Canyonlands National Park - Chesler Park - Needles District

In the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, Chesler Park is an aproximately mile-wide circular grassland ringed by pink-and-white Cedar Mesa Sandstone towers. Grazed until 1969, this bowl is now a popular hiking and backpacking destination in the Needles District. Go to Photo Collection

Photo Collection

Description This photo looks out over the bowl of Chesler Park, encircled by the thin sandstone spires that give the Needles district its name. Pinyon and juniper trees cluster at the bases of the rock formations and along the bottom of washes where they can take advantage of areas with higher moisture. Some blackbrush shrubs dot the slopes stretching down from the rock pillars in the middle of the photo. At the time of this photo Chesler Park would still experience grazing from livestock brought in during the winter months.
Date 1949
Photographer Garner
Photo Source

Description More detail can be seen in this photo of Chesler Park from 2014. The pinyon and juniper present in the 1949 photograph have survived and show significant growth, and many new individiuals have also grown to maturity during this time. A more mixed environment of shrubs and grasses can be seen in the flat open sections of the park, and the blackbrush on the slope have spread further down into the grassland. Some of the bare patches in the sandy washes now show bunchgrass recruitment, and a dark layer of biocrust covers many open areas in the foreground.
Date 2014-05-29
Photographer Lemke, W.
Photo Source USGS

Back to top