Canyonlands National Park
Things To Do
The park is divided into three regions: The Needles, Island in the Sky, and The Maze. Each region offers secluded backpacking, incredible views, and exciting hikes. Before your trip, be sure to learn more about permits and pack necessities.
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.
Spend a day or two floating the same rivers that ultimately formed Canyonlands. Venture down the adventurous Cataract Canyon with its Class V rapids, or relax as you float calm waters under impressive cliff sides.
With over 500 square miles of park to explore, knowing what to prioritize can be daunting. Book a trip with a local guide to visit must-see destinations and learn about the park’s interesting past.
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. Take advantage of hiking the quiet trails, photographing landscapes in the soft winter light and stargazing on the longest nights of the year.
More Canyonlands Inspiration
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The mighty Green River carves a path through a dramatic and varied landscape of mountains, canyons and desert for 730 miles across Utah. Whether you have a few hours or a few weeks, experience the diversity of this river yourself by getting on the water.
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A Winter’s Desert: Visiting Southern Utah in the Slow Months
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Ancient Pictographs, Petroglyphs and Timeless Mysteries
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Backpacking in Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park offers a spectrum of backpacking opportunities — from short trips at designated backcountry campsites to longer, adventurous trips that require extensive planning and desert canyon navigational knowledge.
Be Prepared for the Southern Utah Backcountry
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Chasing John Wesley Powell: Six Places to Explore Utah's Green and Colorado Rivers
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Dog-Friendly Utah: The Road to Mighty
Want to bring your furry friend on your next vacation? Utah is home to several great dog-friendly national parks and other fun destinations. Check it out and plan your trip!
Filmed in Utah: 7 Itineraries Through Hollywood's Most Iconic Settings
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Paradise and Slickrock
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The Complete Winter Camping Packing List for Staying Warm in Southern Utah
For most travelers, Southern Utah winters prevent comfortable camping, and occasional snowfall can make outdoor adventure a little more challenging. With a little extra planning, good layers, and the right equipment, however, you can enjoy Utah's national parks in the solitude of winter.
The Freedom of Wild Places
Clutching my hat with both hands, the wind roared and whipped by as I stood atop a rugged red rock formation, gazing out into the vastness of The Needles district of Canyonlands National Park.
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Touring the Indian Creek Corridor Scenic Byway
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Winter in Southeastern Utah: Arches and Canyonlands
Want to avoid the Utah national park crowds? Plan a winter Southeastern Utah trip. Experience more peace, quiet and solitude.
Close to Moab, the Island in the Sky is the most visited district, but outside of overlooks and Mesa Arch (especially at sunrise), the scenic, though strenuous, trails are seldom crowded.
A permit is required to bike or drive the popular White Rim Trail and for all overnight camping trips in the backcountry.
Needles Campground in the Needles district is a great base camp for day hikes into the backcountry, but go prepared: carry extra water and be alert for black bears.
The remote Maze district easily occupies three days, plus hours to drive there. Solitude and endless splendor are the rewards for extremely well-prepared self-sufficient wayfinders.
Read these resources to learn how to travel thoughtfully and experience Canyonlands National Park most fully.
- View a downloadable map of Canyonlands National Park
More travel tips for visiting Canyonlands National Park
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is one of the top national parks in America: it’s a 73,234-acre wonderland of eroded sandstone fins, towers, ribs, gargoyles, hoodoos, balanced rocks, and, of course, arches northwest of Moab.
Green River State Park
Green River State Park is a great place to begin your adventure on the Green River. If you make the journey you’ll be rewarded with easy access to the river, sheltered campgrounds and picnic areas, a nine-hole golf course, and a new eighteen-basket disc golf course.
Horseshoe Canyon is a remote section of Canyonlands National Park that was added in 1972. Formerly known as Barrier Canyon, this area is home to some of the most impressive rock art created by the ancient Barrier Culture.
John Wesley Powell River Museum
Few Western trailblazers are more famous than the one-armed boatman, John Wesley Powell. Here in Green River, the John Wesley Powell River History Museum pays homage to Powell, and teaches you about his expeditions, the history of the West’s exploration, and the geography of the area.
Manti-La Sal National Forest
The Manti-La Sal National Forest consists of three blocks located in central, eastern and southeastern Utah. The area has an abundance of lakes and is great for fishing, hiking and more.
Moab is surrounded by a sea of buckled, twisted and worn sandstone sculpted by millennia of sun, wind and rain
The Mighty 5: Ultimate Journey
Grab a national parks annual pass for best access to The Mighty 5®.
- Arches National Park
- Zion National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Capitol Reef National Park