3 (Easy) Breathtaking Hikes You've Got to Do in Canyonland's Needle District
Moab, UT, is home to some of the most stunning rock formations in the lower 48. Because of that, it's become an outdoor-lover's paradise. Hikers, bikers, and climbers come in droves to explore this natural beauty.
But you don't have to be an ultra-fit hiking athlete to enjoy these beautiful places. Moab has countless hikes for people of all ability levels to enjoy. If you're looking for an easier hike to take in the views, check out these three breathtaking (easy) hikes in Canyonland's Needles District.
Looking for a bit of history with your nature? This 0.6 mile hike is just a short jaunt from the beaten path, but it explores some of the human history of this breathtaking place.
At one point, this area in canyonlands was an active ranch. When you get there, you'll get a sense of why this place was abandoned. A rancher would have to depend on the spring to scratch out a living on the unforgiving rocks.
The trail also takes you past Cave Spring itself before leading you to Pueblo Indian rock art dating back 1,000 years. For a taste of history both old and new, take a short hike on Cave Spring to experience it all.
The desert is teeming with life, if you know where to look for it. Here, life forms in the little ponds that fill the potholes - small basins carved by wind and water into the soft sandstone.
This short, family-friendly hike offers some great information on the flora and fauna that call these small desert ponds home. The ponds offer a great example of the Edge Effect, a phenomenon in Ecology where life gathers two ecosystems blend. You'll see desert reeds, algae, and more springing to life in these tiny, self-contained ecosystems.
Like many other hikes in Canyonlands, you've got to be careful doing this in the middle of summer. Most of this trail follows open-faced slickrock. There's no shade, and the hard rock tends to bounce the heat back up to you from the sun. Plan your hikes in the mornings or evenings for the safest trips.
While several hikes in the Needles district follow the canyon bottom, the Slickrock Foot Trail keeps you high on the ridge to give you plenty of uninterrupted views. Bring your camera for this one, because you're going to get some great angles on various rock formations in the park.
This trail is a great place to start if you've never done desert hikes before. Unlike dirt trails, many desert trails pass over sheer faces of rock. It can make finding trails difficult - unless you know how to spot the cairns. These small rock piles are left by rangers and other hikers to keep you heading the right direction.
You'll get an impressive amount of vista time for this 2.4 mile hike. Take plenty of water, and enjoy every moment of it.
There's more to see in Moab than most people can get in a lifetime. The parks in the area are some of the largest in the lower 48, and they're filled with countless nooks and side canyons to explore. Even if you're not the toughest adventurer out there, you can still easily enjoy these natural wonders.
Plan your hikes around the weather. Visiting Moab in the middle of the summer is like visiting a brick oven while it's burning. If you're only in town during the summer months, make sure to always bring plenty of water - even for the short hikes like these.
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