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

    Canyonlands

    National Park Utah

There are park alerts in effect.
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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 »

  • Safety in Bear Country

    Black bears have been seen in the Needles, Maze, and along the Colorado River. Be alert and store food and garbage properly: in hard-sided, latched containers (or your vehicle) when not being prepared or consumed. 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?

Common Raven

The common raven displays abilities to play and problem-solve rare among animals. This member of the crow family is also very vocal, using a variety of sounds for communication. Perhaps because of these qualities, ravens have achieved a certain stature in both European and Native American folklore. More...