Located in the heart of southeastern Utah, Canyonlands is one of the most spectacular places to go camping. Here’s all the information you need to know about Canyonlands National Park camping: campgrounds, regulations, services, permits, backcountry camping and more!
This Canyonlands National Park guide will help you plan a vacation to enjoy some of nature’s most spectacular landscapes while camping!
With its stunning views and unique rock formations, it’s no wonder people choose to camp at Canyonlands.
You’ll want to be sure pack the right clothing and gear so you can enjoy all the outdoor Canyonlands National Park activities any time of year! Grab your free printable packing list by clicking the image below!
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A Photo Tour of Canyonlands National Park
Take a visual tour through Canyonlands National Park (and Dead Horse Point) to see the stunning landscape in the parks!
Canyonlands National Park Camping
The two most-visited regions of Canyonlands are Island in the Sky and Needles. Both are remote areas with very few guest services. You will find no food, lodging, or gas services available within the park. That’s why you must be prepared and pack everything that you think you’ll need for camping at Canyonlands.
Check out our article explaining Canyonlands Island in the Sky vs Needles!
Best Time to Camp at Canyonlands
The Canyonlands National Park weather is ideal during late spring and fall for camping. In the summer temperatures reach 100 degrees F, and there aren’t many options for shade!
You can enjoy canyonlands winter camping, but be prepared for COLD temperatures, rain, and snow!
Services are also even more limited or closed this time of year. You’ll want to check current Canyonlands road conditions before making the long drive only to find out the park is closed.
Here are helpful guides to help you know what it’s like to visit during all four seasons:
- Canyonlands National Park in the Spring
- Canyonlands National Park in the Summer
- Canyonlands National Park in the Fall
- Canyonlands National Park in the Winter
When deciding the best time to visit Canyonlands National Park, it all depends on the type of activities you want to do.
Camping at Canyonlands Island in the Sky
The nearest place to get food, firewood, and supplies is Moab, Utah, approximately 30 minutes’ drive from Island in the Sky.
There is only one small developed Island in the Sky campground in addition to a few backpacking camping areas.
Willow Flat Campground
This is a small campground in Island in the Sky with 12 sites. It is fully operational all-year-round, but the sites fill quickly.
The nice thing about Willow Flat Campground is that it’s only a two minute walk to the Green River Overlook and the spectacular view you’ll see there!
The campground has pit toilets, several picnic tables, and fire rings. However, there is no potable water, so make sure you pack water for your stay. The campground also allows pets.
The site has a “first come, first served” policy. You can stay for a maximum of seven days.
- Areas for pitching tents
- Fire pits with grill plates
- Pit toilets
- Covered and uncovered picnic tables with benches
Backpacking Camping Areas at Island in the Sky
During the spring and fall, Canyonlands overnight backpacking permits are in high demand! If you plan to backpack and camp at these two Island in the Sky campsites, you may have to reserve your permit up to four months in advance.
- Murphy Point Overlook Campsite
- Syncline Campsite
BLM Camping Near Canyonlands Island in the Sky
If you can’t find a camping spot in the park, there are some BLM camping options in the area:
BLM RV Campgrounds Near Canyonlands Island in the Sky
There are a quite a few BLM campgrounds in Moab for RV camping. Here’s a list of the campgrounds that are open year-round:
- Goose Island Campground – RV length 40
- Grandstaff Campground – RV length 24
- Upper Onion Creek Campground – RV length 40
- Lower Onion Creek Campground – RV length 24
- Gold Bar Campground – RV length 40
- Sand Flats Recreation Area – RV length 34
RV Parks Near Canyonlands Island in the Sky
- Canyonlands Gateway Campground
- Arches Gateway Campground
- North Moab Campground
- Moab Downtown Campground
Camping at Canyonlands Needles
The nearest place to get food, firewood, and supplies is Monticello, Utah, approximately 60 minutes’ drive from The Needles.
There options for Needles Canyonlands camping is one developed campground and a variety of backcountry campsites.
The Needles Campground
You’ll find 26 individual camping sites at this campground
- Fourteen campsites in Loop A are always on a “first come, first served” basis.
- Twelve campsites in Loop B an be reserved in the spring and fall.. and they fill quickly!
- Group sites are open from mid-March to mid-November. They are closed during the winter.
- Canyonlands camping reservations are valid six months from the date of booking.
RVs and trailers are allowed, but there’s a maximum of length of 28 feet.
Needles Outpost Campground
There’s a campground just 1.5 miles outside the park boundary. Needles Outpost Campground is a dry campground that allows tents and RVs (no water or power hookups). Each campsite is a dirt pad with a fire pit and picnic table.
You’ll find services like gasoline and propane. At the general store they sell firewood, ice, cold drinks, ice cream, camping supplies, camp food, snacks, and toiletries. There’s also a bathhouse with token-operated showers and flush toilets.
Backcountry Camping Areas in Needles Canyonlands
One of the main draws to this district is exploring the backcountry by hiking or driving the four-wheel-drive roads in Needles Canyonlands.
Each backcountry campsite will accommodate a maximum of 10 people and three standard vehicles, including trailers and motorcycles.
All backcountry campsites have vault toilets except Peekaboo and New Bates Wilson.
Needles Canyonlands backcountry permits are required for all overnight stays and must be reserved online at least two days before start of trip for these 5 sites:
- Devil’s Kitchen
- New Bates Wilson
- Bobby Jo
- Horse Hoof
RV Parks in Moab Near Needles Canyonlands
BUY AT AMAZON: Arches and Canyonlands Guides and Maps
Check out our done-for-you 1, 2, and 3-day Canyonlands Itineraries to help you plan your vacation based on the time you have to spend at the park: