Chesler Park is a relatively flat grassy area surrounded by amazing rock formations, located in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. This trail provides excellent views of The Needles and it drops into a series of narrow fractures along what is know as the Joint Trail.
Trail Head: 38.1417, -109.827
Trail Type: Hiking
Length: 11 miles round trip
There is a campground adjacent to the trailhead. Five designated backpacking campsites are located along the trail, for people who want to do more than a quick backpack. There is no water along this trail.
The trailhead is located near Elephant Hill, at the end of the maintained road into this region of the park. An incredibly rough 4X4 track extends over Elephant Hill, to a series of trails and jeep roads that wind through The Needles.
From the trailhead, the route drops down into Elephant Canyon, where it intersects a trail running up that drainage. The Elephant Canyon Trail is just one of a maze of trail in this area, offering plenty of options for hikers looking for extended trips.
About 3 miles from the trailhead, hikers come to a saddle where they can look out over Chesler Park and The Needles. The view is incredible, and worth the hike even if you elect to go no farther. From the overlook the trail drops down and loops around the park.
The park is one of only a few grassy areas in this region. The trail loops around the park, which is surrounded by hundreds of delicate stone needles. The trail follows sandy jeep roads in some spots. The route is clearly marked.
On the west side of the park the route follow the Joint Trail. Many hikers say this is their favorite section. In several spots the trail drops down into narrow cracks between massive sandstone slabs.