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 June 26, 2022

  • Scenic Drive: open.
  • Shafer Trail: open, normal 4WD conditions
  • Potash Road: open. Some sections rough and heavily eroded. High-clearance 4WD recommended
  • Mineral Bottom: open, dry with some dust. AWD/4WD recommended
  • White Rim Road 4WD: open, expect standard 4WD conditions. Murphy Hogback and Hardscrabble Hill may be difficult for vans or taller vehicles (9' 5"-10') to navigate due to recent washouts and minimal clearance under overhangs. Taylor Canyon is passable with rough sections and sandy throughout with deep ruts from recent storms.

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 June 26, 2022

  • Scenic Drive: open.
  • Elephant Hill Access Road: open.
  • Elephant Hill 4WD Road: open. Standard 4WD driving conditions.
  • Colorado River Overlook 4WD Road: open. Standard 4WD driving condtiions.
  • Lavender Canyon 4WD Road: open. Expect deep sand in areas.
  • Horse Canyon 4WD Road: open. Expect deep sand in areas.
  • Peekaboo 4WD Road: currently impassable; only foot traffic is permitted.

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 June 26, 2022
Please advise visitors travelling to Horseshoe Canyon or Hans Flat to use the road from Green River, which is still passable to 2WD (high-clearance recommended).

  • Highway 24 to Hans Flat: open, passable to high-clearance 2WD vehicles. Sand dunes possible after high wind events. High-clearance AWD/4WD advised.
  • Highway 24 to Horseshoe Canyon: open, deep sand dunes migrating onto road. Washboarding and some potholes present. High-clearance AWD/4WD recommended.
  • Green River to Hans Flat or Horseshoe Canyon: open, passable to 2WD vehicles but is heavily washboarded and requires high-clearance. Sand dunes possible after high wind events. High-clearance AWD/4WD advised.
  • Hans Flat to top of Flint Trail 4WD Road: open, expect some rough sections; 4WD/AWD recommended
  • Flint Trail 4WD Road: open, rough, recently worked on by road crews. Accessible by most stock 4WD vehicles.

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: June 26, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

2282 Resource Blvd.
Moab , UT 84532

Phone:

435-719-2313

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