Canyonlands Needles District Hike to Chesler Park Overlook

Chesler Park

Chesler Park

The Needles or southeast section of Canyonlands is accessed from north of Monticello on Utah state route 191.  Turn west on Indian Creek Scenic Byway.  The indicator is Church Rock.  Big.  You can’t miss it.

Cat and I hiked the Chesler Park overlook trail, a 6 mile round trip described as moderate.  The destination is a view of turrets of striped rocks, Chesler Park.  I have no pix as the camera battery died the day before.  I will try to splice some in from the Canyonlands website.  We started at 1:00 PM and finished at 6:00 PM.  It was not moderate for me; we averaged about 1.25 MPH.  On flat ground I can travel about 3 MPH over that distance.  I also got hot and somewhat dehydrated.  Two days before this we went on an easy 2 mile hike which was not easy for me and I had on a rayon Hawaiian shirt that was hot and sticky and did not let my body heat out.  At the end of the hike I drank down a quart of Gatorade and was still thirsty.  I now think that I was at first stage of heat stroke.  I still felt a little weak and out of sorts 2 days later when we started the 6 mile hike or maybe I’m out of shape or just getting old at 77.  Cat, my understanding wife, had a worry that we would not make it to our car before sunset and would be stuck in some deep dark canyon overnight.  We beat sundown by at least 45 minutes but some parts of the trail were in deep shadows because of being in deep narrow canyons.

Had dinner at Wagon Wheel Pizza in Monticello; good eats at a great price.  Cat got pizza.  I got a big salad.  Both got big drinks.  $20. OK, next time you’re in Monticello, check it out.  By the way, the girl cook was an expert at tossing the pizza dough, and put on quite a show.

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