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

    Canyonlands

    National Park Utah

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  • 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?

Kangaroo Rat

One animal uniquely adapted to life in the desert is the kangaroo rat. This rat lives its entire life consuming nothing but plant matter. Its body produces water by metabolizing the food it eats. More...