Pothole Point

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 1/2 - 1 mile
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5060 - 5085 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Usage: Hiking - No Dogs
Time: 30 mins.
Facilities: none
Trailhead: Pothole Point
Fee: $25/vehicle
Attractions: Picnic area, views of Needles
   

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The Pothole Point trail is a short hike within the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. The Needles District is well off the beaten path. To get there you either drive south from Moab, Utah for 40 miles or north of Monticello, Utah for 14 miles and turn west on Highway 211 and drive for another 35 miles. Highway 211 ends in the Needles District so there is nowhere to go from there except back the way you came. With all that said, the Needles District is well worth the effort especially if you really like desert hiking.



After leaving the Visitor Center the Pothole Point trailhead is located between the Roadside Ruin trailhead and the Slickrock trailhead along Highway 211. The trail informs visitors about the little shrimp that thrive in the potholes of the slickrock when they are full of water.


Almost the entire trail at Pothole Point is on slickrock. The route is marked with cairns but for the most part the intent is to hike from the trailhead up the slickrock to the island of sand and boulders that makes up the summit of the little hill which you then hike all the way around.


There is a well worn path that leads off toward the south a short distance.


The path ends at the rim of a canyon where you can catch some good views of the Needles.


Back on the main loop there are plenty of places that the kids will love climbing around between the boulders. It's a little like a playground.


The cairns lead off to another canyon overlook and then back around the hill to the beginning. The distance of the hike can vary depending on how much playing around you do. Some people never make it all the way around the hill and others even manage to find the trail that climbs all the way up on top of it.


It can get plenty hot on the slickrock during the summer months but you never are more than a few hundred yards from your vehicle. Slickrock can get a good glaze of ice on it when its cold enough but it is also the first place that the snow melts. There are bighorn sheep in the area so if the potholes are dry and you don't get to see anything there maybe you can keep your eye out for other critters. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.