Davis Canyon is actually a complex labyrinth of canyons that have been etched out of the Cedar Mesa Sandstone on the southeast side of the Needles District. The network consists of two main canyons and at least a dozen minor ones. There are no developed trails in Davis Canyon and the area receives only a tiny fraction of the visitors that drive into the Needles District, so if you are looking for a more unstructured adventure with lots of solitude this may be just the place for you. It is possible to get a backcountry permit from the Needles Visitor Center and spend several days backpacking in the Davis Canyon complex, but there is no water in the canyons so most people prefer to camp near the trailhead and walk into the canyons on day hikes. The road ends at the national park boundary and there are several nice campsites just outside the park. Since this land is managed by the BLM no permits are required. The best campsite is located 0.4 mile east of the park boundary. When you reach the end of the road turn around and drive back 0.4 mile until you see a spur road departing to the north. Turn here and drive north for another 200 yards to the end of the spur. The road ends at a beautiful campsite below the northern wall of the canyon, and as an added bonus there are two small Anasazi granaries on a ledge 20 feet above the camp. You can see one of the granaries from the camp, but if you want a closer look walk east along the base of the sandstone cliff for 150 yards. There you will find a break in the wall where it is possible to climb up to the ledge and backtrack to the granaries. The hike described below is one that I found particularly interesting, but it explores just one section of the Davis Canyon complex. If you enjoy it I encourage you to walk up some of the other side canyons and see what you can discover on your own. Trail: There is no trail for this hike. The route follows a series of sandy washes through the bottom of a dry canyon.
We cannot find this location: please try again.
Directions to: Davis Canyonprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Elevation Gain||100 ft|
|Skill Level||4WD vehicle required; day hike|
|Season||Year-round, best spring and fall|
|Trailhead Elevation||5,300 ft|
|Top Elevation||5,360 ft|
REI MEMBERS: SAVE $20 on a Trails.com Subscription
Subscribe to Trails.com for just $29.95 a year and gain full access to over 49,000 professional trail guides, high-res USGS topo maps & much more!