Spectacular tour of some of the most interesting features of the Needles district of the Canyonlands National Park, starting from the Squaw Flat Trailhead parking area, keeping to the right at the first intersection to catch the connector trail that brings to the Druid Arch Trail. Continue all the way to the Druid Arch (very steep last section, involving a steel ladder) and then come back to the Druid Arch Trail until taking the Chesler Park Trail on the left and then the Devils Kitchen Trail on the right. Take the connector to the Elephant Hill trail and finally the Big Spring Trail all the way back to the Squaw Flat Trailhead.
Practical notes. This tour takes into spectacular but very remote parts of the Canyonlands National Park so expect to encounter very few people on the route. Mobile reception is unavailable for the majority of the route. There is no water along the route except a for a couple of seasonal springs so plan on bringing all the water needed. With exception of a few passages through slot canyons, the whole route is without shade.
Steven Gnam suggested a shorter variation of this loop: "This route is the shorter companion route to the Needles Grand Tour. It's 5 miles shorter but still gives you much of the same great scenery if you are pressed for time. The trail starts at the hopefully-soon-to-be-renamed Squaw Flat Trailhead at the end of Campground Loop A road. It goes Squaw Canyon Trail > Squaw Flat Loop > Big Springs Canyon Trail > over a ladder through a sandstone pass into Elephant Canyon via the Druid Arch Trail > Big Springs to Elephant Canyon Trail > Squaw Flat Loop and the starting point.
Here is the Strava segment of the route: https://www.strava.com/segments/31403144"
Hello! This route looks awesome! I will be giving it a shot on tmrw- 10/17/20 Saturday for unsupported Male FKT. If I fail, I’ll try again thru 11/1/20. Looking forward to the adventure!