Visiting in Winter

clifftops and pinnacles dusted with snow

NPS/Neal Herbert

 

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Winter is a quiet time at Canyonlands. You can avoid crowds and the heat of summer, but visitor services are reduced. You will need to be more self-reliant when visiting Canyonlands in winter. Read more about what to expect in each park district for your winter visit.


 
A road closed sign with snow in the background
After snow, we may close park roads temporarily to allow crews to plow.

NPS/Neal Herbert

Winter at Island in the Sky

Visitor Center

The visitor center will be closed Wednesdays and Thursdays from January to early March. In case of emergencies, use the pay phone outside the visitor center. Rangers are on duty in the area.

Water

Water may be available at Island in the Sky Visitor Center only from 9 am to 4 pm, and there is no water in the campground.

Goods and Services

There is no gas, food, or lodging at Island in the Sky. There are toilets at the visitor center and at various overlooks. Read more about Goods and Services.

Trail Conditions

Sandstone covered with snow and ice is treacherous, and snow can quickly cover cairns, making trails difficult to follow. Snow and ice may remain in shady spots. We recommend instep crampons or other traction aids.

Road Conditions

Paved roads may close temporarily after snow while crews plow. Unpaved backcountry roads may be impassible for longer periods of time. More about road conditions.

What about roads outside the park?
Check the Utah Road Weather Forecast or call 1-866-511-UTAH (8824) for conditions outside the park.

Camping

The campground at Willow Flat is open, first-come, first-served, during the winter.

Backcountry Permits

Even if the visitor center is closed, you must have a backcountry permit for all overnight travel in the backcountry, and for day-use trips on the White Rim Road.

When the visitor center is closed, you must reserve your permit online two days or more before your trip. You can also get a permit at the Backcountry Reservation Office in Moab.

Weather

Winters are cold, with highs averaging 30 to 50 F (-1 to 10 C), and lows averaging 0 to 20 F (-17 to -6 C). Though large snowfalls are uncommon (except in nearby mountains), even small amounts of snow or ice can make local trails and roads impassable.

Get a seven-day forecast for Canyonlands.

 
a view of a cliff top with canyons and a distant mountain range

Webcam

Check out conditions on the ground with the Island in the Sky webcam. This webcam is maintained offsite by the US Geological Survey as part of a dust monitoring project.

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snow-covered plants with a visitor center building in the background
Park visitor centers close for part of the winter.

NPS/Alicia LaFever

Winter at The Needles

Visitor Center

The Needles Visitor Center is closed from late November to early March. In case of emergencies, use the pay phone outside the visitor center. Rangers are on duty in the area.

Water

You can get water only at The Needles Visitor Center. There is no water at the campground. We recommend that you bring all the water you will need for your visit.

Goods and Services

There is no gas, food, or lodging at The Needles. There are toilets at the visitor center, campground, and Elephant Hill trailhead parking area. Read more about Goods and Services.

Trail Conditions

Sandstone covered with snow and ice is treacherous, and snow can quickly cover cairns, making trails difficult to follow. Snow and ice may remain in shady spots. We recommend instep crampons or other traction aids.

Road Conditions

Paved roads may close temporarily after snow while crews plow. Unpaved backcountry roads may be impassible for longer periods of time. More about road conditions.

What about roads outside the park?
Check the Utah Road Weather Forecast or call 1-866-511-UTAH (8824) for conditions outside the park.

Camping

The campground is open, first-come, first-served, during the winter.

Backcountry Permits

Even if the visitor center is closed, you must have a backcountry permit for all overnight travel in the backcountry, and for day-use trips on Elephant Hill Road. When the visitor center is closed, you can only get these permits at the self-issue permit station outside The Needles Visitor Center. Contact the Backcountry Reservation Office for backcountry permits for Peekaboo campsites and day-use trips on Lavender Canyon and Peekaboo/Horse Canyon roads. These roads are often impassable in winter.

Weather

Winters are cold, with highs averaging 30 to 50 F (-1 to 10 C), and lows averaging 0 to 20 F (-17 to -6 C). Though large snowfalls are uncommon (except in nearby mountains), even small amounts of snow or ice can make local trails and roads impassable.

Get a seven-day forecast for Canyonlands.

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Winter at The Maze

Ranger Station

Hans Flat Ranger Station open daily 8 am - 4:30 pm.

Water

There is no water in The Maze. You should bring all the water you will need for your visit.

Goods and Services

There is no gas, food, or lodging at The Maze. Read more about Goods and Services.

Trail Conditions

Sandstone covered with snow and ice is treacherous, and snow can quickly cover cairns, making trails difficult to follow. Snow and ice may remain in shady spots. We recommend instep crampons or other traction aids.

Road Conditions

Roads at The Maze may be impassible after snow for long periods of time. More about road conditions.

What about roads outside the park?
Check the Utah Road Weather Forecast or call 1-866-511-UTAH (8824) for conditions outside the park.

Backcountry Permits

You must have a permit for all overnight travel in the backcountry.

Weather

Winters are cold, with highs averaging 30 to 50 F (-1 to 10 C), and lows averaging 0 to 20 F (-17 to -6 C). Though large snowfalls are uncommon (except in nearby mountains), even small amounts of snow or ice can make local trails and roads impassable.

Get a seven-day forecast for Canyonlands.

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Last updated: November 20, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

2282 Resource Blvd.
Moab, UT 84532

Phone:

435-719-2313

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