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Travel to Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park
2282 Resource Blvd., Moab, UT 84532
Phone 435.719.2313
Website of Canyonlands National Park at NPS

Location and Characteristics

Canyonlands National Park is located in Utah near Moab, and is the largest national park in the state. The Park preserves 337,598 acres of colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires in the heart of southeast Utah's high desert.

The easiest way to see the park is with a visit to the Island in the Sky district, only 32 miles from Moab. The Island in the Sky offers many pullouts with spectacular views along the paved scenic drive. Hiking trails and four-wheel-drive roads access backcountry areas for day or overnight trips. The Island in the Sky sits atop a massive 1,500 foot mesa, quite literally an Island in the Sky.

Water and gravity have been the prime architects of the land, sculpting layers of rock into the rugged landscape you see today. Canyonlands preserves the natural beauty and human history throughout its four districts, which are divided by the Green and Colorado rivers.

While the four districts share a primitive desert atmosphere, each retains its own character and offers different opportunities for exploration and adventure. Though they appear close on a map, there are no roads that directly link the districts. Traveling between them requires two to six hours by car as there are few places to cross the rivers.

Most people find it impractical to visit more than one area in a single trip due to the size of the park, and the time involved in moving from one district to another.

Let's Visit the Park!

The park offers a wide range of things to do and activities, including hiking, biking, camping, and 4-wheel excursions.

We have visited Canyonlands on numerous trips, and have enjoyed its many attractions, tours, trails and outdoor activities. Often we also visit other nearby attractions such as Moab, Arches National Park, and Monument Valley.

Spend a day, or more, and enjoy and explore Canyonlands National Park!

Entrance area to Canyonlands National Park in Utah, operated by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service
Entrance area to Canyonlands National Park in Utah
Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Island in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Struggling vegetation in the harsh environment at Canyonlands National Park
Sporatic vegetation at Canyonlands National Park


The vast expanses of Canyonlands National Park ... great for a variety of vacations and outdoor activities
The vast expanses of Canyonlands National Park ... great for a variety of vacations and outdoor activities
Beautiful yellow, blooming cactus at Canyonlands National Park
Beautiful yellow, blooming cactus at Canyonlands National Park

The sheer beauty of Canyonlands!
The sheer beauty of Canyonlands

 

Warning! Winter driving conditions
Warning! Winter driving conditions exist on backcountry roads in Canyonlands National Park
Sign at the Wilhite Trail
Sign at the Wilhite Trail in Canyonlands National Park in Utah

 

Attractions and Things to do in the Park

Island in the Sky is the most accessible district, offering expansive views from many overlooks along the paved scenic drive, several hikes of varying length and a moderate four-wheel-drive route called the White Rim Road.

The Needles offers more of a backcountry experience, requiring some hiking or four-wheel driving to see the area's attractions.

The Maze is a remote district requiring considerably more time and self-reliance to visit. The Orange Cliffs Unit on the western boundary is co-administered by Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Northwest of The Maze, Horseshoe Canyon is a day-use area with stunning American Indian rock art panels.

Flatwater trips on the Green or Colorado rivers and whitewater trips in Cataract Canyon are unique ways to experience the park that usually involve two or more days of boating.

Amidst the park’s canyons you’ll find countless places to set up camp. The park houses two established campgrounds, Needles Campground and Willow Flat Campground, as well as numerous backcountry campsites (permits required).

Hiking at Canyonlands National Park is a dream come true for day hikers and thru-hikers alike. Head to The Needles district for access to over 70 miles of hiking, or bring the family to the awe inspiring Mesa Arch.

As the largest national park in Utah, Canyonlands provides a variety of winter adventures. Fewer people visit the park in the winter, allowing each visitor to experience more solitude. Island in the Sky and The Needles are the park's most commonly visited districts during the winter months, and they are located 45 minutes and 90 minutes from Moab, respectively.

View from an overlook at Canyonlands National Park

 

Things to do in and around Canyonlands... from TripAdvisor

Canyonlands National Park Travel Guide ... TripAdvisor reviews, photos

Things to do in Canyonlands National Park

Island in the Sky

Hiking Trails at Canyonlands

4WD Tours

TripAdvisor Reviews

 

Rugged terrain at Canyonlands National Park, with a dirt road at the bottom of the canyon
Rugged terrain at Canyonlands National Park, with a dirt road at the bottom of the canyon

 

More Scenes Around Canyonlands

Blue sky in Canyonlands National Park
A snowy day in Canyonlands National Park

Hiker enjoying the day ... at Canyonlands National Park in Utah
Hiker enjoying the day ... at Canyonlands National Park in Utah

 

Crown Mountain as seen from Boot Rock


Lodging Options in Moab near Canyonlands National Park

Hotels In and Near Moab ... closest city to Canyonlands National Park

Moab Vacation Rentals

TripAdvisor Reviews

Moab Restaurants and Dining Options

 

Other Popular Attractions Around Canyonlands

Downtown Moab, Utah, the closest city to Canyonlands National Park, seen here at night (Staff Photo)
Downtown Moab, Utah, the closest city to Arches National Park, seen here at night
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, with the road seen below
Read more about Monument Valley
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
North & South Windows ... at Arches National Park near Moab, Utah
North & South Windows ... at Arches National Park near Moab, Utah



Hikers resting at Delicate Arch, Arches National Park in Utah (Photo by Sandra Salvas, courtesy of Visit Utah)
Hikers resting at Delicate Arch, Arches National Park in Utah


More Information about Canyonlands

Website of Canyonlands National Park at NPS

 

VisitUtah.com - Canyonlands National Park

 

DiscoverMoab - Canyonlands National Park