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Joint Trail

Intermediate
 4.8 (12)

A must-visit trail that exemplifies the varying zones in Canyonlands Nat'l Park; slots, prairie, and boulder outcrops.


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Map Key

2.0

Miles

3.3

KM

Point to Point

5,663' 1,726 m

High

5,284' 1,611 m

Low

43' 13 m

Up

393' 120 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

17%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Cave · Views

Family Friendly With nearby 4X4 access, families can explore this trail without having to make the longer trek in from Elephant Hill or Squaw Flat.

Description

Located in a fairly isolated section of The Needles, this trail sees more visitors (relatively) due to its 4X4 access off Devils Lane Road. Starting from the eastern end, just north of the CP2 backcountry campsite, the trail heads south/southwest through the prairie. This "approach" provides a great opportunity to see the rocks that the trail will ultimately enter with expansive views beyond to the west.

After a few hundred yards, the trail will turn right (north/northwest) and skirt the northern border of the rocks; a nice and easy stroll. The trail will begin to descend gradually and then when it arrives at the rocks, at an intersection sometimes marked with a cairn or wooden post, it will appear to vanish.

Looking to the right, the trail continues down a ladder and enters one of the coolest areas, debatably, in the park. Here the trail travels along the bottom of a slot canyon whose walls begin to stretch higher and higher as the trail continues through the cool, shaded, sandy bottom. For those looking to explore, tighter and taller slots branch off this main route. For folks who are sensitive to tight spaces, this might be a challenging area as the slot can be fairly narrow (less than two body widths or a little greater than shoulder-width).

Continuing into the slot, there are a couple log ladders to negotiate down some boulders. These aren't too difficult but may present a challenge for shorter and less-able-bodied visitors. Further along, the slot will open up to a large cave that is filled with cairns. This is a neat spot to explore before emerging north towards a more open canyon.

The final stretch of trail meanders through this more open canyon with some undulations along the way. Bending to the left (west, southwest), the trail crosses the Chesler Canyon wash and arrives at a small, yurt-style bathroom and parking area. To the west, the trail continues for a short segment to connect to the intersection of Devils Lane Road and Bobbys Hole Road.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert with improvements by Tilman Giese

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 12 votes

#2

in The Needles

#235

Overall
  4.8 from 12 votes
5 Star
83%
4 Star
17%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#2

in The Needles

#31

in Utah

#235

Overall
81 Views Last Month
1,361 Since Mar 29, 2017
Intermediate

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Photos

Sunset in Chesler Park. The rock formations on the south end of the meadows are a great spot for sunrises and sunsets, and also provide some shade.
Oct 27, 2017 near Monticello, UT
Water is scarce in Chesler Park. Autumn thundershowers fill the potholes, providing a brief opportunity to replenish water supplies.
Oct 27, 2017 near Monticello, UT
Chesler Park
Jun 9, 2020 near Monticello, UT
A fine stretch of slot canyon on the Joint Trail
Jun 9, 2020 near Monticello, UT

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Check-Ins

Sep 15, 2019
Doug Robson
Apr 19, 2019
Tilman Giese
Apr 14, 2019
Daniel Trujillo
May 17, 2018
Bob Veierstahler
2mi
Apr 9, 2018
Ryan Hickman
Jul 1, 2017
silky mitts
Aug 13, 2016
Luke B