Click on photos for larger images. Sometimes you have to refresh the page to re-activate this feature. Hide Slide Show (you will have to refresh the page to see it again)

Canyonlands National Park, UT

Sep 10 - Sep 17, 2017 -- $1325 ★★★

In the remote Utah backcountry, lies a magical world of canyons, mesas, and buttes called Canyonlands National Park We will be backpacking the Needles District, one of the finest and most sought out districts of this colorful park. The Needles can be challenging primarily due to dramatic drop-offs and precipices, so if you have a fear of heights, this trip may not be for you. However with the challenge comes great rewards like ubiquitous red rocks, ancient petroglyphs, colossal sandstone arches, turn-of-the-century ranches, winding canyons, natural bridges and wildlife such as lizards, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and possibly even black bear.


Our trek begins from the high point of the trek, Cathedral Butte, an enormous monolithic presence. It ends in the iconic Chesler Park area of the Needles District. In between, we'll hike along beautiful canyons and incredible mesas with unobstructed views, seeing many iconic (and lesser) arches such as Angel Arch and Druid Arch, not to mention seeing Petroglyphs such as All-American Man.


Water will be scarce at times, on some days, we will need to carry about 2 gallons (16 pounds) of water in our packs. Still, the rewards are many. In September, the days are getting shorter which means great sunsets and amazing star-gazing.



Weather

Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Expect daytime hiking temperatures in the 70s and nighttime temperatures in the 40s. However, be prepared for the possibility of day temperatures as high as 90 and as low as 30, with an occasional chance of rainfall and on rare occasion, snowfall. Here is the historical September weather. Be prepared with lots of sun protection and water containers that add up to 8 liters of capacity.



Trip Leaders

Steve Silberberg
Hannah McCallum

Cost

$1325 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a room with another participant during the 2 hotel nights. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Salt Lake City (SLC), personal equipment, restaurant meals eaten off the trail and any gratuities.


Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, round-trip ground transportation from Salt Lake City to the National Park, 6 days of trail meals, National Park permits, insurance, backcountry fees and awesome guides.



Difficulty

The trails through Canyonlands National Park can be unbelievably easy and enjoyable to hike, especially within the level, sandy-bottomed canyons or on the flat, rocky, view-laden mesas. It's pure hiking pleasure. However, there will also be sandy patches and slickrock with sometimes dramatic dropoffs and a few places where challenging scrambles (using hands and butt) is necessary.



Important Notes

Canyonlands National Park (as well as Fatpacking) is serious about Leave No trace. Toilet paper does not decompose in the Canyonlands desert ecosystem, so it must be packed out. And although we can leave human waste in much of the park, on the final day we will be camped in the Chesler Park area, a very sensitive area that gets an extraordinary amount of use. Because of this, human waste must also be packed out from this location. Sorry!

We are required to carry bear canisters in the park to protect food from any number of animals ... squirrels to bears.


Back to top

 

Packing List
Itinerary
Weather
Guides for this trip
Cost
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
Packing List
Sign up Now!

Itinerary


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Fly into Salt Lake City Airport (SLC). The best time to arrive is between around Noon-3PM. However, if you can save a substantial amount on your flight by arriving at say, 11AM or 5PM, then do so.


Take the free airport shuttle to Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites Salt Lake City - Down Town, 230 W 500 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, 801-328-4466


Equipment shakedown


"Before" measurements taken


Trail mix distribution


Go to REI Salt Lake City, 3285 E 3300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84109, (801) 486-2100 for last minute equipment


Go out for dinner (Dinner not included in trip cost)



Monday, September 11, 2017

Early (6AM or earlier) wake-up


Second set of "before" measurements taken


All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in storage. Try to keep this to a small amount of stuff.


Free breakfast at Hotel


Car shuttle 4 hours to Moab


Take Tag-a-Long Ground Shuttle to the Cathedral Butte Trailhead on Route 107, elevation 7050'


Hike 1.8 steep downhill miles to the head of the East Fork of Salt Creek, elevation 6100'


Hike 2.2 miles to Kirk's Cabin, elevation 5900'.


Camp at SC1, elevation 5900'


Miles today: 4.0. Total miles: 4.0


Possible bailout: Route 107



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hike about 8.0 miles to the Angel Arch spur trail, elevation 5500'


Camp at-large in the Salt/Horse zone, elevation 5500'


PLEASE NOTE: There was a fire in this area in 2016 and tonight's planned campsite area is currently closed to at-large camping. It might open by the time our trip happens. If it does not open by then, we may camp at-large near Angel Arch or about a mile North or a mile South of the intersection.


Miles today: 8.0. Total miles: 11.0

Possible bailout: Route 107 a day away



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Day-Hike about 3.4 miles roundtrip to Angel Arch, elevation 5600'


Hike about 5.0 miles to Salt Creek At-Large area, elevation 5300'.


Camp in Salt Creek At-Large area, elevation 5300'.


Miles today: 8.4. Total miles: 19.4

Possible bailout: Salt Creek unmaintained dirt road, a day away



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Hike 3.5 miles to Peekaboo Campsite, elevation 5100'


Hike 2.4 miles to the Lost Canyon Trail elevation 5200'


Hike 3.2 miles on the Lost Canyon Trail to campsite SQ2, elevation 5500'


Miles today: 9.1. Total miles: 28.5

Possible bailout: Squaw Flat



Friday, September 15, 2017

Hike 0.9 miles to the Big Springs Canyon Trail, elevation 5500'


Hike 2.9 miles to Druid Arch Trail, elevation 5600'


Drop packs and Day-Hike 3.2 round-trip miles to Druid Arch, elevation 5740'


Hike 1.0 miles to Chesler Park, elevation 6000'


Hike 1.7 miles to campsite EC1, elevation 5300'


Camp at campsite EC1, elevation 5300'


Miles today: 9.7. Total miles: 38.2

Possible bailout: Squaw Flat



Saturday, September 16, 2017

Hike 0.6 miles to the Chesler Park Trail intersection, elevation 5200'


Hike 3.4 miles to Squaw Flat, elevation 5100'


End of hiking


Miles today: 4.0. Total miles: 42.2


Take Tag-a-Long Ground Shuttle back to Moab


After measurements taken


Dinner and awards Ceremony in Moab. Dinner not included in trip cost.


Shuttle 4 hours back to Salt Lake City


Check back into Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites Salt Lake City - Down Town, 230 W 500 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, 801-328-4466


This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Free Hotel Breakfast


Take Free Airport Shuttle


Back to top