• Spires of Cedar Mesa sandstone in Chesler Park (Needles District)

    Canyonlands

    National Park Utah

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  • Some unpaved roads are closed

    Recent rains have caused extensive damage to some roads in the Needles District and some of the roads into the Maze District. More »

  • New backcountry requirements in effect

    Hard-sided bear containers are required for backpackers in parts of the Needles District. More »

People

photo of Bates Wilson, one of the earliest advocates for the creation of Canyonlands
Bates Wilson, one of the earliest advocates for the creation of Canyonlands
 

Native Americans
Humans first visited Canyonlands over 10,000 years ago. Nomadic groups of hunter-gatherers roamed throughout the southwest from 8,000 B.C. to 500 B.C.

European Explorers
For early European explorers, Canyonlands offered more of an impediment to travel than a destination.

Miners & Ranchers
From the 1880s to 1975, local ranchers used much of Canyonlands for winter pasture. Cowboys searched the canyons for good feed and water.

Park Founders
In the 1950s and early 1960s, Arches National Monument Superintendent Bates Wilson advocated the creation of a National Park in what is now Canyonlands.

Did You Know?

Tadpole Shrimp

Naturally occurring sandstone basins called “potholes” collect rain water and wind-blown sediment, forming tiny ecosystems where a fascinating collection of plants and animals live. Tadpole shrimp, fairy shrimp and many insects can be found in potholes. More...