Needles Overlook Road
This road leaves US 191 to the west and ends after 21 miles at the rim of a high promontory that has wonderful views over the Needles and Confluence areas of Canyonlands National Park, crossing a flat, treeless plateau en route with no hint of the dramatic vista ahead until right near the cliff edge. At the overlook the land drops away for 270° (see QTVR
) and the overall scene is as good as the Grand View Point in the Island in the Sky
region, perhaps better as there are usually no other visitors to disturb the tranquillity. Camping may be allowed at roads end, which has a parking area and picnic shelters, though if not there are a few dirt tracks a short distance to the south, also ending at the rim, that allow camping or overnight parking just a few meters from the cliff edge. Impressive as the views are, the scene is difficult to photograph as there are no distinctive features in the middle ground - beyond the near cliffs is a large flattish expanse of small ravines and mesas, with higher peaks in the far distance, including the Henry Mountains and the Abajo Range.
The Canyon Rims Recreation Area is administered by the BLM so activities are relatively unrestricted, with free camping, and a large network of roads allows for nearly endless hiking and exploring, though many require a 4WD vehicle. In the east, a good quality gravel track leaves the Needles Overlook Road 15 miles from US 191 and heads north across the Hatch Point plateau to the Anticline Overlook, another high viewpoint of the Colorado and its side canyons, as well as the folded strata around the Kane Springs Anticline. Less good side tracks branch off this route and give access to the upper ends of various canyons that cut into the edges of the plateau. The southern section of the Recreation Area is less easily reached by road and require a long journey along rough tracks through the Manti La Sal National Forest.
Canyon Rims Hotels
The nearest towns with hotels close to the Canyon Rims Recreation Area are Blanding