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


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  • New backcountry requirements in effect

    Hard-sided bear containers are required for backpackers in parts of the Needles District. More »

Backcountry Regulations

New 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 as defined by Utah State Code are not allowed.
  • 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 New Bates Wilson vehicle campsite 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. When food is stored outside, it should be hung in in a nylon stuff sack or similar, tear-proof bag.
  • Hiking in the Doll House is restricted to designated trails.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Did You Know?

Tadpole Shrimp

Naturally occurring sandstone basins called “potholes” collect rain water and wind-blown sediment, forming tiny ecosystems where a fascinating collection of plants and animals live. Tadpole shrimp, fairy shrimp and many insects can be found in potholes. More...