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


    National Park Utah

Current Conditions & Road Status

Contact district visitor centers for current conditions before beginning any backcountry trip. When the Island in the Sky and Needles visitor centers are closed in winter, the Backcountry Reservation Office is the best resource for backcountry road conditions and permit information: 435-259-4351.



Scenic Drive: open
Shafer Trail: closed
Mineral Bottom: open
White Rim Road: open, with caution
The White Rim Road is in rough condition, especially from Murphy Hogback to the western park boundary. It is very likely that vehicles without a 4-Low gear will not be able to complete the loop in its entirety. If you are going to attempt to drive the road in a vehicle that does not have a 4-Low gear, carry extra fuel and be prepared to self-rescue. During winter, all vehicles are advised to carry chains.



Scenic Drive: open
Elephant Hill Access Road: dry, passable to 2WD vehicles
Colorado River Overlook: open
Elephant Hill: open
Lavender Canyon: impassable
Salt Creek/Horse Canyon: impassable

Even when rated as "passable," conditions on the four-wheel-drive roads in the Needles are challenging. Depending on the season, you can expect ice, up to two feet of water, quicksand, and/or debris that must be negotiated while staying within the boundary of the road. We recommend traveling in groups of two or more vehicles - both with winches - in order to facilitate self-rescue. Park rangers are unable to winch vehicles out; see note about commercial towing fees.



Green River to Horseshoe Canyon: passable to high-clearance four-wheel-drive
Highway 24 to Horseshoe Canyon:
passable to two-wheel-drive -- see comment below
Highway 24 to Hans Flat: passable to two-wheel-drive
Hans Flat to top of Flint Trail: passable to high-clearance two-wheel-drive
Flint Trail: passable to high-clearance four-wheel-drive.

Waterhole Flat to Hite: Passable to high-clearance two-wheel-drive vehicles

Snow and rain can quickly change unpaved roads to four-wheel-drive condition or make them impassable. Due to the cold and low visitation, carry extra supplies in case you have to wait a day or two for the road to dry out or for assistance. Cell phone communication is not reliable.

Road conditions in the Maze can change suddenly after a single rainfall. The Maze District roads are challenging and visitors must be prepared with the proper equipment to facilitate self-rescue. Rangers are unable to winch vehicles out and commercial towing fees below the Flint Trail start at over $2000.00.


Backcountry Travel Advisory
Backcountry driving conditions can change rapidly after rain or snow. High-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended. All drivers should carry the following items:

• At least one full-size spare tire
• Extra gas
• Extra water
• Shovel
• High-lift jack
• Chains for all four tires (especially from October through April)

Drive Carefully!
Visitors caught in the backcountry with disabled vehicles can expect commercial towing fees in excess of $1,000. Most backcountry roads in Canyonlands require high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Did You Know?