This is a fun loop hike through spectacular scenery, up one canyon and down the other. Hiking is fairly easy in the canyon bottoms. To complete the loop visitors must climb the slickrock ridge that separates the canyons. This segment is steep and the trail winds close to exposed dropoffs. People who are afraid of heights may be uncomfortable there.
Trail Head: 38.1436, -109.803
Trail Type: Hiking
Length: 7.5 miles round trip
Big Spring offers a reliable water source. (Of course, water should be purified before drinking.)
The hike begins at the Squaw Flat Loop "A"; Trailhead, at the Squaw Flat Campground. It is located along the main access road into The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.
It really doesn't matter if you hike clockwise or counter clockwise, so you can start or end with Big Spring Canyon. Big Spring and Squaw run parallel to each other in a southerly direction. Big Spring is the westernmost canyon.
The trails join on a saddle near the top of the canyons. Views from the saddle are incredible - looking out over classic Canyonlands scenery.
Moderate scrambling is required as you make your way up these rugged, desert canyons. Vegetation grows in sandy soil in the canyon bottoms, but much of the hike is on barren slickrock.