All overnight trips in the backcountry require a permit. In addition, permits are required for horseback riding and four-wheel-drive day use in Horse and Lavender canyons in the Needles District. The Orange Cliffs Unit of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area shares Canyonlands' western boundary and is administered under the same backcountry management plan and permit/reservation system.
If you're planning a river trip, please visit the river permits page.
HOW TO OBTAIN A PERMIT
Backcountry permits are issued seven days a week at district visitor centers and the Hans Flat Ranger Station. Permits can be reserved in advance (see below). Walk-in permits are only available the day before or the day of a trip. Permits are issued up to one hour before the close of business each day. Please review the backcountry regulations before obtaining a permit.
Are reservations necessary?
Reservations are recommended, but not required. Currently, competition is greatest for White Rim trips during the spring and fall and Needles backpacking trips during spring. For these activities, visitors should apply as early as possible. Campsites and permits not reserved in advance are available on a first-come, first-served basis at district visitor centers.
How to Apply
To apply for a backcountry permit, please download and complete the standard Reservation Form (30k PDF file) and email a saved copy to the provided address. Once your reservation request is processed, you will receive an email with instructions for making a payment at www.pay.gov. Once your payment is received, your permit will be sent by email. We will contact you If the sites or dates you request are unavailable.
When to Apply
Reservations for the 2014 season will be available no more than four months, and no less than two days, prior to the permit start date. View the news release announcing this change.
Canyonlands charges a nonrefundable reservation fee for each permit. These fees are paid by both walk-ins and visitors making advance reservations.
Length of Stay
Permits (except day use) can be issued for up to fourteen consecutive nights. Backpackers may stay up to seven consecutive nights in any one site or zone. Visitors using the designated vehicle camps may stay a maximum of three consecutive nights at a camping area before having to relocate.
Questions?Reservation Office staff are available by phone to answer questions and assist with trip planning Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon (Mountain Time), at (435) 259-4351. When workload permits, phones may be answered until 4:00 p.m. Visitors may also email questions.
Did You Know?
Lizards, including the colorful collared lizard, are one of the most frequently seen animals in Canyonlands. When not chasing flies or basking in the sun, they are often seen doing what appears to be push-ups. Scientists believe this and other behaviors signal dominance and facilitate courtship.