Chesler Park

Monticello, Utah

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Most people hike this area in April, May, or September—all great times to visit Canyonlands, but it’s usually crowded. Consider an off-season trip in October/November or February/March. Canyonlands does get snow during these times, but the 4WD roads are closed and few hikers brave the park, even though conditions are excellent during warm and dry periods. Don’t miss the Joint Trail! It’s a short 0.75-mile loop spur that rivals Chesler Park as the highlight of this hike. The trail crosses slickrock for about a 0.5 mile then drops into a cave-like crack in the rock formation. For the next 0.25 mile the trail wanders through increasingly narrow cracks, or joints, between huge sandstone blocks. Side cracks offer plenty of opportunity for exploration. Some of the cracks dead-end; others can lead up on top of the blocky sandstone. A set of human-carved steps leads out of the joints to rejoin the Chesler Park Trail. A short spur trail at this junction rises up onto a ledge for a better view of the park.
100 Hikes in Utah

DESCRIPTION FROM:

100 Hikes in Utah

by Steve Mann & Rhett Olson (The Mountaineers Books)

Most people hike this area in April, May, or September—all great times to visit Canyonlands, but it’s usually crowded. Consider an off-season trip in October/November or February/March. Canyonlands does get snow during these times, but the 4WD roads are closed and few hikers brave the park, even though conditions are excellent during warm and dry periods. Don’t miss the Joint Trail! It’s a short 0.75-mile loop spur that rivals Chesler Park as the highlight of this hike.

The trail crosses slickrock for about a 0.5 mile then drops into a cave-like crack in the rock formation. For the next 0.25 mile the trail wanders through increasingly narrow cracks, or joints, between huge sandstone blocks. Side cracks offer plenty of opportunity for exploration. Some of the cracks dead-end; others can lead up on top of the blocky sandstone. A set of human-carved steps leads out of the joints to rejoin the Chesler Park Trail. A short spur trail at this junction rises up onto a ledge for a better view of the park.

©  Steve Mann & Rhett Olson/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Monticello
Distance: 11.5
Elevation Gain: 1,260 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 6 to 8 hours
Season: February to early June, September to November
Local Contacts: Canyonlands National Park, Needles District
Local Maps: USGS The Loop, Druid Arch; Trails Illustrated Canyonlands National Park
Driving Directions: Directions to Chesler Park

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Apr 2018