September 11, 2023
Some shots from the campground before heading out to Needles Outlook and the Needles Unit / Elephant Hill.
Because we needed to head to Denver the next day, we didn't risk doing Elephant Hill and having any trail damage with no days left to repair it :(
The Road to Needles Outlook -- the usual entrance was in the middle of having a bridge replaced right at US-191 so there was a long detour onto gravel roads.
The outlook, a National Park Service facility (or is BLM?), is over 20 miles from the main road but worth every single bit of it.
Back to the paved road
LOL...running into construction flaggers after not seeing another soul for 15 miles was a surprise!
Needles Outlook -- I'm assuming due to the construction, but we had this nice overlook and relatively large parking area completely to ourselves.
Headed back out. There is actually another lookout even further up that I'll put on my bucket list for next time.
Cool sequence showing how they pave out here -- especially the belly dumper compared to regular dump trucks I usually see back home.
On the way out we did see more dump trucks hauling in asphalt, so we just drove in a particularly quiet moment.
Headed into Needles Unit of Canyonlands National Park.
Exploring a bit of the BLM campgrounds on the way in.
Needles Outpost which is a very...rustic...general store and private campground just outside the entrance. Supposedly has gas, but I'm not sure if they still use the pumps since Eric was saying there was a couple in the visitor center is distress they were low on fuel and there were no services out here -- except for the Outpost the nearest services are 35 miles away in Monticello.
Lunch in the park, nice that they have shade shelters!
Headed into Elephant Hill entrance.
The permit-needed entrance is just to my immediate left :)
When Eric stopped in the visitor center and mentioned it the Rangers laughed that you can hike the trail faster than you can Jeep it :)
Passing TrailMater World Headquarters on the way back into Moab.