Basic National Park rules apply. Please do not run on soil crust or disturb water in the potholes.
Parking is available right at the trailhead. I suggest doing the loop clockwise, but either way would be fine.
The route runs mostly over flat slabs of rock, with some dusty areas at the beginning (and end). This is a short and simple trail. Make sure to follow the cairns (stacks of rocks). Those are the trail markers. Please don't wander into the dusty areas that have a black cryptobiotic crust on top as it is alive. It's easily damaged by foot traffic and is an important part of the local ecosystem.
The first 50 or so feet of the trail you are ascending (very slightly). As you get up on the flat slabs that make up most of the trail, you can see The Needles area off to your left. You can also see lots of the soil crust off to your left as well. You'll see where people have walked out in it and damaged it. The damage almost makes it look like trails have been made. The trail DOES NOT go through the soil crust toward The Needles.
As you continue on the trail (turning right as you round a large rock outcropping), you get great views of the western side of the park in the distance and can see some really unique valleys and rock formations nearby. You'll also notice some cool sandstone rocks that almost look like modern art sculptures to your right. The whole time you are on the slab rock portion of the trail, you can see why they call the trail Potholes. If it's rained recently, these potholes in the rock may still have some water in them. Like the soil crust, these little water reservoirs are an important part of the ecosystem. Enjoy!
Flora & Fauna
Soil crust; you'll see lizards along the trail if you watch closely; you might see small mammals and birds drinking if there is water left in some of the potholes; you may also find tadpoles in the potholes.
Shared By: Mike Springer