Hiking Project Logo

Big Spring Canyon/Squaw Canyon Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.8 (25) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

7.0

Miles

11.3

KM

Loop

5,557' 1,694 m

High

5,099' 1,554 m

Low

610' 186 m

Up

609' 186 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Views · Wildflowers

Overview

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.

Description

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!

Contacts

Shared By:

Joy Memmen

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 25 votes

#2

in The Needles

#260

Overall
  4.8 from 25 votes
5 Star
88%
4 Star
8%
3 Star
4%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#2

in The Needles

#28

in Utah

#260

Overall
89 Views Last Month
8,404 Since Jun 11, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
43%
0%
57%
0%

Photos

Needles District. with permission from Nick Terrett
Jun 15, 2016 near Monticello, UT
One of the jumps along Squaw Canyon Trail!
Jun 11, 2016 near Monticello, UT
The needles.
Jan 19, 2016 near Monticello, UT
Rock formation. Big Spring Canyon Trail.
Jun 11, 2016 near Monticello, UT
Spires to the east of the Big Spring Canyon and Squaw Canyon junction.
Jun 14, 2016 near Monticello, UT
A "shoe" rock formation
Jun 6, 2020 near Monticello, UT

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Feb 29, 2020
Andrew Borchman
Fantastic! Loved the scrambling parts! 7.5mi — 3h 15m
Aug 2, 2019
Roger Smolders
Hot
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
7mi
May 4, 2019
wildtrout1
May 4, 2019
Jenny Montague
May 4, 2019
Catherine Rack
7.5mi — 3h 30m
Apr 16, 2019
Tyler Willson