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


    National Park Utah

Backcountry Regulations

Hard Sided Bear Resistant Containers

Effective May 1, 2014, all backcountry permit holders for the Upper Salt Creek and Salt/Horse Zones in the Needles District are required to store food and beverages, scented items, and garbage in approved, hard sided, bear resistant containers. View the news release announcing this change.

Human Waste Disposal Policy

Effective September 22, 2013, people camping at sites in Chesler Park, Elephant Canyon and at Peekaboo will be required to pack out their human waste. View the news release announcing this change.

The following regulations appear on all backcountry permits issued by Canyonlands:

  • Permits are required for all overnight trips in the backcountry. Permits are also required for four-wheel-drive day use in Lavender, Horse and Salt Creek Canyons in the Needles.
  • Permits are valid only for the dates, areas and number of people listed.
  • All vehicles, motorcycles and bikes must remain on designated roads. Roads may be deemed impassable and temporarily closed for multiple reasons. ATVs/OHVs are not allowed.
  • A high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle (low range) is required for the White Rim Road and all Needles and Maze district backcountry roads.
  • A washable/reusable toilet system or human waste disposal bag is required when camping at the Maze District vehicle campsites; at the Chesler Park and Elephant Canyon backpacking campsites and the Peekaboo and New Bates Wilson vehicle campsites in the Needles District; and within ½ mile of the Green and Colorado rivers. Toilet paper must be packed out of the backcountry.
  • Wood campfires are not allowed. Cooking with a charcoal fire in a firepan is allowed at vehicle campsites. All charcoal residue must be packed out.
  • All garbage must be removed from the backcountry. Food must be stored securely to prevent animals from gaining access to it. Food and beverages, food and beverage containers, garbage, and all scented items must be stored in an approved IGBC (http://www.igbconline.org/html/container.html) hard sided, bear resistant container at least 100 feet from camp in Calt Creek 1,2,3 and 4 campsites and the Salt/Horse Zone.
  • Swimming or bathing is only allowed in the Green and Colorado rivers.
  • All camping activities must remain within campsite boundaries at designated sites. Camps in at-large zones must be one mile from a road and in low-impact areas like slickrock. Camping within 300 feet of an archeological site, historic site or water source is not allowed. Camping is not permitted in Horseshoe Canyon, on Pete's Mesa or within sight of the Maze Overlook.
  • Hiking in the Doll House is restricted to designated trails.
  • All natural objects and cultural artifacts are protected and must be left where they are found. Touching rock art and drawing graffiti is not allowed.
  • Pets, discharging firearms, hunting and feeding wildlife are prohibited.
  • Caching food, water or supplies is allowed with written notification of the district ranger. No damage to resources may occur and all items must be removed.
  • Packrafts:

Trips using portable, inflatable boats to navigate short sections (two miles or less) of the Colorado and Green rivers above the confluence must carry the following items:

  1. PFD for each person. An inflatable USCG approved life vest may be used in place of a regular PFD for anyone over 12 years of age.
  2. Approved toilet system. Commercial bag systems such as PETT, Wag Bag, or Rest Stop II that render human waste non-hazardous.

Trips using packrafts just to cross the rivers are exempt from these requirements.

Trips traveling more than two miles or below the confluence must obtain a river permit and are subject to river regulations and required equipment.

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