Canyonlands National Park Guide

Use our Canyonlands National Park guide to help you plan the most amazing vacation!

If you’re looking for US National Park vacation ideas, keep reading to find out all there is to know about visiting Canyonlands

Below you’ll find tips and resources to plan your trip to Canyonlands: best time to visit, things to do, hiking trails, scenic drives, and photography spots.

Travel Guides to Plan Your Trip

Use the following resources to assist you in planning the perfect Canyonlands National Park vacation. If you plan to extend your trip by visiting other Utah National Parks, we’ve got you covered there as well!

When Is the Best Time to Visit Canyonlands

There are important things to know about visiting the park during the different seasons of the year. You’ll need to be aware of the road conditions and closures. And there are times of the year when park services are closed. Check out these articles to know all about planning a trip during a specific season or month so you know in advance what to expect.

Attractions and Things to Do

Here’s a list of things to do, see and photograph at Canyonlands. You can plan your own itinerary to see the attractions in the park, or you can find a fun tour to explore the points of interest.

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Tips and Resources to Plan Your Trip

Here’s a list of good resources for what to pack for your trip. Use the packing checklist no matter what time of the year you visit. And learn all about why you need the National Park annual pass, and where to buy it. Plus, there’s a fun list of national park gifts!

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WHAT TO PACK FOR A TRIP TO CANYONLANDS

To get the most out of visiting this park, you must be prepared with the right clothing and gear.

DOWNLOAD our US National Park packing list for summer and winter.

Hiking Shoes – Injuries from improper footwear is a common problem that casual visitors and hikers encounter. To make your trip as safe and enjoyable as possible, avoid smooth-soled shoes and only wear sturdy shoes with ample tread.  → Check out the Merrell Moab hiking shoes we use.

Hydration and Food – Due to the high desert and altitude in Southeastern Utah, you should drink at least one gallon of water per day, and always carry water with you during all hiking activities. Eat plenty of healthy snacks and food. → We use Camelbak hydration packs or carry Hydroflask bottles in our packs.

Lip Balm and Lotion – Utah’s high elevation and dry air can be hard on your skin. You’ll want to carry lip balm with sunscreen and hydrating lotion to apply as needed when you’re out exploring the trails.

Clothing – Summers in the park mean soaring temperatures, unrelenting sunlight, and low humidity. To keep cool, wear light colored, loose fitting clothing that does not absorb sunlight. Also avoid sun burn by wearing a wide brimmed hat and by generously applying sunscreen to any parts of your body that are exposed to the sun.

During the winter, wearing the right winter clothing is important to stay dry and warm. Take note that snow and ice can accumulate and make popular trails quite slippery. That’s why trekking poles and traction devices for your shoes are essential. It’s also just as easy to become dehydrated in the cold as it is in the heat. It’s important to carry plenty of water during the winter, and not just during the summer.

During spring and fall, it’s all about layers! The mornings and evenings will be cool so have a fleece jacket handy!

National Parks Pass – Before you visit Canyonlands be sure to pack your The America the Beautiful Annual Pass.

Other items we recommend – US national parks packing list

But above all else, always make sure to carry enough food, water, and other essentials since Canyonlands is a remote park with few services and reliable sources of freshwater. 

WHERE TO STAY NEAR CANYONLANDS

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

Here are 4 places we recommend:

  •  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!

Where to Stay Near Canyonlands Needles

There are no lodging facilities in the park, but there is one campground.

You can visit Needles and stay in Moab, and most people do that.

The town of Monticello is a bit closer to Needles, but the lodging, food and shopping options aren’t as good. It’s a much smaller town than Moab.

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