Utah Spring Break 2022 Part 2: Backpacking the Needles


Alright now the real adventure begins little to no minivan involved in this part.

One of the best things about the Airbnb we stayed at the night before was the location. It was in the yellow highlighted part of this map just outside of Canyonlands National Park.

Screenshot 2022-04-06 142148.png

So it was a quick easy drive to the Visitor Center and then on to our parking spot on that red road just above the tent icon. Our campsite is roughly where the red blob is.

We got a bit of food out of the cooler and into our packs, made sure we had as much water as we could carry. I had 9 liters of water and the rest were not too far behind me. I was a little worried Bean would have a tough time but all the girls took off and Heath and I were huffing and puffing behind them.



Pictures are probably better then my descriptions but it was a beautiful and super unique area to backpack in.


The trail took us over these giant wavy rocks.

IMG_20220318_105545014_HDR.jpg And then down between them.



Before we could get our permit to backpack camp in this area we needed to watch an informational video and agree to a few things. We were allowed to walk on trails and we could leave the trail to explore on top of rocks or in dry creek beds but there was a very fragile biological soil crust (we called crusties) everywhere else.


The crusties are a bit hard to see in picture but there it’s totally obvouis what soil has been left alone to help the crusties and where people didn’t follow the rules and messed it up.


Anyhow after a couple brief water breaks and lots of picture breaks it took us about 1 hour to hike the 2 miles to our campsite.


Here is the fork in the path and the post for our campsite SQ1 behind Bean.



The campsite was deluxe. Privacy trees and rocks all around with plenty of nice flat space and places to hang out in the sun or the shade. We setup our tents, put together our chairs, got our shared stuff together and got out lunch.



While unpacking our teepee camp Pumpkin and Julia made a bunch of great hoagie sandwiches that hit the spot. Of course as soon as lunch was over the rocks were calling us to explore.



It got pretty hot out and we took breaks when we found good shade.


The next couple days run together in my mind but I spent my days exploring with the group or hiking the trails with Heath


or scrambling on rocks with the craziest hikers Bean and Pumpkin.



We all found some cool spots of our own and seemed to go back to them over and over. This hole was just over our campsite and you could see what was going on in camp from it.


We named this sunset rock as we tried to watch the sunset from it the first day and it had a nice view of everything and was close to camp.


The kids spent lots of time on that rock telling stories and looking around. Sometimes Heath and I would go for walks while they were up there. See them?


When not out and about we had lots of fun in camp with activities and games. We had a deck of cards and played card games but we invented some crazy games with catching a hacky sack in a bowl or cup and we had contests to write in cursive in the soft dirt and built crazy cairns with the rocks in camp.



Of course we also ate really well.  The first night we had these instant mashed potato bags that we just added boiling water too and a bunch of cheese and precooked bacon.

The next night we had a mountain house backpacker pasta meal that was also pretty good.


In the mornings we had hot coffee, hot cider, oatmeal and some protein packed blueberry bread.


We kinda snacked on trail mix, tuna packs, cheese and summer sausage and random stuff all day for lunches.

In the mornings it was cold. One day our water bottles had ice in them but each day warmed up pretty quick when the sun finally made it over the rocks. We did run low on water at one point and the girls and I went back to the car to refill some bottles and Julia got sick one night and didn’t feel well and rested through the next day.

The last morning we woke up it was pretty warm and comfortable out. We ate and drank as much as we could then packed up camp into somewhat lighter loads then the way in.


Then we headed back to the car.


I thought we might be desperate for civilization and I’m sure we were pretty stinky but no one was really in a rush and we stopped for more pictures on our way out.



It was a pretty easy hike back to the car and people.


We had each packed a victory beer (or iced coffee or juice) that we left in the cooler and celebrated a great trip as we hit the road.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Utah Spring Break 2022 Part 2: Backpacking the Needles

Leave a Reply