The Needles is a remote district located within the southern portion of Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah. The Needles District is 1.25 hours driving time from Monticello, Utah, and 1.5 hours from Moab, Utah, and sits at an elevation of approximately 4,900 feet. Group sites have limited services and are best suited to tents and small, self-contained campers and RVs. If you are looking for indicvidual campsites, visit the Canyonlands Needles District Campground page.
- You may book group campsites up to six months in advance throughout the season – March 15 – November 15.
- Please, also read “Facilities” below and the “Need to Know” tab for important information.
The Needles District’s extensive trail system provides many opportunities for both short and long day hikes, and overnight backpacking trips as well. Foot trails and four-wheel-drive/ mountain bike roads lead to such features as Confluence Overlook, Druid Arch, the Joint Trail and Chesler Park.
The Needles is a remote district with limited services and no cell coverage. Group sites offer groups of 11 or more an opportunity to stay in a remote setting in a unique national park. RVs and trailers over 25 feet will have difficulty accessing these sites. The Dutch Oven site has access to potable water, flush toilets, picnic tables and fire rings. The other two group sites, Wooden Shoe and Split Top have access to potable water, non-flush tiolets, picnic tiolets, and fire rings. You may reserve individual campsites at the Canyonlands Needles District Campground page.
The Needles District group sites lie within the slick rock and sand that give this region it character. The dominat forest type consist of stands of Utah Juniper and Pinyon Pine. Flowering prickly pear cacti, yucca and other desert wildflowers dot the landscape in the spring, adding to the vivid colors of the surrounding red rock desert. The Needles District forms the southeast corner of Canyonlands National Park and was named for the colorful spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstone that dominate the area. The park is within an arid, high desert environment with hot summers and cold winters.
Southeastern Utah offers breathtaking scenery, hiking, road and mountain biking opportunities, rafting and scenic driving routes. Arches and Mesa Verde National Parks, the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park, Hovenweep and Natural Bridges National Monuments and Dead Horse Point and Edge of the Cedars State Parks are all within three hours drive of the Needles Campground. Moab, Utah, (1.5 hours away) offers numerous restaurants, shops and museums.
Charges & Cancellations
Cancellations: Customers who cancel a group overnight facility reservation less than 14 days before the arrival date will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night’s use fee.
Changes or Cancellations within the Cut-off Window: Once a reservation date has begun, customers cannot change a reservation using the online system or through the Call Center (see below for early departures). If the location is staffed, on-site personnel may or may not be able to assist with changes or cancellations (check with local staff).
Camping no-show: customers who do not arrive at the campground or group facility by check-out time the day after arrival or does not cancel the reservation by check out time on the day after the scheduled arrival date will be assessed a $20.00 service fee and forfeit the first night use fee. If the no-show service fee is greater than the reservation amount, the customer will not be charged any additional service fees.
Early Depatures: An early departure occurs when a customer spends at least one night of their reservation at the facility but leaves the facility prior to the reservation departure date. If a customer departs prior to the scheduled check-out date, they may be eligible for a partial refund. Early departures are treated as a cancellation of the remaining days. There will be no refunds for days used prior to the departure date, regardless of whether the customer was present for all those days, i.e., the customer arrived a day late.
Campers must notify the facility that they are leaving early, as required by local policy. If a customer requests a refund for an early departure after the facility check-out time has passed, the customer will not be refunded for that night and is eligible for a refund on any additional nights that will not be used. Field location procedures may vary depending on agency policy.
On US Highway 191, drive 40 miles (60 km) south of Moab or 14 miles (22 km) north of Monticello, then take Utah Highway 211 roughly 35 miles (56 km) west. Highway 211 ends in the Needles, and is the only paved road leading in and out of the district.
From the entrance station follow the main park road into the Needles District. Take the first left off the main road (1 mile from entrance station) towards Salt Creek/Cave Springs. Follow this road down until you see the Salt Creek/ Cave Springs sign (.7 miles). Turn left on the dirt access road at this bend. Follow the dirt road until you see the Split Top Group Site sign on your left (.8 miles). Use these directions in conjunction with the interactive map on the reservation page.
From the entrance station follow the main park road into the Needles District. Take the second left off the main park road (1.8 miles from the entrance station). Follow this road only briefly until you see the Wooden Shoe Group Site Sign on your left (.2 miles/ at the bottom of the hill). Use these directions in conjunction with the interactive map on the reservation page.
From the entrance station follow the main park road until you see signs for the campground. Hang the left into the campground and follow the signs into Loop A. The group site is halfway down the road leading through Loop A on your right.
There are no lights on park roads or campsites. If you are unfamiliar with the Needles, it is highly recommended that you arrive before dark. Bring the driving directions provided above with you. The group campsites are marked with wooden signs located 10 – 15 feet back from the road.