The Needles District offers over 60 miles of interconnecting trails as challenging as they are rewarding. Conditions are primitive. Most trails traverse a mixture of slickrock benches and Sandy washes. Longer trails are especially rough and require negotiating steep passes with drop-offs, narrow spots, or ladders.
Water in the backcountry is unreliable and scarce in some areas. Trails are marked with cairns (small rock piles). Although most trails can be hiked in a day by strong hikers, many form loops and may be combined with other trails for longer trips. Net elevation change is generally several hundred feet or less, except for the Lower Red Lake Trail, which drops 1,400 feet to the Colorado River.
Salt Creek Canyon
Elevation: 4,840 ft.
Length: 22.5 mi/34 km one-way
Start: Peekaboo or Cathedral Butte
The trail follows the main drainage of the canyon past cottonwood groves, through thick brush, and down an old four-wheel-drive road. The trail is often obscured by dense vegetation. Many archaeological sites and arches can be seen. Four designated campsites in upper section. Lower section (along the old road) is at-large camping only. Water is usually available.