Superintendent's Compendium

SUPERINTENDENT'S COMPENDIUM: or Designations, Closures, Permit Requirements and Other Restrictions Imposed Under Discretionary Authority - 36 CFR 1.7(b)

September 2019

As provided in 16 USC, Section 3, and Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter I, Parts 1-7, the following Superintendent's Orders are established for Canyonlands National Park. Unless otherwise noted, these orders apply in addition to the regulations contained in Parts 1-7 of Title 36 CFR.

These actions are necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental or scenic values, protection of natural or cultural resources, aid to scientific research, implementation of management responsibilities, equitable allocation and use of facilities, or the avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities.

Visitors may obtain a copy of this compendium, additional information or permit applications by contacting: Office of the Superintendent, Canyonlands National Park, 2282 S. West Resource Blvd., Moab, Utah 84532-3298.

A copy of this compendium is also available for public review at the following locations:

Needles Visitor Center
Canyonlands National Park

Island in the Sky Visitor Center
Canyonlands National Park

Hans Flat (Maze) Ranger Station
Canyonlands National Park

Chief Ranger’s Office 2282 S Resource Blvd; Moab, Utah 84532-3298

The Canyonlands National Park Internet Web Site: http://www.nps.gov/cany

Approved: /s/ Scott Brown, October 4, 2019
for Kate Cannon, Superintendent
Canyonlands National Park

 

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36 CFR 1.5 Closures and Public Use Limits

Roads Closures and Restrictions

The following roads and parking areas are closed to all vehicle traffic or restricted as noted except for those on official government business:

Needles District

  • Dirt road leading from paved road to water well.
  • Road located approximately 100 yards east of maintenance area leading to generator building.
  • Dirt road leading south from loop road, located approximately 200 yards west of Ranger Station.
  • Dirt road off Salt Creek access road approximately 200 yards from Squaw Creek.
  • Road to Residence Area
  • High clearance four-wheel drive is required on motor vehicles travelling on the following roads: Elephant Hill, Salt Creek, Horse Canyon, Lavender Canyon, Lockhart Canyon, and Colorado Overlook Road.

Island in the Sky District

  • Road to Maintenance and Residence Area
  • Dirt road near Grand View Point leading from paved road to radio repeater shed.
  • Dirt road near Willow Flat campground leading to a National Park Service maintenance storage/supply area.
  • Dirt road adjacent to Shafer day-use parking area leading to a National Park Service maintenance storage/supply area.
  • The Shafer day-use parking area is closed from one-half hour after sunset until one-half hour before sunrise.
  • High clearance four-wheel drive is required on motor vehicles travelling on the following roads: White Rim Road.

Maze District

  • High clearance four-wheel drive is required on motor vehicles, travelling on the following roads:
    • From the North Point Trailhead to Panorama Point and Cleopatra's Chair;
    • From the start of the Flint Trail and beyond to the Golden Stairs, Maze Overlook and to Waterhole Flat;
    • From Waterhole Flat to Teapot Rock on into The Land of Standing Rocks and the Doll House.

All park roads and lands are subject to temporary closures as indicated by signs or other means of notification during periods of adverse weather, natural disaster, emergency, or implementation of management responsibilities.

Invited guests of employees residing in government housing may access administrative roadways in housing areas.

Definition:
High Clearance Four-Wheel-Drive (4WD) Vehicles

A Jeep, sport utility vehicle (SUV), or truck type with at least 15-inch tire rims and at least eight inches of clearance from the lowest point of the frame, body, suspension, or differential to the ground. Four wheel drive vehicles have a driveshaft that can directly power each wheel at the same time and a transfer case that can shift between powering two wheel or four wheels in low or high gear. All wheel drive (AWD) vehicles do not meet this definition.

Use Limits, Conditions, and Restrictions

The following public use limits, conditions and restrictions are established within Canyonlands National Park:

Island in the Sky District

  • Fort Bottom is day-use only with the exception of two river camping sites available to boaters only.
  • All vehicle, motorcycles, and bicycles on the White Rim Road, excluding the Potash Road and Shafer Trail, must obtain and possess a Day-use Permit. Group size is limited to three vehicles and 15 bicycles. Groups must be separated by 30 minutes of travel time.

Needles District

  • Virginia Park is closed to all entry except by permit.
  • All vehicle, motorcycles, and bicycles on the backcountry roads accessed from the Elephant Hill Trailhead and Parking Lot, including travel from the South Boundary, must obtain and have in their possession a Day-use Permit. Group size is limited to three vehicles and 12 bicycles. Groups must be separated by 30 minutes of travel time.
  • All vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles on the backcountry roads accessed from the Elephant Hill Trailhead and Parking Lot, including travel from the South Boundary, must obtain and have in their possession a Day-use Permit. Group size is limited to three vehicles and 12 bicycles. Groups must be separated by 30 minutes of travel time.
  • All vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles on the Lavender Canyon Road and the Peekaboo/Horse Canyon road must obtain and have in their possession a Dayuse Permit. A separate trip leader must be established for each vehicle/motorcycle/bicycle, and the trip leaders name must be on the Day Use Permit.
  • The upper two miles of Elephant Canyon, the Confluence Overlook, the Joint Trail, and Lockhart Canyon are designated as day-use only areas.
  • Lockhart Canyon is limited to day-use only. Overnight use or camping is prohibited.
  • Lower Big Spring and Lower Little Spring Canyon, Lower Salt Creek (below the Lower Jump), and Lower Elephant Canyon are closed to all human entry from March 15 to September 1, for the protection of desert bighorn sheep.

Maze District

  • Horseshoe Canyon, Pete’s Mesa, and areas below and visible from the Maze Overlook are limited to day-use only.
  • Jasper Canyon is closed to entry from the canyon head near Chimney Rock camp downstream to the Jump. Views into Jasper Canyon are possible and allowed from many locations along the canyon rim.
  • To reduce impacts from trampling and multiple trailing, only designated trails may be used when hiking in the Doll House area of the Maze District
  • Groups within the Horseshoe Canyon unit must not have more than 20 persons present. Larger groups are only permitted when on a guided interpretive program or when divided into smaller groups that travel separately.

River District

  • Cataract Canyon from lower Red Lake Canyon to the mouth of Y and Cross Canyons is restricted to day-use only from December 1 to February 28, for the protection of bald eagles.
  • The towing of persons by vessels on all waters within Canyonlands National Park is prohibited.
  • Upstream motorized travel and “up-running” in Cataract Canyon is prohibited except when authorized in writing by the Superintendent, pursuant to 36 CFR 1.5 and 1.6. Cataract Canyon is defined as that portion of the Colorado River beginning with the first rapid which is known as Rapid #1 (approximately at river mile 212.3), and continuing downstream to the park boundary which is located at Big Drop Two (approximately at river mile 202.5). Upstream travel below this 5 point is regulated by the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Compendium which prohibits upstream travel between the mouth of Imperial Canyon (river mile 200) and Big Drop Two.

    Upstream motorized travel is defined as travel by any type of motorized vessel predominately against the current through Cataract Canyon as defined above. Motorized vessels are permitted to use eddy currents in rapids to re-run the tail- waves of the rapid. The beginning of the rapid is where the current speed increases dramatically, or the area known as the “tongue”. The tongue of a rapid is the “v” shaped patch of smooth water that has not yet been aerated by the wave action.

    This section does not apply to authorized Federal, State, and local law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duties; and to National Park Service employees engaged in emergency operations and/or administrative activities.
  • Portable Floatation Devices (PFDs), also known as life jackets, that are specifically designed for “whitewater use” are required in Cataract Canyon. PFDs approved for use on whitewater trips must have a U.S. Coast Guard label that specifies the intended use as "whitewater rafting" or "kayaking, canoeing, paddling or sailing." General use, universal, general boating and water ski PFDs are not approved for use in whitewater, but are allowed on flat water trips. Inflatable PFDs are not allowed on rivers in Utah. PFDs must be in good condition (serviceable) with a legible label, no rips, tears or excessive sun damage, all buckles and fasteners functioning, and no repairs or after-market modifications.
  • River permit holders are required to have at a minimum the following equipment: first aid kit, one spare properly fitted serviceable personal floatation device per every 5 participants or one per boat, whichever is fewer, a repair kit and air pump for inflatable boats, a bailing device (does not apply to self-bailing boats), a fire extinguisher consistent with US Coast Guard regulations for size of vessel, and a hard-side fire pan. (see 2.13 for Fire Restrictions)
  • Groups must travel together and may not separate for the purpose of securing camps ahead of other permitted groups.
  • The caching of boats and equipment for more than 24 hours is subject to special terms, to include: the cache will be labeled with a permit holder’s name, date, and permit number, and the cache will be secure from wildlife and not buried.

Packrafts

  • Individuals using packrafts for river travel (rafts designed to be carried inside of a backpack, weigh less than 7 pounds, and meet the State of Utah’s definition for float tube), must obtain a river permit and comply with all boating regulations, except they do not have to carry a spare PFD or spare paddle.

Vessel Size

  • No vessel in excess of 50 feet in length shall be operated on waters within Canyonlands National Park.
  • In Cataract Canyon, Inboard Vessels are not permitted unless the following is met:
    1. Constructed as a Rigid Hull Inflatable style with either an inflatable or foam collar
    2. The boat needs to have at least 5 sealed compartments designed and constructed into the boat as the hull and collar. Sealed hull compartments most be fully welded and air tight. Inflatable collars; each separate valved section is considered one sealed compartment, provided baffles are intact. Foam collared boats; the collar is considered to be (2) seal compartments (port and starboard sides).
    3. At a minimum the boat construction should have the hull be at least one sealed compartment and/or the collar is at least two sealed compartments.
    4. Boats must not exceed maximum sound requirements at all times as required in 36 CFR 3.15 (2)

Rock Climbing and Canyoneering

The following closures, conditions, and restrictions apply to rock climbing or similar activities such as, but not limited to, technical rock climbing, free climbing and clean aid climbing within Canyonlands National Park:

Closures

  • Climbing, scrambling, or walking upon, wrapping webbing or rope around, or rappelling from any arch with an opening greater than 3 feet, except for Washer Woman Arch in the Island In the Sky District, is prohibited.
  • The entire Salt Creek Archeological District, which includes Salt Creek, Horse and Lost Canyons, and upper Davis and Lavender Canyons, is closed to climbing and canyoneering.
  • The detached Horseshoe Canyon Unit of the Maze District is closed to climbing and canyoneering.

Conditions

  • Permits are not required for day-use rock climbing or canyoneering. A backcountry permit is required for overnight climbing, bivy, or canyoneering in the backcountry.

Restrictions

Climbing and canyoneering within Canyonlands National Park shall be either free climbing or clean aid climbing, except as described below.

  • No new permanent fixed anchors may be installed in any location, except by permit (Special Use Permit). If an existing bolt or other hardware item is unsafe, it may be replaced, without a permit. Anchor hardware must be painted the color of the rock surface before installation. The installation and use of pitons is prohibited. Homemade hardware is prohibited.
  • If an existing software item (sling, runner etc.) is unsafe, it may be replaced. Software (webbing, accessory cords, etc.) that is left in place shall match the rock surface in color.
  • The intentional removal of lichen or plants from rock is prohibited.
  • The physical altering of rock faces including, but not limited to chiseling, glue reinforcement of existing holds, and gluing of new holds is prohibited.
  • The use of motorized power drills is prohibited in areas managed as wilderness. Outside of wilderness, a motorized drill requires a permit (Special Use Permit).
  • Fixed ropes may not be left in place for more than 24 hours. Fixed ropes left in place longer than 24 hours shall be considered "abandoned property" and removed.
  • Slacklining or highlining is prohibited.
  • Use of white chalk is prohibited. Chalk must be earth tone in color and match the color of the rock surface.

Definitions:

Technical Rock Climbing is defined as ascending or descending a rock formation utilizing rock climbing equipment.

Free Climbing and Clean Aid Climbing are minimum impact approaches that employ chocks, stoppers, nuts and camming devices, rather than pitons or bolts, for protection or direct support. These are climbing aids that are removable, do not damage or scar the rock, and do not become fixed after ascent.

Aid Climbing is the direct use of a fixed or placed protection – pitons, nuts, bolts rivets, spring-loaded cams etc. to support a climber’s weight and assist in the climber’s ascent. In general, aid techniques are reserved for pitches where free climbing is difficult to impossible, and extremely steep and long routes. Most difficult aid climbs still require pitons or other techniques using a hammer

Canyoneering g is defined as cross country travel involving descending into canyons or major rock formations using a variety of techniques that are associated with technical descents –those that require rappels and rope work, climbing or down-climbing, and/or swims.

Slacklining or Slinglining is defined as walking on a rope or other line that is anchored 8 between rock formations, trees, or any other natural features. Height of the rope above the ground is immaterial.

Hang Gliders, BASE Jumping, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Canyonlands National Park is closed to the use of hang gliders, paragliders, and parachutes. BASE jumping is prohibited in Canyonlands National Park. 36 CFR 2.17 (a)(3); NPS Management Policies 2006, 8.2.2.7.

Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Canyonlands National Park is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent. 36 CFR 1.5

Definition: The term “unmanned aircraft” means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within, or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g. model airplanes, quadcopters, drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation and commerce.

Off-highway Vehicles

No use of vehicles is allowed off of designated roads. 36 CFR 4.10(a), (b).

All motor vehicles operated within the boundaries of Canyonlands National Park must have a valid state registration as a “motor vehicle,” display a valid state license plate(s), and be operated by someone in possession of a valid state issued operator’s license. Motorcycles that are registered for road use are allowed. 36 CFR 4.2.

All vehicles must be equipped to legally operate on interstate highways. 36 CFR 1.5

Use of off highway vehicles (OHV); all-terrain vehicles (ATV); or other motorized conveyance traveling on three or more tires and designed for or capable of recreational non-highway, off road, or all terrain travel is prohibited. 36 CFR 1.5

Motor-assisted Bicycles (e-bikes)

Definition: The term “e-bike” means a two- or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.).

E-bikes are allowed in Canyonlands where traditional bicycles are allowed. E-bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited. Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor to move an e-bike without pedaling is prohibited.

A person operating an e-bike is subject to the following sections of 36 CFR part 4 that apply to the use of traditional bicycles: sections 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.30(h)(2)-(5).

Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within Canyonlands is governed by State law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.

Engine Idling and Generators

Operators are prohibited from running generators in the park, with the following exceptions:

  • in the Willow Flat and Squaw Flat campgrounds a generator may be operated during the hours of 8 am-10 am and 4 pm–8 pm.

Drivers of motor vehicles are prohibited from idling their engines, with the following exceptions:

  • after long uphill grades, engines may be idled for up to 15 minutes in order to cool;
  • engines may be left running to provide cooling or heating for disabled passengers who have difficulty in disembarking.
  • engines may be left running while the driver is actively completing a Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection.

Designated Backcountry

All lands, including four-wheel drive roads and the Shafer Trail below the Shafer day-use parking area, and waters within the boundaries of Canyonlands National Park are designated as backcountry with the following exceptions:

  • Two-wheel drive roads (paved or dirt surfaces) and their adjacent shoulders, ditches and culverts. Dimensions for these corridors shall be 300 feet, each side, from centerline on paved roads and 150 feet, each side, from centerline of non- paved two-wheel drive roads unless a topographic feature provides a closer and more functional natural boundary. Designated two-wheel drive roads are identified on the Canyonlands Official Map and Guide, publication number GPO: 2002--491-282/40194 Reprint 2002 (attached).
  • Administrative buildings and their immediate surroundings.

Swimming and Bathing

The following restrictions apply to all parklands:

  • Swimming, bathing, and immersing human bodies in water sources are prohibited (except in the Green and Colorado Rivers and the section of Salt Creek that is open to vehicle use).
  • Only biodegradable soaps may be used in the backcountry. All soap use must be used at least 100 feet away from water sources, with the following exception:
    • Soap use on the Green and Colorado Rivers is encouraged to take place in the river.
  • Rinsing dishes or other equipment directly in water sources is prohibited, except in the Green and Colorado Rivers.
  • A water source may not be emptied or depleted for human and/or saddle/pack animal use.

Artificial Light Sources

The use of artificial light sources for purposes other than personal route-finding or minimum impact camping, that is, to light up landscapes, rock formations, or other Park features, is prohibited.

Fixed Lines

The use of fixed lines (any line made from any material which is stretched between two points) is prohibited except for tie downs used in conjunction with tarps or tents affixed to ground stakes. This includes but is not limited to clothes lines, dog runs, hammocks or slack lines and prohibits attachment to vegetation, natural features, or government property. This regulation does not apply to recreational climbing.

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36 CFR 1.6 Permits

Permits are required within Canyonlands National Park for the following (36 Code of Federal Regulations) activities:

  • Flatwater boating – 1.5
  • Boating in Cataract Canyon – 1.5
  • Carry or possess a weapon, trap, or net – 2.4(d)
  • Specimen collection – 2.5
  • Backcountry use permit – 2.10
  • Camping in developed area campgrounds – 2.10
  • Audio disturbance – 2.12
  • Horse and Pack Animals – 2.16
  • Aircraft and air delivery – 2.17
  • Unattended property – 2.22
  • Fee waiver – 2.23
  • Noncommercial soliciting – 2.37
  • Explosives – 2.38
  • Special Events – 2.50
  • Public assemblies, meetings – 2.51
  • Sale or distribution of printed material – 2.52
  • Residing on Federal lands – 2.61
  • Memorialization – 2.62
  • Load, weight and size limits – 4.11
  • Business operations – 5.3
  • Commercial photography – 5.5
  • Commercial vehicles – 5.6
  • Construction of buildings or other facilities – 5.7

Permits will be specific in nature to the activity being permitted. In those cases where permitted use is frequent, a specific permit form has been designed, i.e. backcountry permit, entrance and campground fee permits and commercial filming permits. In most other cases, a special use permit or letter of authorization will be prepared which will articulate the specific conditions under which the permitted activity is authorized. In all cases, a permit or letter of authorization must be in the permittee’s possession at all times and must be presented to any authorized person upon request.

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2.1 Preservation of Natural, Cultural and Archeological Resources

(a)(4) Driftwood may be collected only in the following areas within the park for
possession and use as fuel for campfires:

  • Colorado and Green Rivers: water surfaces and river banks below high water lines.

(b) Leaving a trail or walkway to shortcut between portions of the same trail or walkway or to shortcut to an adjacent trail or walkway is prohibited.

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2.2 Wildlife Protection

(d) In the Needles District:
During time periods when the Cottonwood Road, which runs from SR 211 to Beef Basin/Elk Ridge, is closed due to impassable road conditions hunters may transport lawfully taken wildlife through the park area via the following route: the south boundary at Bobby’s Hole, direct to Elephant Hill, direct to the east entrance of the Needles District of the park. Hunters may also access the Beef Basin/Elk Ridge area via the Needles District entrance of the park, direct to Elephant Hill, direct to the south boundary. No deviation from the above noted routes may take place.

In the Maze District:
Hunters who legally take a game animal in Red Cove are permitted to pass through the Park by the shortest possible route to exit the Park. Likewise, hunters who legally take a game animal on the Millard Canyon Benches or in Millard Canyon are permitted to pass through the Park in lower Millard Canyon and through approximately five miles of park land on the north rim of Horse Canyon to exit the Park.

Wildlife being transported through the park must meet all State of Utah Big Game Proclamation requirements pertaining to tagging and transporting of big game. Hunters must possess only weapons that meet the definition of “unloaded” during cross-park transport (36 CFR 1.4 – “Bows, crossbows, spear guns or any implement capable of discharging a missile or similar device by means of a loading or discharging mechanism, when that loading or discharging mechanism is not charged or drawn.”). Firearms are exempt; state laws apply.

(e) All lands within the exterior boundaries of Canyonlands National Park including the detached Horseshoe Canyon are closed to viewing wildlife with an artificial light.

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2.4 Weapons, traps and nets

(d)(4) The Superintendent may issue a permit to carry or possess a weapon, trap or net within the Park in order to provide access to otherwise inaccessible lands or waters contiguous to the Park, when other means of access are impractical or impossible.

(h) Notwithstanding any other provision in this Chapter, a person may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national park area in 12 accordance with the laws of the state in which the national park area, or that portion thereof, is located, except as otherwise prohibited by applicable Federal law.

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2.10 Camping and Food Storage

(a) All overnight use within the boundaries of Canyonlands National Park requires either a backcountry use and/or a river use permit, or a front country campsite permit for the front country campsites at Squaw Flat, Willow Flat, Wooden Shoe and Split Top.

(b)(9) Conditions

Frontcountry Campgrounds

Camping in the designated frontcountry campgrounds within Canyonlands is permitted subject to the following requirements:

  • No person or party, or their equipment, shall occupy the campground for more than seven (7) nights (consecutively or non-consecutively) in any thirty (30) day period or for a total of fourteen (14) nights per year.
  • Sites may not be left unattended for more than 24 hours.
  • All motor vehicles, including motorcycles, and bicycles, must be parked on the paved or designated parking at each site, and must not extend into the roadway.
  • Occupancy is limited to ten (10) persons per site for the individual campsites.
  • The individual campsites in Loop A of Squaw Flat are available through a reservations system; campsites in Loop B will be operated on a first come-first served basis. Sites may not be held for parties arriving later.
  • It is prohibited for visitors to go through the campground soliciting that campers allow them to share sites.
  • Checkout time is 10 am.
  • The use of generators is restricted to the following hours: between 8 am and 10 am, and between 4 pm and 8 pm.
  • Quiet hours must be adhered to between 8 pm and 8 am. Quiet hours require that no unreasonable noise be created or sustained.
  • Open fires are allowed only in the fire grates provided. Barbecues, Hibachis, etc., are also allowed in campsites where fire grates are provided.
  • Camping fees are to be paid and deposited within thirty (30) minutes of occupying a site. Sites not paid for will be considered unoccupied and available for use.
  • Where provided, tent pads must be used for the placement of tents or sleeping pads. Where tent pads do not exist, tents must be placed no further than 25 feet from the designated fire grate

Group Campsites:

The following conditions apply to the group campsites designated below:

  • Group sites may be reserved for a maximum of seven (7) days per reservation.
  • Group sites may not be reserved more than twice in any calendar year by the same user group.
  • Group Site Capacities:
Group Site Vehicles People
Squaw Flat 10 50
Wooden Shoe 5 25
Split Top 3 15

Backcountry Vehicle Campsites

Camping at the following designated backcountry areas is restricted to the maximum capacities per site. Camping with vehicles is restricted to designated sites by backcountry permit only. Each site is identified by boundary posts defining the perimeters of the campsite area. Sleeping, cooking and social activities must take place within the boundaries of the four posts. Checkout time is 10 am.

Island in the Sky District Campsites
Area Site Name No. of Sites Capacity
(Vehicles)
Capacity
(People)
White Rim Taylor Canyon 1 3 15
Labyrinth 2 3 15
Hardscrabble 2 3 15
Potato Bottom 3 3 15
Candlestick 1 3 15
Murphy 3 3 15
White Crack 1 3 15
Gooseberry 2 3 15
Airport 4 3 15
Shafer Canyon Shafer 1 3 15
Needles District Campsites
Area Site Name No. of Sites Capacity
(Vehicles)
Capacity
(People)
Salt Creek Peekaboo 2 3 10
Elephant Hill Devils Kitchen 4 3 10
Bobby Jo 2 3 10
Horsehoof Arch 1 3 10
New Bates Wilson 1 3 10
Maze District Campsites
Area Site Name No. of Sites Capacity
(Vehicles)
Capacity
(People)
Maze Area Doll House 3 3 9
Chimney Rock 1 3 9
The Wall 1 3 9
Standing Rock 1 3 9
Maze Overlook 2 3 9
Golden Stairs ** 1 3 9
Teapot Canyon ** 1 3 9
Sunset Pass ** 1 3 9
Orange Cliffs Flint Seep ** 1 5 16
The Neck ** 1 3 9
Happy Canyon ** 1 3 9
High Spur North Point ** 1 3 9
Panorama Point ** 1 3 9
Cleopatra's Chair ** 1 3 9
High Spur ** 1 3 9
Millard Canyon 1 3 9
Ekker Butte ** 1 3 9

**Campsites in the Orange Cliffs Unit of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. All others are in Canyonlands National Park.

Groups larger than noted above must split up to meet the group size limits for the individual sites, and camp in different campsites. Groups thus split must independently meet all requirements for overnight groups: separate permits with different trip leader for each permit, portable toilet, separate kitchen set-ups and cooking facilities.

Campsite reservations may be limited to designated numbers of nights in order to allow maximum public access. When reservations are restricted during high use seasons, visitors may not extend their stays by remaining in the site under a different permit. Length of stay requirements applies to individuals, not just the permit holder.

Roadless Areas Camping

(where designated backcountry sites do not exist) must be as follows:

  • At least one mile from and out of sight of front country roads, four-wheel-drive roads, trailheads, and developed areas.
  • All river rules and regulation apply when camping within ½ mile or 1,000 vertical feet from the Green and Colorado rivers. This includes having an approved toilet system and hard-sided firepan.
  • 300 feet from water sources, including seeps, potholes, springs, and streams; the Green and Colorado rivers are exceptions.
  • 300 feet away from all prehistoric or historic cultural sites, including alcoves, rock art, surface scatters of lithic or ceramics, partial or complete structures or ruins.
  • On rock surfaces, previously disturbed areas, or surfaces without cryptobiotic soil crusts or vegetation.
  • Group size for overnight use in road-less areas shall not exceed seven (7) people in the Island in the Sky and Needles Districts, and five (5) people in the Maze District. When larger backpacking groups split up to meet the group camping size limits, each sub-group must be equipped as a self- sustaining group. Each division of a larger group must have the ability to treat their own water, cook their own food, and must camp at least one mile apart from other divisions of the group in at-large camping zones, or at different sites in the designated campsite zones.
  • Camping on the mesa top in the Island in the Sky District is restricted to zones open to camping as defined by the Canyonlands National Park Backcountry Management Plan.
  • In the Maze District, the top of Petes Mesa and areas below and visible from the Maze Overlook are closed to camping.

(d) In any paved campground or designated backcountry vehicle campsite, garbage must be disposed of in designated receptacles and may not be left in bags or other soft containers. Food must be stored in vehicles or hardened containers (with securing mechanisms in place) except when being prepared or consumed. Backpackers/cyclists/motorcyclists must store food and other scented items in such a way as to prevent access by wildlife.

In the Needles district, food and beverages, food and beverage containers, garbage, and all other scented items must be stored in park-approved hard sided animal-resistant food containers, capable of preventing access by wildlife, at least 100 feet from camp, in the following backcountry areas from March 15 through November 30. Animal resistant containers are recommended for all other dates and backcountry units not listed below.

  • Salt Creek designated campsites
  • Salt Creek/Horse Canyon zone
  • Peekaboo campsites

** Not Permitted: Soft Sided Ursacks Ursacks are not allowed for use in Canyonlands National Park as a hard sided animal- resistant food container replacement, even though some models were approved July 31, 2014 by the IGBC . There are not adequate resources to secure these containers from wildlife in the backcountry.

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2.11 Picnicking

Picnicking shall be allowed in all areas except:

  • Within Squaw Flat and Willow Flat Campgrounds and Group sites.
  • When the activity would interfere with normal agency functions or visitor use activities already in progress

Garbage must be disposed of in designated receptacles and may not be left in bags or other soft containers. Food must be stored in vehicles or hardened containers (with securing mechanisms in place) except when being prepared or consumed.

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2.13 Fires

Except during fire restrictions:

(a)(1) Open wood fires are allowed only in the provided fire rings located within the Squaw Flat and Willow Flat Campgrounds, and within the Wooden Shoe and Split Top group camp sites. Wood gathering is not allowed anywhere in the Park, except as provided for river permits in 36 CFR 2.1. (a)(4). Cooking with charcoal is allowed at designated backcountry vehicle campsites. All charcoal and ash must be contained in a rigid and durable, hard-sided fire pan or grill. Users must pack out fire pans or grills and all ash and charcoal.

Backcountry users, subject to the terms of the Backcountry Management Plan and a backcountry use permit, are not permitted to have fires in the River Corridor. Campfires by holders of river permits are subject to the terms of the River Management Plan, 36 CFR 2.1(a)(4), and a flatwater or Cataract river trip permit.

For campfires on the river, only driftwood may be collected for firewood. Fire debris must be contained in a hard-sided fire pan at all times. All fire debris and ash must be packed out of the backcountry.

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2.14 Sanitation and Refuse

(b) Solid human waste must be containerized and carried out of the Park by all boaters camping along the Colorado and Green Rivers. Toilet systems must either (1) be the washable, reusable type allowing for the sanitary transfer of waste materials to septic vaults or sewage treatment facilities, or (2) be of the type that uses dry chemicals/enzymes to render solid human waste into nonhazardous products acceptable for disposal in permitted landfills. Human waste containerized in this manner must be stored in hard sided or sealed dry bags that are ruggedized and durable.

Solid human waste must be carried out of the backcountry by campers at all designated backpacking campsites in The Needles district. Toilet systems must be of the type that treats solid waste with dry chemicals/enzymes and is EPA approved for disposal in landfills.

In non-developed areas, toilet paper must be carried out. Burning toilet paper is prohibited.

Toilets are not provided in the Maze District vehicle campsites, nor at the New Bates Wilson backcountry vehicle site and Peekaboo sites in the Needles District. Campers at these sites are required to carry out solid human waste in a portable toilet system. Toilet systems must either (1) be the washable, reusable type allowing for the sanitary transfer of waste materials to septic vaults or sewage treatment facilities or (2) be of the type that uses dry chemicals/enzymes to render solid human waste into nonhazardous products acceptable for disposal in permitted landfills. Bagging and then disposing of untreated human waste in landfills is not acceptable.

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2.15 Pets

(a)(1) Pets are prohibited in any backcountry area, including vehicles on designated backcountry roads, on any hiking trails, at any overlook, or any sidewalk or pathway leading to an overlook as defined on the Canyonlands brochure, or any river trip within the Park, or in the Horseshoe Canyon unit of the Park. The following exceptions apply:

  • Pets may be possessed by motorists traversing the park in a single day via the Potash-Shafer Canyon-Island in the Sky road. Pets must be on a leash at all times when not in the vehicle, and must remain on the designated road surface only. Any pet fecal material deposited on the ground must be collected and removed from the park.
  • During winter and spring periods when the road to Beef Basin via Cathedral Butte is closed by snow/mud, persons with pets are allowed to transit the Needles District via the park’s designated Transit Route (Elephant Hill-Devil’s LaneBobby’s Hole). Pets must be on a leash at all times when not in the vehicle, and must remain on the designated road surface only. Any pet fecal material deposited on the ground must be collected and removed from the park.
  • Service dogs that are trained to perform a specific task to support a person with a disability are allowed. Therapy dogs, companion dogs, comfort dogs, and the like, are not Service dogs. Owners of service dogs must comply with pet waste and restraint regulations, unless restraint specifically interferes with the task the dog is trained to perform.
  • Pets may not be led by leash from a bicycle or vehicle within Canyonlands National Park

(a)(3) Leaving a pet unattended is prohibited, except by vehicle operators in the following circumstances:

  • Pet is secured at a location where it will not interfere with wildlife or normal travel by other visitors, and
  • Pet does not bark excessively or exhibit aggressive behavior, and
  • Temperatures or conditions do not pose the risk of endangering the pet’s health, and
  • The pet is not being left unattended overnight, and
  • The pet is secured such that no resource damage occurs.

(a)(5) Pet excrement must be immediately collected by the pet handler and disposed of in the nearest trash receptacle.

(e) Pets kept by park residents will be maintained consistent with the provisions of this section and in accordance with provisions established by the Superintendent’s Housing Directive. The Directive is hereby adopted and made part of these orders.

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2.16 Horses and Pack Animals

(a) Animals designated as pack animals shall be limited to the following:

  • Horses
  • Burros
  • Mules

(b) Horse or pack animal use is allowed in the following designated areas only:

  • All designated four-wheel drive roads.
  • Maze District: Horseshoe Canyon Unit - Day Use Only
  • Needles District: the Salt Creek Trail from Peekaboo to Angel Arch.

(g) The following conditions are established for use of horses or pack animals:

  • All pack and saddle stock users must obtain a Backcountry Use Permit, either for day-use or camping. Day-use permits are unlimited and free of charge, except in Salt Creek, Horse Canyon and Lavender Canyon in the Needles District. For these areas, and for all overnight stays in the backcountry, permits are available through the Backcountry Reservation Office, and there is a required fee.
  • Group size for day-use is ten (10) people and ten (10) animals, except in Salt Creek, Horse Canyon, and Lavender Canyon in the Needles District, where use is limited to seven (7) animals per day.
  • Group size for overnight use is seven (7) people and ten (10) animals in the Needles and Island in the Sky Districts, and five (5) people and eight (8) animals in the Maze District.
  • Day-use of pack and saddle stock is allowed on all backcountry roads.
  • Overnight use by pack and saddle stock is allowed at all backcountry vehicle campsites. All parties are required to scatter manure upon vacating a campsite. Animals that remain "camped" in an area longer than twelve (12) hours should be rotated to a new picket site and any manure at the old site scattered no less than one-hundred (100) feet from any campsite or water source.
  • Pack and saddle stock may not be left unattended. They must be staked away from water sources (at least 300 feet) and away from vegetation where possible, and may not be un-staked and hobbled. Animals may be tethered to the horse or stock trailer, in the parking areas of designated campsites.
  • All pack and saddle animals must be fed certified week-free pellets or forage – hay, straw, and mulch - for 48 hours in advance of a trip. Proof of certification tags required. Forage may not be taken beyond trailheads. Use pelletized fee, hay cubes, and grain products in the backcountry. Feed may not be left on the ground; a feedbag, tarp, or similar must be used. All unused food will be packed out. Grazing, or loose herding of pack and saddle stock is not allowed in the park; grazing of park vegetation is not permitted.
  • At-large camping with stock is not permitted.
  • Cross country travel is not permitted.
  • Where possible, horses will be watered downstream from the source. Manure must be removed immediately if dropped in or near any spring or non-flowing water source. If not dropped in these areas, manure will be scattered and covered with mineral soil. Soil containing plants matter or cryptobiotic crust will not be used to cover manure.
  • Grazing, or loose herding of pack and saddle stock is not allowed in the park; grazing of park vegetation is not permitted. All pack and saddle animals must be fed certified week-free pellets or forage – hay, straw, and mulch - for 48 hours in advance of a trip. Proof of certification tags required. Forage may not be taken beyond trailheads. Use only pelletized fee, hay cubes, and grain products in the backcountry. Feed may not be left on the ground; a feedbag, tarp, or similar must be used. All unused food will be packed out.
  • All parties are required to scatter manure upon vacating a campsite. Animals that remain "camped" in an area longer than twelve (12) hours should be rotated to a new picket site and any manure at the old site scattered no less than one-hundred (100) feet from any campsite or water source.
  • At trailheads and other loading areas, any manure spilled from the trailering unit, fresh excrement, or feed MUST be picked up prior to departing.
  • Pack and saddle stock may not be ridden or kept overnight in any established roadside campground.
  • Any commercially guided horse or pack stock trip must be provided by an outfitter authorized to operate under the commercial use procedures within Canyonlands National Park.

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2.21 Smoking

(a) Smoking and the use of electronic smoking devices is prohibited in all public use and administrative buildings and facilities, and in all government-owned or leased vehicles.

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2.22 Property

(a)(2) Park visitors may leave their vehicles unattended in excess of 24 hours for the period of time specified on their backcountry camping permit.

Caching water and food supplies for extended backcountry trips will be allowed with prior approval of the District Ranger. Visitors wishing to cache supplies should submit a request with their request for a backcountry permit.

Traditional Geocaches are prohibited. Geocaching is defined as the placement of a cache within the park boundaries and distributing the coordinates, or other clues to the coordinates, for the purpose of locating the cache at a later date.

Virtual caches or waymarks are permitted in areas open to the public.

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2.23 Recreation Fees

(b) The following areas within Canyonlands National Park are designated recreation fee areas:

  • Needles District
  • Island in the Sky District

Frontcountry group and individual campsites are designated fee sites.

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2.35 Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances

(a)(3)(i) All public use buildings of the park are closed to the consumption of alcoholic beverages except during officially sanctioned activities when the building is closed to the general public.

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2.51 Public assemblies, meetings

Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades and other public expressions of views:

Note: Gathering for the purpose of expressing views and making statements such as is protected under the First Amendment does not require a permit as long as the activity takes place in one of the designated "First Amendment" areas indicated in this document and the involved group is less than 25 people. Groups larger than 25 people need a permit. Printed matter, used as part of a "First Amendment" activity may be allowed in the "First Amendment" area without a permit for groups with less than 25 people.

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2.62 Memorialization

All undeveloped areas are open to the scattering of human ashes from cremation, pursuant to conditions of a special use permit issued by the Superintendent, with the exception of archeological sites and standing pools of water.

Human ashes may not be scattered in any standing pools of water, potholes, or side streams and creeks. Human ashes may be scattered in the main stem of the Green and/or Colorado rivers

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4.11 Load Weight and Size Limits

(b)(1) Vehicles (or a combination of vehicles and trailers) which exceed 21 feet in overall length are prohibited from traveling on the Elephant Hill Access Road and the Elephant Hill Road system in The Needles district, and the Teapot Rock 4WD road north of the Teapot Rock Campsite in The Maze district.

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4.21 Speed Limits

(b) The speed limit on backcountry roads within the park is 15 miles per hour unless otherwise posted.
Speed limits on paved roads within the park are as posted.

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4.30 Bicycles

(c) The use of bicycles is permitted on all public roadways within the Park. The possession of a bicycle off a public roadway is prohibited.

(d)(3) Bicycles are prohibited from operating abreast of another bicycle on all roadways within the Park.

(a)(1)(vii) Any use of an electric (‘e-bike’) or gas/alternative-fuel powered bicycle that provides an assist to the operator is prohibited.

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Appendices

 
a satellite image of a building with a green outline at the end of the parking lot.

First Amendment Area: Island in the Sky

The First Amendment area is located in the northwest corner of the Island in the Sky Visitor Center parking lot. View a larger version of this image.

 
a satellite image of a building with a green outlined area next to it

First Amendment Area: The Needles

The First Amendment area is located at the northwest corner of the Needles Visitor Center patio. View a larger version of this image.

 
an aerial image of a building with an area marked in green

First Amendment Area: The Maze (Hans Flat)

The First Amendment area is located at the northwest corner of Hans Flat Ranger Station's parking area. View a larger version of this image.

 
a map of canyonlands national park

Park Map

To view the roads of Canyonlands National Park, visit the Maps page, click "Park Tiles" in the upper left corner of the map viewer, then select "Brochure Map." Maps page

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Area Protection - Wildlife

April 12, 2019 – Prepared by Matthew Van Scoyoc, Ecologist

Wildlife Closures

  • Except for Administrative Activities, the areas identified in Appendix [X], titled: Climbing Area Closures for Wildlife Protection, are closed to all visitor use. These closures will remain in effect through the end of the termination date specified in the table, or until surveys determine the associated habitats to be unoccupied by nesting raptors and/or lambing desert bighorn sheep.
  • Lower Big Spring and Lower Little Spring Canyon, Lower Salt Creek (below the Lower Jump), and Lower Elephant Canyon are closed to all human entry from March 15 to September 1 for the protection of desert bighorn sheep.
  • Cataract Canyon from lower Red Lake Canyon to the mouth of Y and Cross Canyons is restricted to day use only from December 1 to February 28 for the protection of Bald Eagles.

Climbing Area Closures for Wildlife Protection

Closures to climbing routes will remain in effect through the end of the termination date specified below, or until surveys determine the associated habitat to be unoccupied by nesting raptors and/or lambing desert bighorn sheep.

Park Area Feature Name Route Name(s) Effective Date Termination Date
Monument Basin Monument Basin Century Crack Mar 1 Aug 31
NW Boundary Horsethief Point Charlie Horse Needle Mar 15 Aug 15
Shafer Canyon Witness the Wilderness Mar 1 Aug 31
Taylor Canyon Moses and Zeus Moses and Zeus Mar 15 Aug 31
White Rim Airport Tower Airport Tower Mar 15 Aug 31
White Rim Little Bridge Canyon Rim Necronomicon (Book of the Dead) Mar 1 Aug 31
White Rim Little Bridge Canyon Rim Army of Darkness Mar 1 Aug 31
White Rim Gray's Pasture Pt. Chip and Dale Towers Mar 1 Aug 31
White Rim Candlestick Tower Candlestick Tower Mar 1 Aug 31
White Rim Washer Woman Washer Woman Mar 15 Aug 31
White Rim Washer Woman Monster Tower Mar 15 Aug 31

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Last updated: October 17, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

2282 Resource Blvd.
Moab, UT 84532

Phone:

435-719-2313

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