Visiting Canyonlands Island in the Sky Visitor Center

In this article, we’ll detail all the resources and services available at the Island in the Sky Visitor Center since this is the most popular district and the one closest to Moab, Utah.

Use the tips below and our Canyonlands National Park guide to plan you vacation and itinerary of things to do.

Remember that Canyonlands is divided into districts: Island in the Sky, Needles, and the Maze. Island in the Sky and Needles both have visitor centers. Check out our article explaining Canyonlands Island in the Sky vs Needles!

NOTE: It’s always recommended to visit the park website for current information about closures, hours and services available!

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Canyonlands National Park Packing List

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How to Get to Island in the Sky Visitor Center

To get to the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands, drive 10 miles north of Moab or 22 miles south of I-70 on US 191. Turn onto UT 313, and then drive southwest 22 miles.

Driving time to the visitor center from Moab is about 40 minutes.

Island in the Sky Visitor Center Hours and Services

The visitor center at Island in the Sky is open seven days a week during spring through fall. When visiting Canyonlands National Park in the winter, it is only open five days a week. Hours vary by season.

Check the website for “today’s hours”, “standard hours” and “closures & seasonal exceptions” so you’re prepared in advance.

The Island in the Sky Visitor Center offers these services:

  • exhibits
  • book & map sales
  • backcountry permits
  • general information
  • park orientation video
  • public, unsecured Wi-Fi
  • vault toilets
  • picnic area
  • park rangers on duty

Drinking water is available inside (during open hours) or outside (24 hours a day).

There are NO electric outlets to use at the Visitor Center!

photograph canyonlands in the spring

Things to Know Before Visiting the Island in the Sky Visitor Center

Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky is a remote and rugged place. There is no lodging (except several campgrounds), food, or gas services available in the park. However, you can find a range of full services in several nearby towns, like Moab.

It’s always important to pack everything you’ll need for your visit to Canyonlands since water is only available at the Island in the Sky Visitor Center (except during the winter).

Extremely limited cell phone service is also available within the Island in the Sky Visitor Center, at scenic drive locations where the La Sal Mountains are visible, along the east side of the White Rim Road, and along the Orange Cliffs Mesa where the La Sal Mountains are visible.

Ranger Programs at Island in the Sky

Ranger-led programs are available at Island in the Sky every day from spring to fall.

These programs include discussions about the trails and the overlooks, stargazing, and other events. Check the current schedule before you go!

Other Things to Do at Island in the Sky

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Plan Your Canyonlands Vacation

WHERE TO STAY NEAR CANYONLANDS

There are no lodging facilities in the park, but there are campgrounds.

Where to stay near Canyonlands – these are our favorite places in Moab:

  •  Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Moab – we enjoyed our stay and highly recommend this hotel due to its location close to Canyonlands.
  •  Purple Sage – our all-time favorite place to stay in Moab – walking distance to shopping, full kitchen, and only 8 units so you don’t feel lost in a large hotel.
  •  Red Cliffs Lodge – rooms up to 6 people – located 17 miles from Moab, this lodge is known for its beautiful location, winery and activities like horseback riding, fishing and more!
  • Townhomes south of town – we really like the townhomes in Spanish Valley with kitchen, washer and dryer in the unit and a swimming pool/hot tub (just a 5 minute drive south of Moab).
  • Rent an RV – have it dropped off at your vacation destination!

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