Peak(s):  Druid Arch - 5,700 feet
Date Posted:  04/16/2009
Date Climbed:   04/08/2009
Author:  Tory Wells

 Druid Arch, Canyonlands National Park  

Trailhead: Squaw Flat Campground B
Total Distance/Total Time: 16.5 miles/5.5 hrs

As part of my Utah road trip, I spent a couple days in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, with my main goal there being a run to Druid Arch. Done properly, it should have been about 15 miles, but a wrong turn added some extra distance for me.

The hike can be done from either Squaw Flat Camprground TH's A or B; the distance is not significantly different either way. Much of the route is on slickrock, so there are cairns that mark the route very well. There is some singletrack and the final 3 miles are done in the wash of Elephant Canyon. The going is very slow in the wash, with deep sand and plenty of scrambling.

Newspaper Rock, outside the park but very interesting:


The namesake Needles:


One of the cairns, which are actually quite easy to follow:


A narrow section of trail:


The predominant scenery:


Another view of the Needles:


The wash in Elephant Canyon:


After almost 3 miles in the wash, the canyon narrows and some scrambling is required. After climbing a nice steel ladder, you come to the final approach to Druid Arch. The route goes right up the rubble gulley in the center of the photo:


At the top of the gulley lies some nice slickrock to explore and the views of Druid Arch:


The arch is about 100' high and is actually a double arch:



The surrounding scenery:


Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Walking on the moon
04/17/2009 04:36
Exploring the Needles district is like discovering a new world. Druid Arch was a very memorable section of my Chesler Park trip last summer, those sections get pretty narrow for sure. Thanks for thir TR, I‘m inspired to head back while the wildflowers are bloomin.


04/17/2009 17:38
Photos and report. Getting ready to head back (again) to the Needles district in a few weeks. Loved the loop when we did Druid Arch. It‘s certainly one of the more unique arches. You certainly had some beautiful weather. Thanks for posting. Happy trails!


Druid Arch
04/18/2009 19:54 dosen‘t look Druish!
Looks like a great trip. I am supposed to be in Moab right now if I70 wasn‘t closed. Can‘t wait to get out there.

Tory Wells

09/03/2011 14:45
very nice obscure Spaceballs reference!

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