Needles Canyonlands Camping

The Needles Canyonlands is a remote district within the southern part of Canyonlands National Park.

It takes 1 1/2 hours from Moab and 1 hour from Monticello, Utah to reach the Needles District. 

This is why many people choose to camp when visiting this area of Canyonlands.

Here’s all the information you need to know about Needles Canyonlands camping!

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Things To Know About Camping at The Needles

There are no services at Canyonlands Needles. The nearest place to get food, firewood, and supplies is Monticello, Utah, approximately 60 minutes’ drive from The Needles. (IF the Needles Outpost is open, you MAY find a few supplies, but don’t count on it!)

There is seasonal potable water. Camp sites have toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, and trash cans.

Public Wi-Fi may be available at The Needles Visitor Center.

Regulations

  • Camp only in designated sites.
  • Maximum occupancy: 10 people, 2 vehicles per campsite.
  • Maximum stay: 7 consecutive nights.
  • Quiet hours: 8 pm to 8 am.
  • Check-out time: 10 am.
  • Pets must be leashed at all times.
  • Wood fires in grates only. Wood gathering is prohibited. Do not leave garbage in fire grates.
  • Charcoal cooking fires are allowed in fire pans and grills. Place ashes in fire grates.
  • Properly extinguish all fires.
  • Generators may only be used between 8 am and 10 am, or from 4 pm to 8 pm.

The Needles Campground

There are 26 individual camping sites and three group sites around the Needles district. Be sure to check the NPS website for the most updated nightly fee.

  • Fourteen campsites in Loop A are always on a “first come, first served” basis. 
  • Twelve campsites in Loop B an be reserved in the spring and fall.. and they fill quickly!
  • Group sites are open from mid-March to mid-November. They are closed during the winter. 
  • Reservations are valid six months from the date of booking.

RVs and trailers are allowed, but there’s a maximum of length of 28 feet. 

needles canyonlands camping site

Needles Campground Accessibility

The Needles Campground has two registered accessible sites. One site is strictly reserved for all campers with disabilities. The second site is held open for those with disabilities, but only until 8 pm. After that time, anyone can occupy that site for the night.

The two accessible sites at Needles are compatible with wheelchairs, making it easier for them to access fire rings, picnic tables, and tent pads.

There is an accessible bathroom between the two sites.

Group camp sites are not accessible because of the gravel or sandy surfaces.

CampsiteSize Limit
Needles Group Site50 people / 10 vehicles
Wooden Shoe Group Site25 people / 5 vehicles
Split Top Group Site15 people / 3 vehicles

Needles Outpost Campground

Needles Outpost Campground is just 1.5 miles outside the park boundary. It’s a dry campground that allows tents and RVs (no water or power hookups). Each campsite is a dirt pad with a fire pit and picnic table.

You’ll find services like gasoline and propane. At the general store they sell firewood, ice, cold drinks, ice cream, camping supplies, camp food, snacks, and toiletries.

There’s also a bathhouse with token-operated showers and flush toilets.

You need to reserve a site, but note they are all first-come, first-served.

Needles Canyonlands camping

Backcountry Camping in Needles

One of the main draws to Needles is exploring the backcountry by hiking or driving the four-wheel-drive roads.

Each backcountry campsite will accommodate a maximum of 10 people and three standard vehicles, including trailers and motorcycles.

All backcountry campsites have vault toilets except Peekaboo and New Bates Wilson.

CampsiteDriving Time from the Visitor CenterNumber of Sites
Peekaboo45 minutes2
Devil’s Kitchen2 hours4
New Bates Wilson2.5 hours1
Bobby Jo3 hours2
Horse Hoof3 hours1

Backcountry permits are required for all overnight stays in Canyonlands National Park, including the Needles.

All overnight permits must be reserved online at least two days before start of trip.

NOTE all backcountry camping regulations at Canyonland Needles!

Needles Canyonlands Weather

Canyonlands is part of the “high desert” along the Colorado Plateau. There temperature can fluctuate up to 40 degrees in a single day.

The most popular seasons due to the best temperate weather are spring (April-May) and fall (mid-September-October), when daytime highs average 60 to 80 F and lows average 30 to 50 F.

Summer temperatures often exceed 100 F, making it hard to do outdoor activities during the daytime. Winters are cold, with highs averaging 30 to 50 F, and lows averaging 0 to 20 F.

views when camping at Needles Canyonlands

WHAT TO PACK FOR NEEDLES CANYONLANDS

To get the most out of visiting this part of Canyonlands, be prepared and know what to pack for a trip to Needles.

1. Hiking Shoes:  Avoid injury from improper footwear.  Wear sturdy shoes with ample tread.  → Check out our hiking shoes!

2. Darn Tough Socks: Seriously, these are the BEST socks ever. They help prevent blisters, keep your feet dry, and last forever.  → Check out our favorite socks!

3. Water:  Due to the high desert and altitude in Southeastern Utah, you should drink at least one gallon of water per day, and always carry water with you during all hiking activities (water is available at the Visitor Center).  → Check out our hydration packs and hydroflask bottles we carry in our camera backpack.

4. Food:  Pack and eat plenty of healthy snacks and food. There are NO services at or near Needles Canyonlands.  → Check out the healthy snacks and food we pack.

5. Lip Balm and Lotion:  Utah’s high elevation and dry air can be hard on your skin. You’ll want to carry lip balm with sunscreen and hydrating lotion to apply as needed when you’re out exploring the trails.

Clothing for a Trip to Needles

Summer at Needles:  Soaring temperatures, unrelenting sunlight, and low humidity. To keep cool, wear light colored, loose fitting clothing that does not absorb sunlight. Also avoid sun burn by wearing a wide brimmed hat and by generously applying sunscreen to any parts of your body that are exposed to the sun.  → Pack sunscreen for summer or winter.

Winter at Needles: Wear the right clothing to stay dry and warm. You can also become dehydrated in the cold as it is in the heat. It’s important to carry plenty of water during the winter, and not just during the summer.

National Parks Pass

Before you visit Canyonlands National Park be sure to pack your The America the Beautiful Annual Pass.

Other items to pack for Needles Canyonlands:

national park packing lists

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