Canyonlands National Park in April is one of the best times to visit due to the moderate temperatures.
Use our tips below and our Canyonlands National Park guide to plan your April vacation.
It’s nice to be able to explore the park all day long without worrying about the daytime heat during the summer! But Canyonlands in the spring is a popular season so expect crowds!
We share tips to avoid the crowds and enjoy a trip to Canyonlands in April.
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What to Pack for a Spring National Park Vacation
DOWNLOAD our US National Park checklists to make it easy to pack what you need for your next trip!
1. US National Parks Pass
You can order passes online or get them at any of these Federal Recreation Areas.
→ BUY THE PASS AT REI and they will donate 10% of sales to the National Park Foundation.
2. Hiking Gear
- Hiking shoes & boots: → Merrell Moab are our favorite!
- Hiking socks: → We wear Darn Tough Socks – the BEST SOCKS EVER!
- Walking stick or trekking poles
3. Clothing – Layers
- WATER: → We carry water bottles or hydration backpacks
- FOOD: → Check out our favorite healthy snacks
- Flashlight: → Check out the headlamps we like
- National Park maps
- Lip protection with sunscreen
- Polarized sunglasses
- Insect repellant
- Hand lotion
- Female urination device
- Toilet paper (carry out in a bag – do not bury)
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Bags to pack out trash
TOP REASON TO VISIT CANYONLANDS IN APRIL
The weather at Canyonlands National Park in April is a great time to explore the park because it will be cool in the mornings and evenings, and the daytime temperatures aren’t too hot compared to the summer.
There is not much shade to be found at Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky or Needles Canyonlands, so it’s nice to be in the park on a sunny day when the air isn’t stifling! It makes hiking so much more enjoyable!
Spring is also awesome to see the flowers that bloom during this time of year at Canyonlands.
You may not know this, but the Utah National Parks get crowded during the peak seasons of spring and fall.
Canyonlands and Arches and the Moab area in general is a popular spring break destination so expect crowds!
There will be lines to get into the park, especially on the weekends. There will be cars circling the parking lots looking for a place to park, and the points of interest will be packed with people.
If you plan on visiting Arches National Park as well, note that the park is doing a TIMED ENTRY pilot program April through October, 2022.Timed entry tickets will be required to enter the park from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and will allow visitors to enter the park during a one-hour specified window of availability. After entering, visitors may stay in the park as long as they wish for the remainder of the day. Reservation holders may exit and re-enter the park on the same day with a correctly validated ticket.
Visitors can book reservations first-come, first-served on Recreation.gov. The park will release reservations three months in advance in monthly blocks.
CANYONLANDS WEATHER IN APRIL
The weather at Canyonlands National Park in April is “just right” with cooler mornings and evenings, and daytime temperatures are still moderate.
Keep in mind the weather can be unpredictable if a storm rolls through with rain.
The average highs are near 70 degrees with the lows around 40.
HIKING IN APRIL
In April the Canyonlands hikes are so nice because the sun is out and it’s not overly hot. This is quite different from summer when you’re sweating and worrying about heat exhaustion.
It’s important to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen!
Most of the Island in the Sky hikes and Needles hikes are fully exposed to the sun, which is perfect for your visit in April since you aren’t really worrying about finding shade!
PHOTOGRAPHY IN APRIL
Spring photography at Canyonlands is so rewarding. CHECK OUT our Arches and Canyonlands photography guide to capitalize on all the best places and times to take pictures in the park!
Mesa Arch at sunrise is the most popular photo spot in Canyonlands. In April, you won’t have this location to yourself so be patient.
PHOTO TIP: The glow on the bottom side of Mesa Arch lasts a long time. We like to wait for all the sunrise photographers to get their shots and leave, then we usually have the place to ourselves!
STARGAZING IN APRIL
Definitely take one evening to stay after the sun set and LOOK UP!
The slogan “Half the Park is After Dark” encourages visiting at night to simply Look up! On a clear night, the sky is literally filled with stars.
In April you can see the milky way from 1 to 5 -ish am. A bit early for most, but rewarding for those who want to make the effort!
Canyonlands National Park is internationally recognized as one of the best places for stargazing because of its remote location, accessibility, altitude and clear skies.
Canyonlands is a popular destination for astrophotographers so you won’t be alone in the park at night.
FAQ’S FOR VISITING IN APRIL
Is Canyonlands National Park Open in April?
Canyonlands National Park is open 24/7. Visit the NPS site to get the updated operating hours.
Is April a Good Time to Visit Canyonlands National Park?
Looking for the best time to Visit Canyonlands National Park?
April is a terrific time for visiting Canyonlands National Park! But it’s also a popular spring break month so be sure to enter the park before 8 am, leave when it gets crowded, then go back in the afternoon!
What Park Activities Can You Do April?
- A good way to get to know more about Canyonlands is to participate in ranger-led hikes and campfire talks.
- You can watch the park orientation film at the Canyonlands Island in the Sky Visitor Center, which is open seven days a week – check the website for operating hours.
- Kids can earn a Junior Ranger badge (Junior Ranger booklet). Get more details at the visitor center.
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.