Canyonlands is practically next door to Arches National Park and is probably the less crowded of the two. Its park loop road is a really great way to see the park; You don’t have to dig up intel on hidden gem trails or hike deep into Canyonlands to get a taste for what makes it so awesome. The insane overlooks right off the main road that might inspire you to take advantage of the off-roading, camping, and hiking found in the park, though.
“inviting you to explore a wilderness of countless canyons”
Canyonlands invites you to explore a wilderness of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries. Rivers divide the park into four districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the rivers themselves. These areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, but each offers different opportunities for sightseeing and adventure. People have visited what is now Canyonlands National Park for over 10,000 years. Over time, many different groups have moved in and out of the area in concert with the availability of natural resources and the technology for exploiting those resources. Canyonlands National Park preserves one of the last, relatively undisturbed areas of the Colorado Plateau, a geological province that encompasses much of the Colorado River and its tributaries. Carved out of vast sedimentary rock deposits, this landscape of canyons, mesas, and deep river gorges possesses remarkable natural features that are part of a unique desert ecosystem. The foundation of Canyonlands' ecology is its remarkable geology, which is visible everywhere in cliff profiles that reveal millions of years of deposition and erosion. These rock layers continue to shape life in Canyonlands today, as their erosion influences elemental features like soil chemistry and where water flows when it rains.Known as a "high desert," with elevations ranging from 3,700 to 7,200 feet above sea level, Canyonlands experiences very hot summers, cold winters and less than ten inches of rain each year. Even on a daily basis, temperatures may fluctuate as much as 50 degrees.
Do not miss the chance to see Island in the Sky, it’s a fairly easy hike north of Moab, and the view is unforgettable. The entire park is a hikers dream, and the rock formations make for a near perfect picture every time. It’s also less busy than Arches, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity for some relaxing solitude, and peace and quiet to enjoy the sunrises.
If you’re looking for a remote hike, hit the White Rim Trail, just make sure you’re driving a 4-wheel drive vehicle, before attempting it!
Use Monday as Canyonland/ Island in the SKY day/
leave Moab at 7:00am.
Arrive at Mesa Arch 8:00amish.
If Visitor Center not open/can still go in
Green River Overview
Good picnic table spots;
Orange Cliffs: a short drive from Grandview
Canyonlands is undoubtedly a MUST-SEE for anyone visiting the Mob area. Island In The Sky is perfect for convenience and offers great sightseeing for the less-adventurous explorer: amazing views, beautiful short strolls, and easy to get around. There are also some great longer hikes if you don't mind sweating a bit!
But if hiking is your thing, I suggest the Needles District over Island In The Sky. The hike to Chesler Park is outstanding and an extension to the Joint Trail will blow your mind! The campground, though only first-come first-serve, is my favorite National Park campground I've ever been to. There are a few awesome backpacking opportunities in the Needles, as well. This place is a little out of the way but well worth the time and effort to get there!
Canyonlands National Park is vast and rugged so don't expect to see all of the park on your visit. There are three districts to the Park: Island in the Sky, Needles and the Maze. Most folks see Islands in the Sky and maybe a little of Needles. I visited Canyonlands for the photography opportunities. There are so many! Create your own Canyonlands photography tour using my advice.
If you're going to Moab/Arches, you NEED to stop and spend a few days here.
Beautiful beautiful beautiful! This was our first park on a southwest national park tour and it was awesome! We only had a half day to spend here so we hit island in the sky district and hiked up to whale rock and then to upheaval dome. We stopped at many of the viewpoints and left the park wishing there were more hours in the day! Less crowded than many of the other parks and nice to have just family time hiking. Can't wait to return and check out the other districts.
I'm completely blown away anyone would give Canyonlands less than 5 stars. It is one of the most amazing places on earth. This is a bucket list item.
Beautiful area - we did Island in the sky district and the east rim hike - easy for the kids, nothing too scary close to the edges, gorgeous pictures every time we stopped. Lots of lizards for the kids to watch as we hiked around. Do your research and make sure which area of the park you want to see, it's several hours drive between each of the 3 districts and would take some serious planning to try and hit all 3 in the same day. We were able to do Dead Horse Point state park and Island in the sky in one day with ease.
This place is incredible and I wish I could have had more time to do some hiking, but even just the drive, the views are stunning. I can't wait to come back here and get a better in depth look at the place. Make sure you drive all the way to the end of the park!
Canyonlands is an absolute must. There are also some easy trails for anyone with small kids like we had. This was close to being the highlight of our 5 week trip across the US. We will definitely be going back here again.
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Canyonlands National Park
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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Good for climbing, equestrian, and 3 more activities.
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