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

    Canyonlands

    National Park Utah

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  • Extreme Fire Danger

    Due to extremely dry conditions, fire restrictions are in effect in all national park units in Utah. More »

  • New backcountry requirements in effect

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

Environmental Factors

The roots of a blackbrush exposed by soil erosion
The roots of a blackbrush exposed by soil erosion
NPS Photo by Neal Herbert
 

Although Canyonlands may appear harsh and unchanging, the desert ecosystem is continually evolving. Weather, climatic shifts and geologic processes continue to shape this environment as they have for millennia.

More recently, human-caused factors such as air, noise and water pollution, as well as introduced species, have had a much greater impact on natural resources world-wide.

The undeveloped landscape of Canyonlands provides an ideal place to study how various environmental factors affect desert ecosystems, and predict what changes might be expected in the future.

Did You Know?

Summer Monsoon

Much of canyon country's annual precipitation falls during summer monsoons. These dramatic storms often last less than twenty minutes but can cause powerful flash floods despite their brevity.