Thousand Needles is a primarily horde leveling zone for players level 25-35, although there are some neutral quests available to both factions in the Shimmering Flats to the south.
The entrance to Thousand Needles for leveling players can be found at the southern end of the Barrens.
Players can access the canyon via two large elevators at the Barrens entrance. These are guarded by Horde, so Alliance characters may need to be careful when approaching.
Most of the quests involving Thousand Needles are for Horde, including one that starts off of a drop from this Galak messenger - a centaur that runs a path by the elevators.
The assassination note dropped from the Galak messenger will lead you here. It seems Kanati Greycloud is the subject of an assassination plot by the Galak centaur.
Much like the Horde, the Galak centaur native to the area have two encampments - Splithoof Crag, which opens into Splithoof Hold via the cave entrance shown...
...and Camp E'thok, a much smaller camp to the northwest. Whitereach Post is often at odds with Camp E'thok, and it's not just the tauren that are threatened.
A goblin named Wizlo Bearingshiner has a quest to retrieve a key for one of his gizmos. The centaur of Camp E'thok attacked and captured his caravan -- and the panther that was guarding the gizmo.
Farther to the northwest, players will find the entrance into Feralas, a level 40-50 zone. Alliance can find a flightpath at this entrance as well.
Danger doesn't just lurk below - the Grimtotem tribe of tauren have made their home high above the canyon floor on Darkcloud Pinnacle. This area is accessible via a series of narrow paths and bridges up the rock spires.
It's here, high above the rest of the zone, that the Grimtotem clan corresponds with unknown dark powers.
Far below the peaks of Darkcloud Pinnacle lies a small hot spring. Overrun with water elementals, this is the only location in the zone that contains water.
Once this pyre is lit, it will summon the windserpent Arikara. Arikara used to have a smoke-filled summoning animation, making her one of the few unique hunter pets in the game.
The leader of the Grimtotem tribe, Arnak Grimtotem, is both the subject of a quest, and the captor of Lakota Windsong.
Across the canyon from Darkcloud Pinnacle is Highperch, also accessible via a narrow rock path. Highperch is the breeding grounds for wyverns that inhabit the area.
Pao'ka Swiftmountain, a tauren explorer, managed to get himself stranded atop Highperch, and players are able to accept a quest to escort him safely back down.
A shot of the trees and a wyvern soaring overhead in Highperch.
Freewind Post is the major Horde settlement in Thousand Needles, and contains the only flight path for Horde players.
Perched high atop the rock formations, much like their Grimtotem enemies, the tauren of Freewind Post offer plenty of quests to keep players busy.
There are two ways to reach Freewind Post - a series of paths and bridges that are somewhat difficult to traverse, or the much simpler option of taking the elevator up.
Windbreak Canyon is the home for the windserpents native to the area -- just southeast of Freewind Posts, players will want to look here for the Alien Egg.
Nestled into the canyon walls near Freewind Post, the Weathered Nook is home to Prate Cloudseer, and Dorn Plainstalker. Dorn will give Horde players an unforgettable series of quests to test their mettle.
The first, Test of Faith, teleports players to the top of the pinnacle pictured. The quest? Leap off the wooden platform. It's a long way down...
The second quest, Test of Endurance, will send players to the Roguefeather Den in Screeching Canyon -- where the harpies of Thousand Needles make their home.
The next quest in the chain has players seek out and test their strength against the rock elemental Rok'Alim, pictured here.
Traveling southeast from the Weathered Nook, the canyon walls of Thousand Needles abruptly open up into the Shimmering Flats. Ironstone Camp is a small Horde outpost at the edge of the Flats.
The Shimmering Flats are barren of any water or vegetation. Once a lake, players can still find boat wreckage stranded in the barren sands of the Flats.
The Shimmering Flats are not empty, however -- the goblins and gnomes of nearby Tanaris found the flat, barren sands of the area perfect for constructing a raceway.
Races take place daily between the goblin and gnome tinkers of the flats, who use the races to test out their latest inventions -- and prove whether or not Goblin or Gnome engineering is superior.
The Raceway is split into two sides. One side features the often explosive tinkering of the goblin engineers...
While on the other side, the mechanically-minded gnomes tinker with their creations.
The Mirage Raceway, while large, isn't the only part of the Shimmering Flats.
Located to the south of the Raceway, the Tahonda Ruins were once home to tauren -- now overrun by basilisks.
To the west of the ruins lies the Rustmaul Dig Site, an abandoned dwarven digsite. A raid of Horde hunters drove the dwarves away -- and then discovered the silithid hive located in the ruins.
This area is the first encounter players will have with the odd, cavernous hives of the Silithid.
At the far south of the Shimmering Flats is the canyon entrance to the deserts of Tanaris -- and the entry point of an unlucky racer who blew himself through the canyon wall.