Canyonlands National Park
Things To Do
- Camping - Amidst the park’s canyons you’ll find countless places to set up camp. The park houses two established campgrounds, Squaw Flat and Willow Flat, as well as numerous backcountry campsites (permits required).
- Hiking - 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.
- Backpacking - 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.
- Rafting - 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.
- Tours - 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.
Discover these, and many more things to do in Canyonlands National Park
More Canyonlands Inspiration
Where to Stay
Hotels and Lodging
Just outside of Canyonlands, Moab is home to a variety of hotels and lodges. Check out Red Cliffs Lodge for rustic comfort on the banks of the Colorado River, or the Sorrel River Ranch and Spa for a luxurious ranch experience.
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Campers looking for an established campground can choose between Squaw Flat (three miles west of The Needles entrance station), and Willow Flat (nine miles from the Island in the Sky entrance station). Otherwise, there are dispersed campsites available on the park’s BLM administered public lands, and surrounding the park.
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Discover the Canyonlands Region
As the largest national park in Utah, Canyonlands promises immense stretches of land for exploring; but the journey shouldn’t end there. The region surrounding the park is packed with adventure, state history, and charming towns. Venture south to Bears Ears National Monument to escape the crowds, or head into Moab for a bite to eat and a chance to swap stories with locals. Make the most of your vacation by exploring these local-favorite destinations.
Bears Ears National Monument | Less than 1 hour to Monticello or Bluff
Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum | 1 hour 30 minutes from Needles visitor center
Goosenecks State Park | 30 minutes from Monument Valley
Hovenweep National Monument | 2 hours 15 minutes from Needles visitor center
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park | 2 hours 30 minutes from Needles visitor center
Natural Bridges National Monument | 2 hours 15 minutes from Needles visitor center
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.
Squaw Flat 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.
More travel tips for visiting Canyonlands National Park
Spring and fall are ideal seasons to visit Canyonlands with daytime temperatures of 60o–85oF. Like nearby Arches, Canyonlands warms up significantly in the summer months reaching 100+oF. Beat the heat by planning ahead, carrying sunscreen and extra water, and playing in the morning and evening during the peak of summer. Temperatures will dip to freezing at night by late November, but winter is an extraordinarily beautiful time in Canyonlands. Incredible “monsoon” season thunderstorms on late summer afternoons can result in potentially dangerous flash floods. Check conditions in advance.
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Arches National Park
An amazing landscape featuring the largest proliferation of arches in the world, unforgettable hikes and grand adventures for the whole family.
Known as one of the top adventure towns in the world, Moab is the perfect gateway to national parks, biking, river rafting, hiking and more. There are also countless opportunities for quiet, reflective moments that make Moab ever-so enchanting.
Canyonlands National Park