Hiking Druid Arch
Utah › Elephant Hill
Added by Scott Nichols
- Distance: 10.8 miles (roundtrip)
- Duration: 6 - 8 hours
- Canyon climbing and scrambling
- Amazing cliff and canyon views
- Seclusion and privacy
Important Note: Druid Arch is located on the eastern side of Canyonlands National Park in the Needles District. It is not located at the main entrance to the park. Stop by the Needles Visitor Center and pick up a map. Your starting point, Elephant Hill Trailhead is then located 6.3 miles west of the visitor center. (Elephant Hill, Monticello, UT 84535)
Drawing it's name from a resemblance to Stongehenge, Druid Arch is a 5.4 mile hike (one way) beginning from the Elephant Hill Trailhead. I highly recommend starting early (5:30-6:00AM), as the best time to view the arch is early to mid morning.
For the first 1.2 miles the trail zig zags across beautiful rock formations, leading you through stone spires on the east side of Elephant Canyon. After approximately 45 minutes you will arrive at a junction where you turn right, from there, the trail drops down into Elephant Canyon.
As you reach the canyon floor, you follow it through Elephant Canyon where you are surrounded by the amazing Cedar Mesa Sandstone pinnacles on both sides of the ravine. Along the way you will pass two more junctions where trails from Chesler Park and Squaw Canyon join the Elephant Canyon Trail. In each case, continue to follow the trail along the riverbed. You tramp along the desert wash floor for another 3.7 miles until the trail leads you up above the ravine. This section marks the last .5 miles to reach Druid Arch as you elevate about 600 feet to reach the lookout point. At the top it provides you with a spectacular view of not only Druid Arch, but the whole canyon that you hiked through.
- Hiking socks
- Hiking boots
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Gorgeous hike to Druid Arch
A crew of 7 people from Sierra Club's Military Outdoors program set off on a backpacking trip to see Druid Arch and the Needles region. We stayed in one of the backcountry campsites in Chesler Park, which was absolutely gorgeous. Be sure to reserve your spot ahead of time at the Visitor's Center. After dropping packs in the mid-afternoon, we meandered to Druid Arch and night hiked out of the canyon with headlamps. It was a gorgeous trip and we caught the Arch right at sunset. On your way out, make sure to hit up Newspaper rock.
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