Road Conditions

Contact district visitor centers for current conditions before beginning any backcountry trip.

You may need a permit to drive on some park roads.

Rain and snow can quickly change unpaved roads to four-wheel-drive condition or make them impassable. Weather

 

Backcountry Travel Advisory

Backcountry driving conditions can change rapidly after rain or snow. Most backcountry roads in Canyonlands require high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicles with a low range gear (4LO).

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.

 

Choose a District Navigation

 

Island in the Sky

Updated January 16th, 2022

  • Scenic Drive: open, expect winter conditions
  • Shafer Trail: closed due to hazardous ice and snow conditions. There is currently no anticipated date of reopening. Potash Road is recommended as an alternative.
  • Potash Road: open, expect winter conditions. Some sections rough and heavily eroded. High-clearance, low-range 4WD recommended after recent storm damage.
  • Mineral Bottom: open, expect winter conditions. Some rough sections and minor wash outs from recent storms.Chains recommended.
  • White Rim Road 4WD: open, expect winter conditions - snow and ice can create hazardous driving conditions on some terrain. Ice may remain in shaded sections long after it has snowed. Anticipate some rough sections, washouts, and areas of rockfall that must be negotiated after summer storms. Murphy Hogback and Hardscrabble Hill are currently not recommended for 4WD vans and similar vehicles due to erosion impact. Taylor Canyon is in rough condition with sections of sand and steep cut banks that must be negotiated- please give yourself ample time to navigate any obstacles that may present themselves. A recent rockslide on the Lathrop Road to the Lathrop Day Use Area has made this road difficult - the Lathrop Road is currently NOT recommended for stock 4WD vehicles or inexperienced drivers. Please contact canyres@nps.gov for photos.

Even when rated as "passable," four-wheel-drive roads are challenging. High-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicles with a low range gear (4LO) are required on the White Rim Road. Other vehicles (e.g., all-wheel-drive vehicles, and low-clearance or high-clearance two-wheel-drive vehicles) have difficulty negotiating the rough slickrock, loose rocks, deep sand, and steep switchbacks and are not permitted upon the White Rim Road. Permits are required on the White Rim Road.

Carry extra fuel and be prepared to self-rescue. During winter, all vehicles should carry chains.

 

The Needles

Updated January 16th, 2022

  • Scenic Drive: open
  • Elephant Hill Access Road: open
  • Elephant Hill 4WD Road: open, expect some patchy snow and mud in shaded locations.
  • Colorado River Overlook 4WD Road: open, expect some patchy snow and mud in shaded locations.
  • Lavender Canyon 4WD Road: open, expect winter conditions.
  • Horse Canyon 4WD Road: currently impassable to all vehicles due to extensive flash flood damage. There is no current date of reopening.
  • Peekaboo 4WD Road: currently impassable to all vehicles due to extensive flash flood damage. There is no current date of reopening.

Even when rated as "passable," four-wheel-drive roads in The Needles are challenging. High-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicles with a low range gear (4LO) are required on these roads. Other vehicles (e.g., all-wheel-drive vehicles, and low-clearance or high-clearance two-wheel-drive vehicles) cannot navigate the rough slickrock, loose rocks, steep ledges, deep sand, and steep switchbacks. Depending on the season, you can expect ice, up to two feet of water, quicksand, vegetation or rock outcrops that could scratch a vehicle, or debris that you must negotiate 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 do not winch vehicles out. Do not attempt any roads if there is a forecast for heavy rains, which lead to flash flooding. Never cross flooded roads.

You must have a permit on some Needles roads.

 

The Maze

Updated January 16th, 2022

  • Highway 24 to Hans Flat: open, expect winter conditions. Snow likely from Twin Corral to Hans Flat. High-clearance AWD/4WD strongly recommened.
  • Highway 24 to Horseshoe Canyon: open, recently graded. Some snow on road. High-clearance AWD/4WD recommended.
  • Green River to Hans Flat or Horseshoe Canyon: open, heavily degraded; heavy washboards, deep sand, and washouts have created substantial cutbanks and difficult driving conditions. Expect winter condtions. High-clearance 4WD advised. Hwy 24 to Hans Flat/Horseshoe Canyon is recommended as an alternative.
  • Hans Flat to top of Flint Trail 4WD Road: open, high clearance essential due to winter conditions and rocky sections; 4WD/AWD recommended
  • Flint Trail 4WD Road: currently impassable due to extreme winter conditions. Rock fall is likely to occur.

Maze roads are challenging and visitors must be prepared with the proper equipment to facilitate self-rescue. Visitors should carry extra supplies in case it takes a day or two for the road to dry out. Cell phone communication is not reliable. Park rangers do not winch vehicles out. Commercial towing fees below the Flint Trail start at over $2,000. Roads rated 4WD must have 4WD with a low range gear (4LO) and high clearance. Other vehicles (e.g., all-wheel-drive vehicles, and low-clearance or high-clearance two-wheel-drive vehicles) cannot navigate the rough slickrock, steep ledges, loose rocks, deep sand, and steep switchbacks.

Last updated: January 16, 2022

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

2282 Resource Blvd.
Moab , UT 84532

Phone:

435-719-2313

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