Moab-hiking

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Sep 19th, 2006, 05:16 AM
  #1
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Moab-hiking

I will be spending 2 days at Arches NP and 1 day at the Islands in the Sky section of Canyonlands NP. With my other day in Moab, should I go to the Needles section of Canyonlands NP (I have a car and not a 4x4) and take the 4 short hikes there or go hiking in the Moab area such as to Fishers Monument and Corona Arch? Is the 3 hour drive to Needles worth it?
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Sep 19th, 2006, 06:17 AM
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It is not a 3 hour drive TO the Needles part of Canyonlands. We were just there and without a 4x4 to use in the valleys, it wasn't all that great. We liked the Islands in the Sky much better. It is only 25 miles or so to the turnoff for Needles and then another 25 miles in to the overlook, with not much to see along the way.

You could easily go and return to Moab in 3 hours total should you decide to go.

Hope this helps...
Debi
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Sep 19th, 2006, 06:23 AM
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I meant to also say that I did a trip report on Moab if you are interested...

http://www.fodors.com/forums/postrep...0&tid=34868124
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Sep 19th, 2006, 06:33 AM
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I meant 3 hours round trip (75 miles each way)for the Needles excursion. Debi, I did read your very helpful trip report and that directly lead to this question to see if others agreed with you. My inclination is to stay in the Moab area for other hiking opportunities.
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Sep 19th, 2006, 08:17 AM
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Hey bayridge and Deb,

Just to clarify: The Needles Overlook is an entirely different area and road from the rest of the Needles District - where most of the great hiking and the Visitor's Center is.

The drive to the Needles District Visitor's Center and Chesler Park, Elephant Hill, The Wooden Shoe Arch and all the short hikes like the Potholes is a bit further down the highway past where you turn off for the Needles Overlook. It's a very scenic area and well worth it if you have the time. There are herds of big horn sheep that you will usually see too if you hike early.

From Moab one way it's about 1 1/2 hours.

That said, there is so much great hiking, such as the Corona Arch hike (short) and the Negro Bill Canyon hike (5 miles) outside of the Natl Parks, that you can really enjoy just staying in Moab.

It's a tough call. Have fun.
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Sep 19th, 2006, 09:12 AM
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Dayle, thanks for your reply. I hate to miss any thing worthwhile on a trip and that it why I have gone back and forth with myself as to whether its is worth going to the Needles area. So few people seem to get there. The guidebookssay the four walks you can do after you pass the Park headquarters are interesting but I do not detect great enthusiasm. If I press, on this trip there is probably room to do the Needles area if it is indeed interesting for a person who likes photography and hiking (but less than 2 miles per hike) but will not have a 4x4 vehicle. Thanks again for Fodor users advice which has been extremely valuable in planning my trip which is now less than 2 weeks away.
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Sep 19th, 2006, 09:49 AM
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Bayridge,

The best hiking and photo ops in the Needles District ARE the longer hikes. If you do want to stick to shorter hikes, I think you would get the most out of staying in the Moab area. There are PLENTY of beautiful arches to capture! You'll love it.
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Sep 19th, 2006, 11:29 AM
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Dayle. Thanks for your reply. I have also been considering a full day 4x4 trip to Needles through NAVTEC. They offer a trip to Chesler Park via Elephant Hill and another to Horse Canyon. The one to Horse Canyon does not appear to be as exciting as the other, have you done either of these and would this be worthwhile as compared to the trips on my own around Moab. Thanks again
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Sep 19th, 2006, 12:31 PM
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I had the opportunity to fly over Canyonlands in a small plane and it was fabulous! Chesler Park looked just beautiful and I have been trying to do an overnight backpack in there during just the right season (spring or fall as you have to carry in your own water).
Driving over elephant Hill will be a hair-raising experience, but have confidence in the guides, they do it all the time!

Can't say about Horse Canyon. It used to be an open area, but they made it permit only years ago due to overuse. Haven't had the opportunity to go in there yet either.

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