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Canyonlands Utah 4 day Backpacking Trip in Lost Canyon

  • Canyonlands NP

    Needles District, Moab, UT (map)

    38.573315 -109.549843

  • Visitors Center needles District Canyonlands National Park
  • The Needles District forms the southeast corner of Canyonlands and was named for the colorful spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstone that dominate the area. The district's extensive trail system provides many opportunities for long day hikes and overnight trips. We will be backpacking in Lost canyon for 4 days and camping at 2 different remote reserved permit sites. From our camp we will be able to hike and explore numerous  side canyons and archeological sites throughout the area.          

    Day 1 - Meetup at the needles district visitors center and drive over to the trailhead at Squaw flat and backpack for a distance of about 3.5 miles to our reserved camp site called Lost canyon 2.

    Day 2 - pack up and backpack a few more miles up the canyon to our next remote camp at  Lost canyon 3 and stay here 2 nights.

    Day 3 - Hike and explore the area.

    Day 4 - pack up and head home.

    The route to arrive at Lost Canyon includes some of the typical scrambling over sandstone but easy.

    The backcountry permit fee is $30.00 per group per trip and will be divided up equally.

    Canyonlands National park entry fee is $10.00 per vehicle.


    Elevations: Squaw Flat Trailhead (start): 5,120 ft.
    Lost Canyon: 5,100 ft.
    highest point: 5,460 ft.

    Average high temps in April - 70 degrees

    Average low temps in April -  42 degrees

    There will be water in the canyon for drinking and cooking. But will need to be filtered. (bring some form of filtering/treatment)

    Bring warm and cold weather  clothes and equipment and all the necessary backpacking stuff.

    Dogs are not allowed on this trip..

    RSVP – Waitlist

    • EMAIL – [masked] – the information below (doing so means you have read and understand our terms and acknowledgement.)
    • Name
    • Phone (cell is preferred)
    • Email address
    • Emergency contact information
    • WATCH – your personal email - ONCE you have RSVP’ed and emailed the organizer the information above you will receive an email to your personal email address (not via Meetup) letting you know where to send $5.00 deposit. (This deposit is non-refundable but will be applied toward the permit fee if you attend)
    • When the organizer receives your $5.00 (per person), I will change your RSVP to YES.
    • Location

    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.

    Visitor Center

    Visitor center is open daily most of the year from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with extended hours March through October. Thanksgiving Day and December through mid-February the visitor center is closed, but restrooms remain open. Exhibits, information and publications are available.



    I picked this area because it gives us an opportunity to be camped in a beautiful canyon with lots of places to hike and explore and since  the camping sites are all reserved it weeds out some of the crowd.


    The trail is somewhat sandy and crosses the stream many times. There are many cottonwood trees along the stream, with Pinon Pine, Utah Juniper, and sagebrush fields along the canyon sides.

    Lost Canyon has more flowing water and riparian habitat compared to Squaw and many of the other nearby canyons.

     Please be responsible and only Rsvp if you plan on attending.

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