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

    Canyonlands

    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 the Lavender Canyon road, Colorado Overlook road, and the Salt/Horse road. The White Rim Road is impassable from Hardscrabble camp to Upheaval Bottom. Roads will be closed until repairs can be made. More »

  • Extreme Fire Danger

    Due to extremely dry conditions, fire restrictions are in effect in all national park units in Utah. More »

  • New backcountry requirements in effect

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

Plan Your Visit

photo: Hikers on the Grand View Point Trail
Hikers on the Grand View Point Trail
NPS Photo by Neal Herbert
 

The park is divided into four districts by the Green and Colorado Rivers:

  • The Island in the Sky is the most accessible district, offering expansive views from many overlooks along the paved scenic drive, several hikes of varying length and a popular four-wheel-drive road.
  • The Needles district offers more of a backcountry experience, requiring some hiking or four-wheel driving to see the area’s attractions.
  • The Maze is a remote district requiring considerably more time and self-reliance to visit. Northwest of the Maze, the Horseshoe Canyon Unit is a day-use area with stunning Native American rock art panels.
  • River trips offer another way to experience the park and usually involve two or more days of boating.

There are no roads within the park that directly link the four districts. Though they may appear close on a map, traveling between them requires two to six hours by car as there are few places to cross the Colorado and Green Rivers. Most people find it impractical to visit more than one or two districts in a single trip.

Did You Know?

Biological Soil Crust

The dirt is alive! A living crust called "Biological Soil Crust" covers much of Canyonlands and the surrounding area. Composed of algae, lichens and bacteria, this crust provides a secure foundation for desert plants. Please stay on roads and trails to avoid trampling this important resource. More...