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Canyonlands National Park

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Overview

At times, the incredible canyons and buttes of Canyonlands National Park seem to defy the forces of gravity. Formed over many thousands of years by the persistence of the Colorado River and it's tributaries, the park is a testament to the power of water. While the entire park was carved from the same stark desert scape, there are four distinct regions of Canyonlands: the Maze, the Needles, and the Island in the Sky, in addition to the rivers that divide the park. Each region holds unique beauty and different opportunities for adventure and exploration.

To learn more about about Canyonlands National Park, visit www.nps.gov.

Local Info

Visitors Centers:
There are three visitors centers in Canyonlands National Park, each of which operate seasonally. More information about specific operating hours can be found here.
  • Island In the Sky Visitor Center: Open early March through late December
  • Needles Visitor Center: Open early March through late December
  • Hans Flat Ranger Station (the Maze): Open year round, 8 am to 4:30 pm

Visiting Tips

Canyonlands National Park is open 24 hours a day, year round. The spring, summer, and fall seasons are the most popular times to visit the park, as temperatures are more moderate. Be aware that summer sun can be intense, and ample water and sun protection is necessary if visiting in the warmer months. During the winter season, services and visitor center hours are reduced.

Fees & Passes:
To learn more about park fees, click here.

Camping & Lodging

Canyonlands operates two campgrounds within the park boundaries, Willow Flat at Island in the Sky and Squaw Flat at the Needles. Group sites are available at the Needles. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially from late March through June and from early September through mid-October. Reservations can be made at recreation.gov or by calling 1 (877) 444-6777.

  • Willow Flat: Amenities include vault toilets, fire grates, and picnic tables.
  • Squaw Flat: Amenities include potable water, picnic tables, flush toilets, fire grates, and tent pads.

There are no lodges in Canyonlands National Park, although hotel accommodations are available in the nearby towns of Monticello, Moab, or Hanksville, Utah.

Food & Drink

There are no restaurants or rest stops located inside of Canyonlands National Park. Come prepared and bring food and water with you when you visit.

Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles

Guided Tours:
Utilizing the Park Rangers onsite can be an insightful way to learn more about Canyonlands National Park. Various ranger-led programs, presentations, and hikes are available at Horseshoe Canyon, Island in the Sky, and the Needles. Special events also occur periodically, so be sure to check the events calendar for more information.

REI Adventures:
REI offers over 30 excursions to America's National Parks. Led by expert guides, these outings take visitors off the beaten path to discover hidden gems that many never see.

Check out REI Adventures' national park offerings here.

Other Activities

Situated in the Utah desert, Canyonlands National Park offers countless activities for visitors. Whether you're seeking to unwind while hiking or prefer a thrilling ride in an off-road vehicle, you'll be able to find what you're looking for in the park. Nearby high adrenaline activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking and white water rafting are also accessible as are more relaxed activities such as backpacking, stargazing, or horseback riding. Visit Canyonland's website for more information on the park's other activities.

Maps & Guidebooks

To download a variety of free brochures to help plan your visit, click here.

Gems in Canyonlands National Park - 5

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Gems

gem Favorite Mesa Arch

Mesa Arch

(48) Moab, UT
gem Favorite Beautiful views shortly before the final ascent to Druid Arch.

Druid Arch

(8) Monticello, UT
gem Favorite Have to jump across this little crack.

Wooden Shoe Canyon (Squaw Canyon) Overlook

(7) Monticello, UT
gem Favorite Upheaval Dome from the overlook

Upheaval Dome

(17) Moab, UT
gem Favorite View from Confluence Overlook

Canyonlands Confluence Hidden Overlook

(6) Moab, UT

Recommended Routes in Canyonlands National Park - 5

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Favorite From the whale
Intermediate

Whale Rock Trail

0.5 mi 0.9 km 78' Up 23.71 m Up 77' Down 23.62 m Down

Moab, UT
Favorite Upheaval Dome from the first overlook
Intermediate

Upheaval Dome Overlook Trail

1.4 mi 2.3 km 278' Up 84.69 m Up 278' Down 84.7 m Down

Moab, UT
Favorite "Great Gallery" Holy Ghost Panel
Intermediate/Difficult

The Great Gallery

7.2 mi 11.6 km 764' Up 232.86 m Up 765' Down 233.17 m Down

Moab, UT
Favorite Druid Arch - Canyonlands NP
Difficult

Druid Arch

10.2 mi 16.4 km 1,018' Up 310.19 m Up 1,016' Down 309.7 m Down

Moab, UT
Favorite Have to jump across this little crack.
Intermediate/Difficult

Big Spring Canyon/Squaw Canyon Loop

7.4 mi 11.8 km 541' Up 164.86 m Up 541' Down 164.96 m Down

Moab, UT

Canyonlands National Park Hiking

  • 371 Miles 597 Kilometers of Trail
  • 5 Recommended Routes
  • 5 Gems Gems
  • 37 Easy Trails Easy Trails
  • 55 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
  • 19 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Share what you know about this area!

Areas Within Canyonlands National Park

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Trails in Canyonlands National Park - 106

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7.9 mi 12.8 km #1Syncline Loop Trail
Difficult
Moab, UT
Difficult
Moab, UT 26 
1.6 mi 2.6 km #2Crater Spur Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Moab, UT
Easy/Intermediate
Moab, UT
3.7 mi 6.0 km #3Upheaval Canyon Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Moab, UT
Intermediate/Difficult
Moab, UT
2.1 mi 3.4 km #4Gooseberry Trail
Very Difficult
Moab, UT
Very Difficult
Moab, UT
0.5 mi 0.8 km #5Horseshoe Canyon - Eastern Access
Very Difficult
Moab, UT
Very Difficult
Moab, UT
0.7 mi 1.1 km #6Mesa Arch Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Moab, UT
Easy/Intermediate
Moab, UT 79 
3.1 mi 5.0 km #7Abandoned Mine Trail
Intermediate
Moab, UT
Intermediate
Moab, UT
6.7 mi 10.8 km #8Bobbys Hole Road
Easy
Monticello, UT
Easy
Monticello, UT
21.9 mi 35.2 km #9Salt Creek Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Monticello, UT
Easy/Intermediate
Monticello, UT
3.6 mi 5.9 km #10Horseshoe Canyon - Western Access
Intermediate
Moab, UT
Intermediate
Moab, UT

Photos of Canyonlands National Park - 285

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Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Nov 10, 2015 near Moab, UT
Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Feb 19, 2016 near Moab, UT
There are plenty of vantage points to snap a panorama.
Apr 22, 2017 near Moab, UT
Sunset in Chesler Park. The rock formations on the south end of the meadows are a great spot for sunrises and sunsets, and also provide some shade.
Oct 27, 2017 near Monticello, UT
The La Sal Mountains and Canyonlands National Park from the Lathrop Trail.
Jan 14, 2018 near Moab, UT
Mesa Arch
Dec 30, 2018 near Moab, UT
Washerwoman Arch From the Mesa Arch Trail
Dec 30, 2018 near Moab, UT
Canyonlands National Park
Mar 30, 2020 near Moab, UT