Park Regulations

These are a few basic regulations that apply throughout the park. Additional regulations apply for trips into the backcountry, river, or with horses & pack animals. More regulations, such as the Superintendent's Compendium, can be found on the Laws & Policies page.

Artificial Light Sources
Night photography is a great way to enjoy the park, but please note that using artificial light sources to light up landscapes, rock formations, or other park features is prohibited. Artificial light sources may be used for personal route-finding or minimum impact camping only. Learn more about stargazing and preserving the night sky.

Wood fires are allowed at Island in the Sky Campground (Willow Flat), at The Needles Campground, and along the rivers. They are prohibited elsewhere in the backcountry. Wood may not be gathered in the park except along the river corridors where driftwood and dead-and-down tamarisk may be burned. River trips must use a fire pan and remove all fire debris from the backcountry.

Cultural Resources
Disturbing, entering or camping within 300 feet of an archeological or historical site is prohibited. Collecting artifacts is prohibited. Learn how to be a good visitor at archeological sites.

Using firearms is prohibited in the park. However, people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in this park. Federal law also prohibits firearms in federal facilities. It is your responsibility to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park. Read more about firearms regulations in national parks.

Hunting & Fishing
Hunting is prohibited in Canyonlands. The discharging of firearms is prohibited. Fishing is allowed. Visitors who fish in the park must have a valid Utah State Fishing License and must comply with Utah State Fishing Regulations.

Motor Vehicles
All vehicles must remain on designated roads and be operated by a licensed driver.

Motorcycles are only allowed on park roads and must be equipped and licensed for interstate travel in the state of Utah. This means they must not only be licensed with a visible plate, but they must have a headlight (low & high beam), horn, tail/brake light, at least one side mirror and tires must meet Department of Transportation (DOT) specifications for street use. The driver must have a valid state license with a motorcycle endorsement.

Natural Resources
Disturbing or collecting natural features (plants, rocks, etc.) is prohibited.

Off-Highway Vehicles
The use of off-highway vehicles (ATVs, OHVs, UTVs, etc.) is not permitted in the park. Superintendent's determination

There are many roads and trails for these types of vehicles located on public land administered by other agencies. Find a list of maps on this San Juan County webpage.

Permits are required for all overnight trips in the backcountry. Permits are also required for day use on the White Rim, Elephant Hill, Lavender Canyon, and Salt Creek / Horse Canyon roads. Read more about permits.

Personal Water Craft
Personal water craft (e.g. Jet Skis) are not permitted on the rivers in Canyonlands.

Activities with pets are very limited in the park. Pets may accompany visitors in the developed campgrounds and on paved scenic drives, but must be leashed at all times when outside a vehicle. Pets are not allowed on any hiking trails, at overlooks, or in the backcountry, even on a boat or in a vehicle.Read more about pets at Canyonlands

Portable Toilets
Canyonlands requires all river runners to carry out their solid human waste. This is also required of visitors camping in the Maze District campsites, at the New Bates Wilson and Peekaboo 4WD campsites, and all designated backpacking campsites in the Needles and Island in the Sky. The park requires the use of washable, reusable toilet systems or the type of system that uses dry chemicals and enzymes to render solid human waste into nonhazardous products acceptable for disposal in permitted landfills. Toilet systems must be designed to contain human waste in such a fashion as to provide for secure containment and adequate storage.

Rock Scratches = Graffiti
Even though graffiti is prohibited by law, rangers and volunteer groups spend hundreds of hours every year removing it in Canyonlands. Please join us in protecting the park by not leaving your mark. If you discover graffiti in the park, please let a ranger know. Otherwise, make memories, take pictures, but leave no visible trace of your visit.

Unmanned Aircraft (Drones)
The use of unmanned aircraft is prohibited to protect public safety, minimize visitor-use conflicts, and prevent unacceptable impacts to scenic values, natural soundscapes, and wildlife. Superintendent's determination on unmanned aircraft

Walking on Arches
To promote visitor safety and provide the opportunity to view natural features undisturbed, climbing, scrambling, walking on or rappelling off any named and unnamed arch with an opening greater than three feet is prohibited in the park. Superintendent's Determination

Last updated: November 13, 2023

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