Horseback Riding

Horseback riding

Horseback riding


Pack and saddle stock may be taken on all backcountry roads and in Horseshoe Canyon. Cross-country travel is prohibited. Pack and saddle stock include horses, burros or mules. All other domestic animals are prohibited in the backcountry. All pack and saddle stock use requires a backcountry permit, which may be obtained at district visitor centers.

Lack of water is a limiting factor for pack and saddle trips in Canyonlands, as only a few areas have reliable sources. Road conditions also vary depending on the time of year and recent precipitation. Contact the park for current conditions and recommended destinations.


Stock must be fed pelletized feed for 48 hours in advance of and for the duration of the trip in order to prevent the spread of exotic plant species. Animals may not be left unattended and must be staked at least 300 feet from water sources and away from vegetation where possible. Park vegetation may not be consumed. Animals may not be unstaked and hobbled.

Day Use

Day-use permits are free of charge. Permits are unlimited in most of the park, except in Horse/Salt Creek and Lavender canyons in the Needles district, where day use is limited to seven animals per day. In all other areas of the park, including Horseshoe Canyon, group size must not exceed ten animals and ten people. Permits may be reserved up to 24 hours in advance.

Overnight Use

Overnight trips must stay at designated vehicle camps. Permits are $30. All manure and feed must be packed out from the campsites. The group size limit is seven people and ten horses for the Needles and Island in the Sky, and five people and eight horses for the Maze and Orange Cliffs. Overnight use is not allowed in Horseshoe Canyon.

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