4 Unique Districts

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands is home to some of the most remote land in the country!

3,900 to 7,180 Feet
Canyonlands National Park, just southwest of Moab, Utah, is a stunningly beautiful park located in southeastern Utah. It's well known for its vast, rugged landscape and stunning rock formations. The park offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the United States and provides visitors with an opportunity to explore an almost infinite variety of landscapes ranging from desert canyons and mesas to lush forests and alpine lakes.

The park is divided into four districts: Island in the Sky, The Maze, The Needles and The Rivers. Each of these distinct regions offers a unique experience that can only be found within Canyonlands National Park. Visitors will find plenty of activities to do in each district such as hiking, camping, biking, horseback riding, rafting and kayaking.

Island in the Sky district is closest to Moab, Utah and provides visitors with amazing views of the surrounding area from its mesa top. Here you can find the famous Mesa Arch which allows for stunning photographic opportunities. Other popular attractions in this region include Upheaval Dome and Green River Overlook.

The Maze district is the most remote area of the park and offers visitors a wilderness-like experience with few roads and no services. Hiking, backpacking and camping are popular activities here as there are many miles of trails to explore.

The Needles district features dramatic sandstone spires and colorful rock formations that create stunning views for visitors. Here you can find popular trails such as Chesler Park Loop, Joint Trail and Cave Spring Trail.

The Rivers district provides opportunities to explore the Colorado River and its tributaries by raft or kayak. There are also a variety of hiking trails ranging from easy to strenuous that traverse this area.

The Districts

ISLAND IN THE SKY is home to a great big mesa with spectacular panoramic views. It is not far from Moab Utah and is said to be the most accessible of Canyonlands districts. There are many hikes, an impressive paved scenic drive, buttes, rivers, and more. Island in the Sky accounts for nearly 80% of visitation to the park.

NEEDLES gets its name from the pointy rock pinnacles in the area. This district is more remote and not quite as accessible. Needles has a lot to offer from striped sandstone, arches, hiking trails and more. If you enjoy more of a challenging hike or have four wheel drive, Needles is full of surprises worth your time.

THE MAZE is west of the rivers (Colorado River and Green River). It is said that The Maze is one of “the most remote and inaccessible areas of the United States”. The Maze boasts off-roading, backpacking, and remote hiking opportunities. Very few make their way to explore this hidden gem.

THE RIVERS is an exclusive outdoor adventure for rafters and kayakers. Full of deep canyons carved through sandstone, The Rivers boasts some of the best rafting in the country. The Rivers make up only 1% of visitors to Canyonlands National Park. Grab a guide and come be one of the few to enjoy a multi-day rafting trip through Cataract Canyon.


Canyonlands National Park, adjacent to Moab, Utah has a rich history, with evidence of human occupation dating back thousands of years. The area was home to the ancient Ancestral Puebloan and Ute tribes before being explored by Europeans in the late 1700s. The park was established in 1964 as part of Lyndon Johnson’s America the Beautiful program. Today, the park provides visitors with an opportunity to explore the unique landscape and learn about its colorful history.


In Canyonlands National Park, you can find some of the oldest exposed rocks on earth that date back to over two billion years ago, as well as evidence of millions of years of erosion and deposition. Other geological features include sandstone canyons, hoodoos and arches. The park is a great place to view many different types of rock formations like sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous. You can also find evidence of landslides, faults, dunes and alluvial fans that have been shaped by the erosive forces of the Colorado River over millions of years. Geologically speaking Canyonlands National Park provides visitors with a unique and captivating look at the earth’s history.


Canyonlands National Park is home to a variety of wildlife species that are adapted to the desert environment. These include coyotes, bobcats, foxes, deer, bighorn sheep and many species of birds such as wild turkeys, owls and eagles. The park also has an abundance of reptiles including rattlesnakes, lizards and turtles. There are also many amphibians that inhabit the area such as toads and salamanders. Visitors may come across these animals in their natural habitat while hiking or camping in the park.
Photo gallery

Things to do

Canyonlands National Park is vast and full of outdoor adventure opportunity. Visitors enjoy UTV/ATV, hiking, backpacking, camping, river rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking.


  • Grand View Overlook
  • Mesa Arch
  • The Needles District
  • Upheaval Dome Overlook
  • Peekaboo Trail
  • Murphy Point
  • White Rim Overlook

Planning your trip to canyonlands

Canyonlands National Park is a great place to explore the unique landscapes of the American Southwest. Before heading out, it's important to plan ahead and make sure you have the right equipment. Be sure to check the weather forecast for your area before visiting as temperatures can reach extreme highs in the summer months. Bring plenty of water when exploring and be aware of potential hazards such as flash floods or sudden storms. It's also important to be prepared for the area's rugged terrain, so bring a map and plenty of snacks. Finally, make sure you have permission to use the different trails and roads in the park.

With its stunning scenery and captivating history, Canyonlands National Park is an unforgettable experience. Whether you're exploring the canyons or admiring the geology, it's an adventure you won't soon forget. Plan your trip today and discover what this amazing park has to offer!


  • Moab
  • Monticello
  • Bluff
  • Green River


Canyonlands National Park offers a variety of lodging and camping options to suit your needs. Those looking for a more comfortable stay can rent one of the many cabins located throughout the park. These range from rustic log cabins to larger, more luxurious accommodations.

If you want a more luxurious stay, Moab, Utah, the closest town to Canyonlands, has plenty of hotels and motels in the area that can accommodate you and your group.


Moab, Utah has a variety of restaurants and eateries in the area. Here, you can find everything from fine dining to fast food. If you're looking for something more rustic, there are plenty of camping grounds that offer campfire cooking areas where you can make your own meal.


Canyonlands National Park in Moab, Utah allows pets as long as they are on a leash and under physical control at all times. Pets are not allowed in the backcountry areas of the park, so be sure to plan accordingly. They are also not allowed on any hiking trails, in the backcountry or in the visitor center.


Canyonlands National Park in Moab, Utah allows pets as long as they are on a leash and under physical control at all times. Pets are not allowed in the backcountry areas of the park, so be sure to plan accordingly. They are also not allowed on any hiking trails, in the backcountry or in the visitor center.


Canyonlands is high desert territory, in a day temperatures can jump 40 degrees. It is important to bring layers and come prepared for hot days and cold nights. Spring and Fall offer moderate and enjoyable temperatures. Summer weather is very hot and flash floods can happen suddenly, know the forecast and prepare accordingly. Winter in Canyonlands does not receive a lot of snow, temperatures can still be freezing.

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