• 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 some roads in the Needles District and some of the roads into the Maze District. More »

  • Safety in Bear Country

    Black bears have been seen in the Needles, Maze, and along the Colorado River. Be alert and store food and garbage properly: in hard-sided, latched containers (or your vehicle) when not being prepared or consumed. More »

  • New backcountry requirements in effect

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

Just For Kids

photo: An amateur photographer taking pictures at one of the Island in the Sky's many overlooks
An amateur photographer taking pictures at one of the Island in the Sky's many overlooks
NPS Photo by Neal Herbert
 

Things to Do

Both the Island in the Sky and the Needles districts have several short trails great for children. At the Island, kids enjoy peeking through Mesa Arch and climbing the back of the whale at Whale Rock. In the Needles, the Cave Spring Trail, featuring a cowboy camp and prehistoric pictographs, is always a hit. Pothole Point is another popular hike, especially if the potholes are full of water and the creatures that live in these small ecosystems. Be attentive when hiking with kids in Canyonlands, as there are unfenced overlooks throughout the park.

Discovery Packs / Explorer Packs

Both the Island in the Sky and Needles districts offer an engaging toolkit for kids eager to explore and learn about the area. These backpacks contain many useful items, including binoculars, a hand lens, a naturalist guide and a notebook. Before you set out for the day, stop by the visitor center and check one out (deposit required).

Junior Ranger Program

Free Junior Ranger booklets are available at park visitor centers. Filled with fun activities, these books reveal the wonders of Canyonlands to kids and parents alike. By completing certain exercises, participants earn a Junior Ranger badge and signed certificate. Activities are designed for ages 6 to 12.

Did You Know?

Collared Lizard

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.