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


    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 »

Backcountry Travel Advisories


Dash Tag [21k PDF file]
A dash tag must be displayed on every vehicle parked overnight in Canyonlands.

Island in the Sky

Overnight Parking
All vehicles left on the mesa top overnight to accommodate White Rim trips must be parked at the Shafer Overlook paved parking area, approximately ¼ mile beyond the visitor center. A dash tag with your permit number must be visible on the dash board.

The Needles

Black Bears
Bear sightings in the Needles have increased. Store food, garbage and other odorous items in vehicles or in bear-proof containers. If these are unavailable, hang food and other odorous items in a sturdy bag as high as possible in a tree. More about bear safety..

Squirrels and Other Rodents
Squirrels and other rodents at the Elephant Canyon backcountry campsites have chewed through visitor's backpacks and cloth sacks to access food. Plan to carry your food and garbage during the day. Store food, garbage and other odorous items in hard, animal proof containers when at these campsites.

Driving in Salt Creek/Horse and Lavender Canyons
Groups are encouraged to travel in pairs and use vehicles with winching capabilities. Be prepared for wet, sandy conditions (and possibly quicksand). Towing expenses are costly and park rangers are not available to assist.

The Maze

  • Trails in the Maze are often narrow, steep, unmarked and minimally maintained. Route finding may be difficult. Backpackers must be self-reliant.
  • Prior to descending the Flint Trail, stop at the top overlook to ensure that there are no vehicles coming up. Vehicles travelling uphill have the right of way.

Cataract Canyon Trips

Lake Powell Take Out
Cataract Canyon trips should plan on taking out on river right at North Wash. Be aware that the current here is swift and there is a small rapid just below the take out. Read more about the conditions on Lake Powell.

Zebra Mussel Prevention
All boats taking out on Lake Powell must comply with the zebra mussel prevention program.

Did You Know?

Detail of the Great Gallery pictograph panel

Some of the rock art in Horseshoe Canyon was painted over 3,000 years ago. Now known as "Barrier Canyon" style rock art, it was painted by nomadic groups of hunter-gatherers that roamed throughout the southwest. More...