Visiting Canyonlands National Park in April
Located in Utah, Canyonlands has miles of trails, canyons, rivers, and mesas to explore. Canyonlands National Park in April is one of the best times to visit due to the moderate temperatures.
Use this Canyonlands National Park guide to plan your April vacation: things to do, what to pack, where to stay, and more!
It’s nice to be able to explore the park all day long without worrying about the daytime heat during the summer!
But Canyonlands National Park in the spring is a popular season so expect crowds!
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!
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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 in April
Canyonlands National Park is open 24/7. Visit the NPS site to get the updated Canyonlands operating hours.
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.
But the Utah National Parks get crowded during the peak seasons of spring and fall. Canyonlands, 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.
Canyonlands Weather in April
The April Canyonlands National Park weather is pretty much perfect with cooler mornings and evenings, and moderate daytime temperatures. The average highs are near 70 degrees with the lows around 40. Keep in mind the weather can be unpredictable if a storm rolls through with rain.
Arches & Canyonlands AUDIO TOUR
“Download the app to your phone – no cell or wifi service needed. Based on your GPS location, the app takes you on a guided tour of the park and points out all the interesting features and stops. It’s like having a park ranger in the car with you.”
Things to Do at Canyonlands in April
Here’s a list of all the things to do at Canyonlands National Park during the month of April!
Canyonlands Visitor Centers in April
The Canyonlands Island in the Sky Visitor Center and Needles Visitor Center are open every day in April. The park rangers are there to give you tips and ideas on all the things to do in the park.
You’ll also find exhibits, book and map sales, backcountry permits, picnic area, and general information. Water is available year-round.
Canyonlands 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 (water bottles or hydration backpacks) and wear sunscreen!
Most of the hiking trails in both parks are fully exposed to the sun, which is perfect for your visit in April since you aren’t really worrying about finding shade! Here’s a list of easy hike at both districts:
- Island in the Sky hikes: Mesa Arch, Grand View Point, Aztec Butte and Upheaval Dome.
- Canyonlands Needles hikes: Roadside Ruin, Pothole Point and Cave Spring.
Canyonlands Scenic Drives in April
The Island in the Sky scenic drive is a must-do activity! Stop at all 10 overlooks to enjoy and take pictures of the views seen atop the mesa in this part of the park!
Driving through Needles Canyonlands the views will be much different since you won’t be looking down into the canyons. Instead, you’ll see colorful stone spires, or needles as you stop at the various pullouts in the park.
Photography at Canyonlands in April
Spring photography at Canyonlands is so rewarding, especially at sunrise and sunset.
- Canyonlands sunrise photo spots at Island in the Sky: Grand View Point and Mesa Arch
- Canyonlands sunset photo spots at Island in the Sky: Colorado River Overlook and nearby Dead Horse Point!
CHECK OUT our Arches and Canyonlands photography guide to know the best places to take sunrise, sunset and night photos!
We also recommend you stop at all the viewpoints along the scenic drive at Island in the Sky to photograph the stunning canyons below the mesa.
Canyonlands 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 is a popular destination for astrophotographers so you won’t be alone in the park at night.
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 4×4 Trails in April
There are fun 4×4 trails at Island in the Sky and Needles. At Island in the Sky we recommend driving the Shafer Trail! If you have the right vehicle, it’s a challenging, unpaved backcountry road in Island in the Sky that connects with Moab.
The 4×4 trails at Needles Canyonlands require high-clearance 4WD vehicles with a low range gear (4LO). Also check to see if you’ll need a permit for the trail you want to drive.
ATVs, OHVs, or UTVs are not permitted inside the park. The 4×4 trails should not be attempted by inexperienced drivers since there is a high risk of vehicle damage that could lead to towing costs in excess of $1,000!
More Canyonlands Activities
FAQ’S FOR VISITING CANYONLANDS 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.
BUY AT AMAZON: Arches and Canyonlands Guides and Maps:
Where to Stay Near Canyonlands
There are no lodging facilities in the park, but there are campgrounds:
- Island in the Sky Campgrounds
- Needles Canyonlands Camping
- Where to Stay Near Canyonlands
- Hotels Near Canyonlands National Park
- 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 Moab – 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).
Plan Your Canyonlands Vacation
- Visiting Canyonlands National Park
- Canyonlands Packing List
- Best Time to Visit Canyonlands National Park
- Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky
- Needles Canyonlands
- TOURS Near Canyonlands
Things To Do Near Canyonlands
- Dead Horse Point State Park
- Arches National Park Travel Guide
- Things To Do in Moab
- TOURS Near Canyonlands