• 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 »

Natural Features & Ecosystems

photo: Ephemeral pools (potholes) in the Needles District
Ephemeral pools (potholes) in the Needles District
NPS Photo by Neal Herbert
 

To many, the most outstanding natural features of Canyonlands are the park's geologic formations. In each of the districts, visitors can see the remarkable effects that millions of years of erosion have had on a landscape of sedimentary rock.

Beyond the big rocks, many other natural features also factor into the Canyonlands landscape. From unusual components, such as biological soil crust and ephemeral pools (also known as potholes), to the rivers and streams that create riparian habitats, Canyonlands preserves a rich variety of desert ecology.

Did You Know?

Juniper Berries

The Utah juniper, one of the most common trees in the southwest, has the ability to self-prune. During droughts, these trees will cut off fluids from one or more branches so that the rest of the tree can survive. More...