Visiting Canyonlands National Park in March

Canyonlands National Park in March is a wonderful time to visit due to the moderate temperatures.

Use our tips below and our Canyonlands National Park guide to plan your March 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, what to pack, where to stay and things to do at Canyonlands in March.

canyonlands national park in march

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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

3. Clothing – Layers

4. Daypack

5. Other

TOP REASON TO VISIT CANYONLANDS IN MARCH

The weather at Canyonlands National Park in March perfect! It will be cold in the mornings and evenings, and the daytime temperatures will be just right for exploring the park.

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.

BIGGEST DRAWBACK

Spring is a busy time at Utah National Parks, especially at Canyonlands, Arches and the Moab area.

There will be lines to get into the park, especially on the weekends. There may 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.

photograph canyonlands in the spring

CANYONLANDS WEATHER IN MARCH

The weather at Canyonlands National Park in March will still be cold in the mornings and evenings. But the daytime temperatures will be nice for enjoying outdoor activities.

Keep in mind the weather can be unpredictable if a storm rolls through with rain. Snow could also be a possibility in March.

The average highs are near 64 degrees with the lows around 35.

Dress in layers when visiting Canyonlands in March. We recommend an insulted jacket, fleece jacket and waterproof hiking boots as well as a winter hat and gloves.

HIKING IN MARCH

The Canyonlands hikes in March are so nice because you enjoy the sun being out during the day. This is quite different from summer when you’re sweating and worrying about heat exhaustion.

Remember that it’s still 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 March since you aren’t really worrying about finding shade!

hiking at canyonlands in the spring

PHOTOGRAPHY IN MARCH

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 March, 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 MARCH

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 March you can see the milky way from 3 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.

milky way at canyonlands in the spring

FAQ’S FOR VISITING IN MARCH

Is Canyonlands National Park Open in March?

Canyonlands National Park is open 24/7. Visit the NPS site to get the updated operating hours.

Is March a Good Time to Visit Canyonlands National Park?

Looking for the best time to Visit Canyonlands National Park?

March 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 early, leave when it gets crowded, then go back in the afternoon!

What Park Activities Can You Do March?

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.

Plan Your Canyonlands Vacation

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