Canyonlands National Park, located in southeastern Utah, is an underrated gem among its larger, more well-known national park pals. The colorful canyons, amazing hiking, and gorgeous vistas make it the perfect place to get away from it all.
The park is divided into four regions and three districts — Island in the Sky, The Needles, and The Maze — so visitors can return to Canyonlands over and over and get a new perspective every time.
Here’s what you need to know about Canyonlands, home to both the Green and Colorado River, and what to do once you get there.
Canyonlands National Park Lodging
There are two campsites inside the park itself, one at The Needles, which can be reserved ahead of time, and one at Island in the Sky, which is first-come, first served. Visitors are also always welcome to backcountry camp, just make sure to get a permit first.
For those looking for a more plush bed to sleep on there’s the nearby town of Moab, which has plenty of hotels including the Red Cliffs Adventure Lodge, which offers riverfront cabins that are perfect for weary hikers to come and relax in.
Canyonlands National Park Hikes
With hundreds of miles of paths for explorers of the park to test out odds are travelers will never get bored. Trails are typically well marked with cairns (small rock piles) and have signs at most intersections.
However, many of the park’s more remote trails do not receive regular attention, so hikers are still encouraged to carry maps. Marked hikes range from easy one milers to 21.6 mile hikes through the Lanthrop Canyon.
Canyonlands National Park Weather
Due to the park’s desert location, the summers tend to be hot and dry, while the winters are typically cold and a bit more moist (though not by much). Average summer temperatures can be upwards of 90 degrees while winter temperatures in January can fall to around 37 degrees, so plan your trip and your hiking outfits accordingly.
Getting to Canyonlands National Park
Getting to the park is easiest with a car. However, since the park itself is divided into four different districts, which aren’t connected by bridges, visitors will have to go to each them all separately.
To get to the park by plane, the National Park Service explained, visitors can fly into Canyonlands Field, which is located 16 miles from Moab, the Grand Junction Regional Airport, located 113 miles from Moab, or Salt Lake City International Airport, located 237 miles from Moab.
Visitors can also take Amtrak, which stops at Grand Junction, Colorado, and Green River, Utah. Commercial van services also operate between Grand Junction and Moab.
Canyonlands National Park Map
Canyonlands is in southeastern Utah, about 40 miles south of U.S. Route 70. The park is about 240 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, and about 360 miles west of Denver, Colorado.