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.

 
 

Island in the Sky

Updated April 15, 2024

  • Scenic Drive: Open.
  • Shafer Trail: Open. AWD recommended. Use caution.
  • Potash Road: Open. High-clearance AWD/4WD recommended. Some washouts before park boundary. Expect rough conditions and mud after precipitation.
  • Mineral Bottom: Open. 4WD recommended.
  • White Rim Road 4WD: Open. High clearance 4WD required. Hardscrabble Hill is sandy with loose rocks on southern side. Driving after dark is dangerous so give yourself ample time to negotiate this difficult terrain.
  • Taylor Canyon 4WD Road: Open. High clearance 4WD required. Some sandy areas when crossing in and out of wash.
  • Lathrop 4WD Road: Open. Accessible with deep sand in places. High clearance 4WD required.
  • Long Canyon 4WD Road: Open.

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. Vehicles higher than 9' 6" not recommended in order to clear overhangs. 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 April 15, 2024
Trailers are not advised.

Front Country:

  • UT-211/191 to Dugout: Open.
  • UT-211 from Dugout to Park Boundary: Open. Passable in 2WD/AWD. Expect slippery conditions after precipitation and freezing temperatures.
  • Main Park Road (including campground loops): Open. Passable in 2WD/AWD.
  • Elephant Hill Access Road: Open.

Backcountry:

  • Beef Basin Road/Bridger Jack Road/CR-107: Open. High clearance AWD/4WD recommended to reach Cathedral Butte Trailhead. Road to south boundary currently impassable at higher elevations.
  • Colorado River Overlook Road: Open.
  • Elephant Hill 4WD: Open.
  • Salt Creek / Horse Canyon: Open. Standing water in spots along roadway.
  • Peekaboo Road: Impassable due to water, quicksand, and dense vegetation across the roadway.
  • Lavender Canyon: Open. 4WD required after park boundary gate.

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 April 12, 2024

  • Highway 24 to Hans Flat: High clearance AWD/4WD recommended due to sand ridges. Low clearance vehicles not recommended.
  • Highway 24 to Horseshoe Canyon: High clearance AWD/4WD recommended due to sand ridges. Low clearance vehicles not recommended.
  • Green River to Hans Flat or Horseshoe Canyon: High clearance AWD/4WD recommended due to sandy stretches and rocky outcrops. Highway 24 is a faster route.
  • Hans Flat to top of Flint Trail 4WD Road: High clearance AWD/4WD required.
  • Flint Trail 4WD Road: High clearance 4WD required.
  • Poison Spring 4WD Road: High clearance 4WD required. Dirty Devil River not advised when at 100+ CFS. Stock vehicles may encounter difficulty at washouts.
  • Hite to Waterhole Flat: High clearance 2WD/AWD. No services available at Hite.

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: April 15, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

2282 Resource Blvd.
Moab, UT 84532

Phone:

435-719-2313

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