Pothole Point Trail At Canyonlands National Park
The Pothole Point trail is located in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.
This is another very easy and fun trail for the family that has barely any elevation gain and is only 0.6 miles roundtrip. Cairns mark the path while traveling over slickrock so you can easily find your way.
On this trail you will walk among a few pinyon and juniper trees, between some large rocks, over slickrock and see some incredible views. In fact this trail is one of the best locations in the park to view the needle rock formations in the distance that this district of the park is named after.
The trail got it’s name, because the sandstone here is dimpled with a large number of pockets called potholes. These potholes are basically tiny little ecosystems teeming with life when they are wet and dry.
For a mere 50 cents you can pick up a trail guide at the trailhead that provides a lot of information on how potholes are formed and the life contained within them. And just like that this hike became educational and fun for everyone.
I have been on trails that were much more riddled with potholes, but this hike is still great and should not be missed. Potholes are just one of the many things it has going for it. Kids (and adults) will love scrambling on the large boulders and everyone will enjoy the views. It is also one of the best places to enjoy a sunset in the Needles District of the Canyonlands National Park.
Some Pothole Etiquette
To protect these tiny little ecosystems from pollution never put anything (like fingers or feet) in them. Body oils, soaps, and sunscreens can very easily pollute the water destroying any organisms living in them. Also whenever possible try walking around potholes, even when they are dry. These small efforts will help increase the survival of anything living in these ephemeral pools.