Each district of Canyonlands offers different opportunities for sightseeing and exploration. Numbers refer to locations on the map below.
- The Island in the Sky (1) is the most accessible district, offering expansive views from many overlooks along the paved scenic drive, several hikes of varying length and a moderate four-wheel-drive route called the White Rim Road (2).
- The Needles (3) offers more of a backcountry experience, requiring some hiking or four-wheel driving to see the area's attractions.
- The Maze (4) is a remote district requiring considerably more time and self-reliance to visit. The Orange Cliffs Unit (5) on the western boundary is co-administered by Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
- Northwest of the Maze, the Horseshoe Canyon Unit (6) is a day-use area with stunning Native American rock art panels.
- Flatwater trips on the Green (7) or Colorado (8) rivers and whitewater trips in Cataract Canyon (9) are unique ways to experience the park that usually involve two or more days of boating.
There are no roads that directly link the districts. Although they may appear close on a map, traveling between them requires two to six hours by car. Most people find it impractical to visit more than one area in a single trip.