in the wintertime. A great time to visit.
The day after snowshoeing in the Manti-La Sal National Forest at 7,000 feet elevation I decided to switch gears and go down about 2,000 feet to the high desert. That’s the kind of variety one can enjoy in southeast Utah.
No winter boots or heavy parka needed down there, especially since there had been several days of sunlight to melt any icy patches in the shady areas.
It was another sunny day, and calm as well. So pleasant for the last day of January.
I headed for the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. From US 191 between Monticello and Moab, take Utah 211 down Indian Creek Canyon to the Noodles. I mean Needles.
I hiked the easy Slick Rock Trail in the park mostly for the exercise, then started the drive back up along Indian Creek. I had seen a total of four vehicles all afternoon. Besides the extremely pleasant hiking weather, the absence of crowds is why this is one of my favorite times of year to visit this spectacular area.
The walls of Indian Creek Canyon are dominated by the vertical burnt red cliffs consisting of Wingate Sandstone. World class rock climbing if that’s your thing. Me, I like to stare at them from down on the valley floor. Especially when the low light approaching sunset lights them up.
Photo location: San Juan County, southeast Utah.
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© Copyright 2017 Stephen J. Krieg