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Canyonlands National Park

Updated on September 14, 2012

Awe Inspiring Canyon Scenery in the Wilderness of Utah's Canyonlands National Park

Over millions of years, the Colorado River and Green River have been have been busy at work creating the wonderous Canyonlands National Park of southern Utah. Deep canyon crevices, high mesas, and winding rivers make for excellent photography, mountain biking, hiking, and rock climbing. Located minutes from Moab, Utah, this park is easy to get to, and very close to Arches National Park. Read on to find fun activities to do in Canyonlands, places to stay, and scenic images of this beautiful National Park.

Photo of Canyonlands National Park on flickr by Wolfgang Staudt, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0


Canyonlands is a popular backcountry hiking that's divided into sections, like the Needles district. Permits are needed for much of the hiking, boating, and other recreation.

Mountain Biking

Layers of "suburnt strata" and miles of wide canyon expanses make for unmatched mountain biking anywhere in the country. The huge open area of Canyonlands is inaccessible by car in many areas, so mountain biking is the perfect alternative.

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing in Canyonlands is largely unmonitored and unrestricted, but you should take extreme caution: this place is a very difficult climb! The steep canyon walls are not for beginners. Also, rock climbers must stop at the visitors center to see the latest rules and regulations to protect the archaeology of the park.


The desert photography is one of the best reasons to head to Canyonlands. The canyon is not as large or deep as the Grand Canyon, but the park is more remote, unvisited, and has a different makeup than the Grand Canyon. The landscape varies so much from huge mesas and winding rivers, to rocky canyon rim overlooks, it's really like comparing apples and oranges for photographers. The link above has some excellent desert photography tips for your trip.

Fishing, Boating, Four Wheeling and More Hiking

The park has an enormous amount of activities to take part in, like fishing in the Green River, boating, four wheeling and jeeping. Read this guide to find more activities within the area.

photo above right by arcticpuppy on flickr licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

Canyonlands is a Mountain Biker's Dream! - The rugged terrain and vast trails of Canyonlands make for the perfect ride!

Mountain biking is a huge sport in southern Utah, especially in Moab. With nearby Arches and Capitol Reef National Park, the area offers some of the best scenic opportunities and riding in the country. When biking in the Canyonlands, keep plenty of water with you and consider traveling later in the day or earlier to avoid the peak sun, which often hits above 100 degrees.

GMC Topkick Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike
GMC Topkick Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike

* 21-speed mountain bike features a full-suspension, strong aluminum frame

* Floating beam suspension design is mated to a Zoom suspension fork with elastomer/spring technology

* Microshift push shifters and Shimano TZ-30GS derailleur

* Strong aluminum wheelset featuring V-shape rim profile and high-flange alloy hubs

* Front and rear Promax disk brakes work great, even in adverse conditions


River Canyon Lodge

Stylish, comfortable rooms in the heart of Moab. Close to Canyonlands and Arches, and the reasonably priced for the budget traveler.

Sunflower Hill Bed and Breakfast

Rated #3 overall on Trip Advisor! This beautiful 4 diamond B & B in Moab is one of the best places you can stay in town. Guests call it "splendid!," "quaint!," and has "excellent breakfast and location!"

Red Cliffs Lodge

You really can't get much better than Red Cliffs Lodge! Serene cabin settings with beautiful red cliffs in the background make this the #1 rated place on Trip Advisor, along with great breakfasts and a quiet atmosphere.

Sleep Inn Moab, Moab,UT

Probably one of the best deals in Moab, this has clean rooms and decent reviews on Trip Advisor from people that have stayed there. Rated #6 overall out of 33.

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Moab, Moab,UT

Rated #7, one of the best hotels in Moab!

Sorrel River Ranch Resort

Wow! The view on the home page of this site is impressive. Voted #2 on Trip Advisor. AAA four diamond certified, this hotel is situated away from the downtown area of Moab and is surrounded by beautiful red cliffs. It's also right on the Colorado River!

More hotels in the area:

Days Inn Moab, Moab,UT

Super 8 Motel - Moab, Moab,UT

Find more places to stay in Moab on this page, with further details on some of Moab's best hotels.

Jeep Road Trails and Hiking Trails in Canyonlands - A guide to travel the beautiful Canyonlands off roading in a jeep!

Unlike other National Parks in the United States, Canyonlands is a popular jeep off roading destination. The beautiful area has a lot to see by jeep, but there are rules to follow and places that you should make a priority to see. Read this guide to find out what to see, when to go, and how it can be done!

Canyonlands National Park Favorite Jeep Roads & Hiking Trails
Canyonlands National Park Favorite Jeep Roads & Hiking Trails

Contains detailed descriptions of the jeep roads and hiking trails in Utah's largest national park, including instructions on how to find the park's indian ruins, cowboy cabins, and other points of interest. This book is profusely illustrated with 240 color and black & white photographs and 59 detailed trail maps. It also contains a primer on the park's geology.


Where is Canyonlands? - Canyonlands National Park on Google Maps

Canyonlands National Park is located in eastern Utah near the Colorado border. The closest town is Moab, which is right outside the park. Zoom in or zoom out for greater detail on this map.

Canyonlands National Park:

get directions

Canyonlands National Park Links

More information about the park!

Canyonlands is a relatively new National Park, being established in 1964. Much of the park is still as hard to reach as it was back then. Because of this, the park is the perfect serene desert environment to visit for those looking to avoid the crowds and find a true, authentic exposure to the untouched wilderness of the southwest of the United States.

The official website for Canyonlands. You can find the latest road closures, explore the park via photos, or read up on the background science of the park through this all-inclusive site.

Canyonlands Webcam

A live webcam of Canyonlands' Green River.

Get more information on the sections of Canyonlands, like Needles, Island in the Sky, the Maze District, Horseshoe Canyon, and the Rivers, as well as more things to see and do.

Butch Cassidy's favorite place

The Maze District of Canyonlands is where Butch Cassidy may have hid in the late 1800s between shootouts and robbings to evade the law.

Canyonlands National Park Video - A slideshow of a photographs of Canyonlands

Have You Been to Canyonlands National Park? - Take this poll!

Have you been to Canyonlands National Park?

See results

Save yourself some money and get a National parks pass

There are so many National Parks in the area, that you'll save money by buying a yearly pass from the NPS. These usually only cost around $50 for the entire year for unlimited access to many of the National Parks in the US.

Recommended DVDs and Books on Canyonlands National Park

The petroglyphs of Canyonlands are a mysterious wonder, and one of the main attractions of the park. Created by Native Americans dating back thousands of years, these are symbols of the Navajo, Anasazi, and other local tribes.

Symbols of birds, Bighorn Sheep, rivers, elk, and the surroundings are largely untranslated and still as mysterious and elusive as they were when first discovered.

Bryce Canyon National ParkBryce Canyon is located in the southwestern portion of Utah, and is home to the famous red and white hoodoos spire formations, with remarkable hiking trails and scenic opportunities.

Capitol Reef National ParkA 70 mile wrinkle in the earth's crust resulted in the massive Capitol Reef area and National Park. Giant sandstone domes line the tops of this beautiful Utah plateau.

Canyonlands National ParkWind and water carved stone resulted in the area near Arches known as Canyonlands. The area boasts impressive, wide canyons, unique desert wildlife, and unmatched hiking.

Zion National ParkThe majestic Zion region has been eroded over time by the Virgin River, which slims down to the challenging hiking area of the Narrows.

Mesa Verde National ParkRemnants of a long lost culture can be found in the Colorado ruins of Mesa Verde National Park. Visit to gaze upon the incredible Puebloan Cliff Palace and ancient petroglyphs.

Monument ValleyDeep in the four corners region of the southwest is the often filmed Monument Valley reservation area. Now under the rule of the Navajo tribe, the area is open for touring, hiking and photography.

Arches National ParkSee the most natural sandstone arches anywhere in the world in Arches National Park of Moab, Utah. Erosion has left thousands of these unique stone structures standing in the park.

Black Canyon of the GunnisonDeep, black canyons leave a lasting impression in Colorado's Black Canyon of the Gunnison, with an impressive 2700 foot drop over into the Gunnison River.

Great Basin National ParkGreat Basin National Park contains the beautiful underground Lehman's Cave, and the mammoth peak of Mount Wheeler. Hike the area from its 13,000 feet peak, to beneath the earth's surface.

The Grand CanyonThe Grand Canyon is one of the wonders of the world, with an unforgettable hiking, photography, and road trip experience.

Thanks for Visiting!


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    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 

      6 years ago

      I wanted to see the huge bend in the river, but I took the wrong turn and wound up looking at that giant claw instead. It was too late to take the other road; it would be dark soon. :( I'll just have to go back. Great lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is one of the most amazing areas in the National Park system. Thank you for publishing this lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Looks like a fun place. Greatv Lens info.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      7 years ago from UK

      A beautiful guide to the Canyonlands National Park. I'd love to see those petroglyphs. This Angel blessing brought to you by the letter 'C'. ;)

    • profile image


      8 years ago


      Great Post. fabulous lens. i would love to visit there if i get time soon. glad to read your lens..

      Best of luck kiwisoutback.

    • nature photogra profile image

      nature photogra 

      8 years ago

      We went to Canyonlands a couple of years ago over the Thanksgiving weekend. The weather was perfect (it gets really hot during the Summer). We were able to see the major sites in about a day including doing 3 minor hikes and Dead Horse Point, a nearby state park. I definitely want to go back and explore more of the area.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice lens, Great place.

    • phoenix arizona f profile image

      phoenix arizona f 

      8 years ago

      Looks like a great place to visit.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      8 years ago from Colorado

      I love Canyonlands! One of my favorite places. Camped there last year at this time. Extraordinary beauty at sunrise and sunset. I will definitely be returning.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Beautiful landscape...I would love to photograph it...blessed

    • crimenomore lm profile image

      crimenomore lm 

      8 years ago

      I loved this lens. I have spent alot of time Photographing this park and the surrounding area. When in Moab you have to visit, Tom Tills Gallery on main street. I am in no way effilliated with Mr. Till, just in total awe of his work. Just walk in and look you are not obligated to buy any thing, but you do need to look.

    • christopherlee lm profile image

      christopherlee lm 

      8 years ago

      Very interesting scenery. Nice work

    • emmaklarkins profile image


      9 years ago

      Wow, beautiful pics! I would love to check it out someday! Also, heads up, looks like you might have some broken images.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 

      10 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Gorgeous gorgeous lens! 5* and fave!

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 

      10 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Gorgeous pictures. Definitely a place I need to get to. Blessings from this Squid Angel.

    • Barkely profile image


      10 years ago

      Fabulous! I was out there many years ago, but now I want to go back:-)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Excellent lens. I was there last year. A beautiful place

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      10 years ago from Royalton

      Thank you for joining us on A Walk in the Woods and don't forget to add your lens to the appropriate plexo.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      10 years ago from USA

      OMG! The photos are awesome! Wow!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      10 years ago from Royalton

      Another beautiful National Park that I need to visit!

      Please join us on A Walk in the Woods and add you lens to the appropriate plexo. We can never have enough beautiful places to walk.

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 

      10 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Oh, God - it's so beautiful there! Thank you for this gorgeous lens. Blessed by a Squid Angel today! :-)

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Quick 

      10 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      I'm ready to go!

      I hereby bless this lens.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      My lucky daughter just went to Moab a few weeks ago with her Jr. High class to study the history, petroglyphs, and landscapes of this beautiful national park. You've done a beautiful job on this lens and your photos are breathtaking!!


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