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Canyonlands National Park

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Canyonlands National Park preserves a colorful landscape of sedimentary sandstones eroded into countless canyons, mesas and buttes by the Colorado River and its tributaries. Located in southeast Utah, the park sits in the heart of a vast basin bordered by sheer cliffs of Wingate Sandstone.

The Colorado and Green rivers divide the park into four districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze and the rivers themselves. While the districts share a primitive desert atmosphere, each retains its own character and offers different opportunities for exploration and the study of natural and cultural history.

Most visits to Canyonlands involve camping along the trails, roads and rivers found here. The four districts are not directly linked by any roads, so travel between requires two to six hours by car. Generally, people find it impractical to visit more than one or two districts in a single trip.

 

CONTACTS

Email - canyinfo@nps.gov

Fax- 435-719-2300

Write to
2282 S. West Resource Blvd.
Moab, UT 84532-3298

Phone
Visitor Information - (435)719-2313
Headquarters - (435)719-2100
Backcountry Reservations - (435)259-4351

TRAVEL BASICS

Operating Hours, Seasons
The park is open year-round. Visitor centers are open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with extended hours spring through fall. Visitor centers are closed December 25th and January 1st. Many roads and trails are impassable during winter months.

Getting There
PLANE - Commercial airlines serve Grand Junction, CO and Salt Lake City, UT. By car, these cities are at least 2 and 4 hours (respectively) away from the closest park entrance (Island in the Sky).

CAR - There are two paved entrances into Canyonlands: Highway 313 leads to the Island in the Sky District and is 10 miles north of Moab; Highway 211 leads to the Needles District and is 40 miles south of Moab. Roads to the Maze District are a mixture of graded dirt and 4WD. These roads may become impassable when wet.

BUS - Greyhound travels along Interstate 70, making stops at Grand Junction, CO and Green River, UT. Commercial vans/shuttles operate between Moab and Salt Lake City as well as Grand Junction.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION - There is no public transportation to Canyonlands.

Weather & Climate
The climate in Canyonlands is extremely dry. Most precipitation falls in early spring and late summer. Summer highs often exceed 100 Degrees Fahrenheit, with lows in the 60's. Fall and Spring temperatures are milder, with highs in the 70's and 80's. Winter temperatures range from highs in the 40's and 50's to lows well below freezing. Snow is usually light to moderate.

Accessibility
At the Island in the Sky District, visitors with mobility impairments can access the visitor center and restrooms, Buck Canyon Overlook and Grand View Point Overlook. In the Needles District, visitors with mobility impairments can access the visitor center and restrooms, Squaw Flat Campground and restrooms and Woodenshoe Overlook. Other points of interest are accessible with some assistance.

For visitors with hearing impairments, a variety of publications may be obtained at the district visitor centers. Wayside exhibits with illustrations and text on natural and cultural features are situated throughout the Island in the Sky and Needles Districts and in the visitor centers.

Getting Around
Travel to Canyonlands generally requires a car. Once in the park, each district offers different opportunities for exploration. The Island in the Sky is the most accessible district and the easiest to visit in a short period of time. All other destinations require some boating, hiking or four-wheel driving to see the area's attractions.


CAMPING

1. Squaw Flat Campground
Open All Year
Located in the Needles District, Squaw Flat Campground is an ideal base camp for day hikes to popular destinations like Chesler Park, Druid Arch and the Joint Trail. There are 26 sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. Bathrooms, fire grates, picnic tables, tent pads and water available year-round. Group size limit is 10 people and 2 vehicles. Maximum RV length is 28 feet. Squaw Flat typically fills every day from late March through June and again from early September to mid-October.

2. Willow Flat Campground
Open All Year
Located at the Island in the Sky District, the Willow Flat Campground is a short walk from one of the finest sunset spots in the park: Green River Overlook. Twelve sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Sites include picnic tables, fire grates and vault toilets. No water. Maximum RV length is 28 feet. Group size limit is 10 people and 2 vehicles. Willow Flat typically fills every day from late March through June and again from early September to mid-October. Note: Both the campground and the Green River Overlook area will be closed during June, July and August of 2002. During this time, the access roads will be paved and a wheelchair-accessible trail and platform will be created at the overlook.

3. Group Sites
Open All Year
The Needles District offers three campsites for groups of 11 or more people which may be reserved in advance. The Squaw Flat Group Site can hold up to 50 people and 10 vehicles. The Wooden Shoe Group Site can hold up to 25 people and 5 vehicles. The Split Top Group Site can hold up to 15 people and 3 vehicles.

4. Backcountry Areas
Open All Year
Primitive backcountry campsites and at-large backpacking zones exist in each district of Canyonlands. These sites may be accessed by foot, 4WD vehicle or boat. Permits are required for all overnight trips and may be reserved in advance.

LODGING

Sorry.
There is no lodging available in Canyonlands. See the 'LINKS' section for information on lodging and services in nearby towns.

FACILITIES

Visitor Centers
ISLAND IN THE SKY
Open All Year 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phone - (435)259-4712
Location - To reach the Island, take U.S. Highway 191 to Utah Highway 313 (10 mi/16 km north of Moab, or 22 mi/35 km south of I-70) and then drive southwest 22 mi/35 km. Driving time to the visitor center from Moab is roughly 40 minutes.
Closures - Closed December 25th.
Special Programs - A park orientation video is shown on request. Special interpretive programs may be arranged for groups by contacting the visitor center.
Exhibits - Exhibits describe the natural and cultural history of the area. Small sales area features books, maps and other publications.
Available Facilities - Toilets. Limited drinking water. Backcountry permits issued until one half hour before close of business each day.

MAZE DISTRICT (HANS FLAT)
Open All Year 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phone - (435)259-2652
Location - The Hans Flat Ranger Station is two and one-half hours from Green River, Utah. From I-70, take Utah Highway 24 south for 24 miles. A left hand turn just beyond the turnoff to Goblin Valley State Park will take you along a two-wheel-drive dirt road 46 miles (76 km) southeast to the ranger station. In addition, a four-wheel-drive route leads north from Utah Highway 95 near Hite. All two-wheel-drive roads may become four-wheel-drive or even impassable when it snows or rains heavily.
Closures - Closed December 25th.
Exhibits - Exhibits describe the natural and cultural history of the Maze area. Small sales area features books, maps and other publications
Available Facilities - Toilets. Backcountry permits issued until one half hour before close of business each day.

NEEDLES DISTRICT
Open All Year 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phone - (435)259-4711
Location - On U.S. Highway 191, drive 40 miles (60 km) south of Moab or 14 miles (22 km) north of Monticello, then take Utah Highway 211 roughly 35 miles (56 km) west. Highway 211 ends in the Needles, and is the only paved road leading in and out of the district.
Closures - Closed December 25th.
Special Programs - A park orientation video is shown on request. Special interpretive programs may be arranged for groups by contacting the visitor center.
Exhibits - Exhibits describe the natural and cultural history of the Needles area. Small sales area features books, maps and other publications.
Available Facilities - Restrooms, drinking water. Backcountry permits issued until one half hour before close of business each day.

  Map
map
Detailed Map


Contact Info
contact info
Phone, Email, Address, GPS coordinates


Campgrounds Nearby
campgrounds
List of Nearby Campgrounds


Weather
weather
Local weather forecast


OUTDOORS
These outdoors activities are available near Canyonlands National Park.
 Campgrounds Near Canyonlands National Park:
Edge Of The Desert Trailer Park, Moab, 0 miles away
Dead Horse Point State Park, Moab, 1 miles away
Riverside Oasis Campground, Moab, 1 miles away
Moab Rim Campark, Moab, 1 miles away
Moab Rim Campark, Moab, 1 miles away
Moab Rim RV Park And Vineyard, Moab, 1 miles away
Pack Creek Campground, Moab, 1 miles away
 Hotels Near Canyonlands National Park:
Quality Inn Moab Slickrock Area, Moab , 1 miles away
Silver Sage Inn, Moab , 1 miles away
La Quinta Inn & Suites Moab, Moab , 1 miles away
Quality Suites Moab, Moab , 1 miles away
Apache Motel, Moab , 1 miles away
Moab Valley Inn, Moab , 1 miles away
Best Western Plus Greenwell Inn, Moab , 2 miles away
 Trails Near Canyonlands National Park:
Moab Slickrock Trail, Grand County , 1 miles away
Shafer Trail, San Juan County , 19 miles away
 Ski Areas Near Canyonlands National Park:
Powderhorn, Colorado , 99 miles away, 1650 foot drop, 4 lifts, 44 runs
 Whitewater Near Canyonlands National Park:
Whitewater Outfitter - Red River Adventures, Grand County , 1 miles away, Whitewater outfitter
Whitewater Outfitter - Griffith River Expeditions, Grand County , 1 miles away, Whitewater outfitter
Whitewater Outfitter - Western River Expeditions, Grand County , 2 miles away, Whitewater outfitter
Whitewater Outfitter - Canyon Voyages Adventure, Grand County , 2 miles away, Whitewater outfitter
Whitewater Outfitter - Navtec Expeditions, Grand County , 2 miles away, Whitewater outfitter
 Public Lands Near Canyonlands National Park:
Arches National Park, Moab - UT , 0 miles away
Colorado National Monument, Fruita - CO , 65 miles away
Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah , 14 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Canyonlands National Park:
Moab Golf Club, Moab , 3 miles away

Copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. - Pictures of park and text about park by the US National Park Service. Operating hours and fees are valid at the date of publishing and are subject to change, please contact park directly for current information.