Canyonlands National Park has three distinct districts: Islands in the Sky, the Needles, and the Maze. These districts are separated by the Colorado River and its tributaries. And, each has unique characteristics. The Canyonlands Needles District boasts colorful sandstone spires and offers both hiking trails and 4 wheel drive roads to explore.
The Canyonlands Needles District is about 75 miles from Moab, Utah. The drive itself is quite stunning! From UT Hwy 191, turn onto Indian Creek Scenic Byway (211), This highway meanders through majestic monoliths and ends in the Needles.
One often overlooked hike in this national park is the Canyonlands Needles Pothole Point Trail. The Pothole Point Trailhead is about 5 miles from the Needles District Visitor Center.
Pothole Point is an easy .6 mile loop trail which traverses slickrock. The hike is relatively flat and the trail is marked with rock carins.
Pothole Point Trail Awesomeness
The most notable feature of Canyonlands Needles Pothole Point is the feature for which the trail is name. The trail’s ephemeral pools referred to as “potholes” are small basins in the sandstone. After a rain, these potholes fill with water and are actually home to tiny ecosystems which play an important role in desert life. Along the trail, you’ll also enjoy spectacular views of Needles formations!
Pothole Point trail is a family friendly hike. So, you don’t have to worry about big drop-offs. And, it is a real treat to gaze on the remarkable mushroom-shaped rock formations and huge boulders!
Many visitors don’t make it down to the Needles District, so this area of Canyonlands has more of a backcountry feel. I think this is awesome! Why? Less traffic and fewer people!
It is easy to skip over the Canyonlands Needles District on a Moab trip. After all, there are so many awesome things to see and do closer to town. But, try to make time to visit this unique district. Canyonlands Needles makes great day trip. And, Pothole Point trail is a fun, easy trail that the whole family can enjoy!
Want more info on Arches and Canyonlands National Park and Utah travel? Check out Utah.
Looking for place to stay in Moab, Utah? Here is an affiliate to the awesome VRBO vacation rental where we stayed. I LOVED this unit and would absolutely stay here again!