Canyon Rims Recreation Area

Quick Facts

Canyon Rims Recreation Area


(435) 259-2100

Map Directions

Things To Do


An area of limitless opportunity-- hiking, horseback riding and hiking through the red rock country, exploring canyon country geology or taking a leisurely scenic drive along the Needles/ Anticline overlook roads. The recreation area contains campgrounds at Wind Whistle and Hatch Point.

The Needles, Anticline, and Minor Overlooks are all worthwhile if you have the time.

Needles Overlook: The Needles Overlook is located 22 miles from U.S. Highway 191. This overlook offers an outstanding view of the Colorado River, the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, and the Indian Creek area. A picnic area is located at the overlook, complete with vault toilets and trash receptacles. Other facilities include an interpretive display and benches.

Anticline Overlook: The Anticline Overlook is located 31 miles from U.S. Highway 191. Sixteen of those miles are on a graveled, highly improved road. The overlook has a vault toilet and trash receptacles. A walkway leads to an interpretive display and benches. This overlook faces north, and offers views of Dead Horse Point State Park, the Colorado River, and Kane Creek Canyon.

Minor Overlook: Named for BLM Recreation Planner Dave Minor, who cared for the Canyon Rims Recreation Area in its early days, this overlook is a short distance from the Anticline Overlook Road. The road to the overlook is graveled. The site offers a different view into the Colorado River canyon.

Map of Canyon Rims Rec. Area

Latitude, Longitude: 38.200418, -109.478760



  • Bicycling

    Bicycling is permitted. Main road is paved but trails are unpaved and not always clearly marked.

  • Camping

    Camping is permitted at 2 campgrounds. Campgrounds have picnic tables, metal fire rings, vault toilets, graveled roads, and trash receptacles. Campsites are available on a first-come, first served basis.

    Hatch Point Campground is located 56 miles southwest of Moab. To reach the campground, drive 32 miles south of Moab on Highway 191 to the Canyon Rims Recreation Area turnoff. Follow that road for approximately 15 miles and make a right on the graveled road that goes towards Anticline Overlook. Follow this graveled road for about 9 miles to the campground. The campground is situated on a mesa top which offers fine views of the surrounding area. The remote and quiet location guarantees excellent star-gazing opportunities. Water is available from early May through late-September. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Toilets are available. 10 sites total. Fees are collected in a fee box.

    Located 38 miles southwest of Moab, Windwhistle Campground is nestled against Roan Bailey Mesa. To reach the campground, drive 32 miles south of Moab on Highway 191 to the Canyon Rims Recreation Area turnoff and go 6 miles west on that road. Situated at approximately 6,000 feet, the campground is somewhat cooler than Moab during the summer. Drinking water is available from early May through late-September. An informative one-mile nature trail starts in the campground. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Toilets are available. There are 15 sites. Fees are collected in a fee box.

  • Hiking

    Hiking is available in the area. Trails are primitive and undeveloped and not always clearly marked.

    Windwhistle Nature Trail: The trail is located near the group site in the campground. This one-half mile long trail has a brochure (available at the trailhead) identifying 17 plants that grow in the area. It is a pleasant and informative walk.

    Trough Springs Trail: This trail is located 25 miles from U.S. Highway 191 off the Anticline Road. The route to the trailhead is marked. This trail descends from the plateau into Kane Creek Canyon via an old constructed cattle trail. The trail is marked with cairns. It is about 2.5 miles long and descends 1100 feet in elevation.

  • Horseback Riding

    Horseback riding is permitted. Contact the field office for more information on this activity.

  • Picnicking

    Picnicking is available at the anticline

  • Wildlife Watching

    The Hatch Point and Canyon Rims Recreation Area is part of a high-desert ecosystem that provides habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. Animals have adapted in various ways to survive the harsh temperature extremes and low annual precipitation typical of their sagebrush and pinyon- juniper habitat.

    Keen-eyed observers can spot American pronghorn antelope on Hatch Point. These animals rely on extreme speed and excellent vision to escape predators in open country. With sharp eyes or binoculars, desert bighorn sheep can occasionally be located on the steep, rugged talus slopes below the vertical cliffs. The bighorn rely on keen eyesight and agility to escape predators.

    Peregrine falcons are rare but may sometime be seen along cliffs. Golden eagles are often spotted while they are hunting, as are many species of hawks. Sage grouse are also rare in this area, but are sometimes seen in dense stands of sagebrush.

    Mule deer and coyotes can be found throughout the area all year. The black-tailed jackrabbit is a common sight throughout the area. It radiates heat through the numerous capillaries in its huge ears to help regulate its body temperature.

    Snakes and lizards are common. One of the most interesting species is the horned lizard, or "horned toad," as it is sometimes called. Among its other adaptations, this lizard escapes the chill of night by burrowing into the sand, sometimes several inches below the surface.

    The desert is alive with much for the visitor to see. The only requirements are patience and attention.



20 miles north of Monticello on US 191. Look for a brown sign on the side of the road.

Phone Numbers


(435) 259-2100