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blueBlack Big Spring Canyon/Squaw Canyon Loop

  4.8 ( 24 ) Favorite


7.0 mile 11.3 kilometer loop


Ascent: 610' 186 m
Descent: -609' -186 m
High: 5,557' 1,694 m
Low: 5,099' 1,554 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 31% (17°)


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Trail shared by Joy Memmen

Great example of Needles landscape and desert rock formations that includes traveling on rock faces.

Joy Memmen

Features Views · Wildflowers


Though a bit longer than some routes in the park, this loop highlights some of the best terrain in the Needles area. The route begins from the Squaw Flat Trailhead, and would be an excellent route if taken from the campground.

Need to Know

Hiking in the desert is thirsty work, and there won't be much shade or water along the way. Come prepared, and think about bringing some extra water.


This loop provides a great example of classic Needles rock formations and desert landscape. Cairns mark the trail, and you'll want to pay close attention to where they're leading. Especially across the exposed faces of rock that you'll cross, it can otherwise be difficult to make out the route!

Visitors will start out heading counter clockwise, on the Big Spring Canyon Trail. The way will be mostly smooth going at first, with moderate elevation gain. As the route progresses to the 3-3.5 mile mark, some areas will be quite steep and may make people who fear heights nervous. Luckily these portions are not overly technical.

From the turning point, there are gorgeous views of the Big Spring Canyon and Squaw Canyon, including many unique and visually appealing desert features.

At the intersection with the Squaw Canyon Trail, take a left turn (north) to begin the return journey. Like the Big Spring Canyon Trail, the most technical and exposed portions of the hike will occur near the junction. After about mile 4.5, the travel will mellow, and a gentle descent will return visitors to the trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

Lots of desert wildflowers, cactus, succulents and cottonwood trees. You'll see some marsh lands too!

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Jul 2, 2019
Iana Ivanova
Turned it into an out and back, kind of like walking around a video game 6mi
May 26, 2019
Jake Westover
May 4, 2019
May 4, 2019
Jenny Montague
May 4, 2019
Catherine Rack
7.5mi — 3h 30m
Apr 16, 2019
Tyler Willson
Dec 28, 2018
Lauren Marie
Sep 28, 2018
Rob Hixson
Awesome hike. Lots of varied landscape. 7.8mi

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 24 votes


in The Needles


  4.8 from 24 votes
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in The Needles


in Utah


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