Photo by Jacob Frank


Chesler Park Loop/Joint Trail

Chesler Park

 

Joint Trail

DISTANCE

5.8 miles (10kkm) roundtrip from Elephant Hill to the pass into Chesler Park

4.9 miles (8km) around the Chesler Park loop

CAMPING

5 designated sites

WATER

Water is not available in Chesler Park, but may be found seasonally in upper Elephant Canyon

DESCRIPTION

The spires of rock that gave "the Needles" its name surround Chesler park, which is a broad meadow of grasses and shrubs. The shortest route to Chesler Park begins at the Elephant Hill trailhead, skirts the jointed rims of Big Spring Canyon, then climbs in and out of Elephant Canyon and up to Chesler. From there, a moderately strenuous loop leads around the Park, passing through the Joint Trail. Other trails lead into Chesler Park from Squaw Flat campground and the Devils Kitchen camp.

DESIGNATED CAMPSITE DESCRIPTIONS

CP1

  • Roughly .5 miles from the pass into Chesler Park
  • Out of sight of the trail
  • Set against the rock spires among pinion-juniper trees
  • Some shelter from sun/wind

CP2

  • Along loop trail, just beyond the trail junction to Elephant Canyon
  • Roughly 25 yds. off the trail
  • Set against some rock with some pinion-juniper trees fro shade
  • room for two or three tents

CP3 to CP5

These sites are all located off of the main trail along a fin of rock that the loop trail passes through just before the access to CP2. All have some pinion-juniper shade trees and a magnificent view of the setting sun. In summer, these sites are wonderfully cool in the morning, but ten to bake in the afternoon and remain hot well into the evening. All sites can accommodate up to four tents with the exception of CP3 which will only accommodate there.

There is an old cowboy line camp between CP4 and CP5 from the days when nearby cattle outfits wintered their herds in the Needles. Please respect this historic site and leave objects as they are.

 

THE JOINT TRAIL

DISTANCE

.5 miles (.8km), one-way

CAMPING

Overnight camping is not permitted in the Joint Trail

DESCRIPTION

This short section of the Chesler Park Loop Trail provides a cool break during the summer's heat. The trail proceeds through narrow passages created by geological shifts that cause the overlying Cedar Mesa sandstone to fracture.

There are many hazardous cliff edges in this area. Please control children and watch your step.