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    Lost Canyon Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    13.2 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    239 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Lost Canyon Trail

    The Lost Canyon Trail is a moderately challenging hike over varying desert terrain. On this trail, you will find yourself hiking past cryptobiotic soil, cacti, deciduous trees, and classic Canyonlands sandstone. The Lost Canyon hike is a fantastic place to discover all sorts of wonderful desert flora and fauna.

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    Route Description for Lost Canyon Trail

    The Lost Canyon trail is a beautiful hike through diverse desert terrain. Parts of this trail are overgrown with tall grasses, so we recommend hiking in long pants. The uneven trail has some scramble sections as well as a short ladder so wearing good footwear is essential. As with any desert hike- this trail gets very hot, especially during the summer so bring proper sun protection and more water than you think you’ll need. Camping is available at three sites along the Lost Canyon Trail although you do require a backcountry overnight permit from the Parks office to do so.

    The Lost Canyon trail really is a gorgeous hike. With the changes between hiking through the lush canyon below and the desert landscape above, on this hike you will never be bored. Bring a camera and give yourself lots of time to explore this beautiful section of Canyonlands National Park.

    From the trailhead, follow the path south for 1.6 km to a divide. Take a left to follow the loop clockwise. Approximately 2.3 km in, you will reach a fork at the first backcountry campground- keep right to continue on the loop. Shortly after this divide you will hike past the other two backcountry campsites in quick succession. Before the end of the loop the trail will divide once more- continue to stay right.

    Once you’ve completed the loop, simply retrace your steps along the main trail back to the trailhead.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can you backcountry camp in Canyonlands?

    Yes, backcountry camping is allowed in Canyonlands National Park with a backcountry overnight permit. Permits can be obtained through the parks office in person at the Visitors Center or online.

    Insider Hints for Lost Canyon Trail

    • If you are unsure of where to go- look for and follow the cairns (tall stacks of stones) that mark this trail
    • There are water sources along this trail at the campsites but water must be filtered and treated in order to be safe to drink
    • Although this hike has the perfect trees for it—hammocks are not allowed in Canyonlands National Park

    Getting to the Lost Canyon Trail Trailhead

    From the Needles Visitors Center, follow Needles Main Park Road for 4.8 km then turn off towards Squaw Flat Campground. Take a left at the fork and follow the road for one mile to the Squaw Flat Trailhead. The Lost Canyon Trail begins here.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Lost Canyon Backcountry Campsites 1, 2, & 3

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    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


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    Lost Canyon Trail Elevation Graph

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