Canyonlands Planning Guide

Welcome to Canyonlands National Park!

A trip to Canyonlands can be unforgettable. Plan ahead to make the most of your visit by using this digital trip planning guide.


One Park, Four Districts, Endless Possibilities

Canyonlands National Park preserves 337,598 acres of colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires in the heart of southeast Utah's high desert. Water and gravity have been the prime architects of this land, sculpting layers of rock into the rugged landscape you see today.

Canyonlands preserves the natural beauty and human history throughout its four districts, which are divided by the Green and Colorado rivers. While the districts share a primitive desert atmosphere, each retains its own character and offers different opportunities for exploration and adventure.

Though they appear close on a map, there are no roads that directly link the districts. Traveling between them requires two to six hours by car as there are few places to cross the rivers. Get directions. Most people find it impractical to visit more than one area in a single trip. Use the maps and links below to get some ideas on places to go.

a hiker stands on a rocky surface with a view of distant rock pinnacles
Places to Go

Learn about the four districts of Canyonlands National Park and the things to do in each.

Overlooking Mesa Arch crowds
Plan Like a Park Ranger - Top 10 Tips

Get Rangers' Top 10 Tips for your next trip


A visitor drinks water on a hot day
Plan on drinking at least 1 gallon (4 L) of water per day.

NPS/Veronica Verdin

Safety is Your Responsibility

  • Drink water. It is easy to become dehydrated here, even in cold temperatures. Plan on drinking at least 1 gallon (4 L) of water per day.

  • Do not rely on cell service at Canyonlands. Emergency? Call 911.

  • Find your way. Cairns (small rock piles) mark routes. Don’t build your own; they could mislead other hikers. If you get lost, stay where you are, and wait for rescue.

  • Stay on trails to protect fragile living soil crusts and plant and animal habitat, and to reduce your risk of getting lost.

  • The sun is intense, and shade is rare. Avoid exertion during peak heat (>90°F /32°C). Protect yourself with sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.

  • Drones and ATVs are prohibited. You are responsible for knowing rules and regulations before you arrive.



  • Two hikers read a trailhead sign before beginning their hike

    Hundreds of miles of hiking trails explore natural and cultural features.

  • a close up a person's legs and hiking boots on a trail
    Explore the Backcountry

    You can explore Canyonlands on foot, horseback, mountain bike, and four-wheel drive. Many of these activities require a permit.

  • an orange Jeep driving over a steep, rocky surface

    There are hundreds of miles four-wheel-drive roads in the park. You may need a permit on some of these roads.

  • A ranger looks through a telescope at dusk

    Canyonlands is an International Dark Sky Park, making it an excellent place to gaze at the stars above!

  • A Junior Ranger waits for his booklet to be looked over by a ranger
    Become a Junior Ranger

    Pickup your free junior ranger booklets at a park visitor center or download and complete activities online.

  • A Ranger talks to a Junior Ranger
    Attend a Ranger-led Program

    Learn more about the natural and cultural resources at Canyonlands National Park. Join a ranger for a talk, hike, or evening program.



  • Two tents illuminated under the night sky
    Backcountry Camping

    Plan your next backcountry trip! Learn about Leave No Trace principles, safety, regulations, and getting a permit.

  • a shade structure, picnic table, and two tents
    Camping at Island in the Sky

    The Island in the Sky campground is open year-round. Learn more about sites and facilities.

  • a man sets up a tent on a shady tent pad
    Camping at The Needles

    The Needles campground is open year-round. Learn more about sites, reservations, and facilities.


Learn More About the Park

  • a row of white dots and shapes painted on a rock wall
    History and Culture

    Discover the stories of generations that have called Canyonlands home, and the special places they left behind.

  • a tall sandstone tower with crumbled slopes beneath

    Explore the geological features and formations found at Canyonlands.

  • a yellowish lizard with a long tail basks on a rock surface

    Learn about the park's plant and animal life, geology, ecosystems, and other natural features.


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Last updated: March 8, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

2282 Resource Blvd.
Moab, UT 84532



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