The Canyon Rims Recreation Area covers a vast amount of land along the eastern edge of Canyonlands National Park. As the name suggests, this Recreation Area is on top of a high mesa that overlooks the canyons below. There are many great overlooks along the canyon rim and the most famous is the amazing Kane Creek Anticline. The Anticline Overlook is located just a few miles north of the Hatch Point Campground, so this campsite is a good choice for an overnighter!
Visitors should keep in mind that only a small portion of the roads are paved in the Canyon Rims Recreation Area. From the southernmost access point on Highway 191 near Monticello, the Needles Point Road is only paved for a few miles to the intersection of Hatch Point Road. The total distance to the Kane Creek Anticline is about 31 miles and Hatch Point Road is unpaved all the way. This long dirt road is maintained, but the washboard ripples can rattle the teeth for many miles at a time. A regular passenger car can do the trip, but a high ground clearance vehicle will definitely provide a smoother ride.
The northern access point to Canyon Rims Recreation Area is County Road 131, which intersects with Highway 191 near the Wilson Arch landmark. This dirt road to the the Hatch Point Campground is quite a bit rougher than Hatch Point Road, so a 4x4 high ground clearance vehicle is best suited for this route option. CR 131 goes past Looking Glass Rock and a private red rock ranch campground on the way to Hatch Point Road, so this pathway is a nice option to keep in mind.
The Hatch Point Campground is located on the edge of a high red rock outcrop that overlooks a vast grassy plain. This peaceful setting is as serene as can be and the green meadow is a good place to spot grazing Pronghorn Antelope. The Hatch Point Campground offers facilities, seasonal water and a limited amount of vehicle tent camping sites, but the spots are rarely at full capacity because the trek down the long dirt roads getting here is a limiting factor.
One of the best times of day to view the Kane Creek Anticline is at dawn and this is where the Hatch Point Campground comes into play. This is the closest overnighter option near the Anticline, so those who plan to view one of the most mesmerizing spectacles on earth will be in a good position to do so. If all you seek is a beautiful view and some peaceful time in the high desert, then this campground is also a good choice, because the fees are reasonable. This is a place where the howling coyotes provide the only music at night and the star gazing simply cannot be beat!
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