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. We share tips to avoid the crowds, what to pack, where to stay and things to do at Canyonlands in March.
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!
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Canyonlands National Park Packing List
→ DOWNLOAD: Canyonlands Packing List
- Merrell Moab hiking shoes or Oboz hiking shoes
- Darn Tough hiking socks
- Water – carry a hydration pack or a refillable water bottle in your backpack
- Healthy food that’s portable and filling!
- Columbia fleece jacket
- Wicking, quick-drying clothing
- Lip balm with UV protection
- Sun protection – sunscreen (even in the winter) and a sunhat
- UV sunglasses are good for summer and winter
- Travel hand sanitizer
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Canyonlands guide books and maps
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Camera gear – DOWNLOAD the free checklist!
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!
Check out our article explaining Canyonlands Island in the Sky vs Needles!
Spring is also awesome to see the flowers that bloom during this time of year at Canyonlands. BUT Utah National Parks are busy in the spring, 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.
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.
The average highs are near 64 degrees with the lows around 35.
Keep in mind the weather can be unpredictable if a storm rolls through with rain. Snow could also be a possibility in March.
THINGS TO DO AT CANYONLANDS IN MARCH
Check out all the fun things to do at Canyonlands National Park during the month of March!
Canyonlands Visitor Centers in March
A stop at the Canyonlands Island in the Sky Visitor Center and Needles Visitor Center is always a good idea! They are open every day in the spring. The park ranger is available to give information about things you are interested in seeing and doing.
You’ll find exhibits, book and map sales, backcountry permits, picnic area, and general information. Water is available year-round.
Canyonlands Scenic Drives in March
We LOVE the Island in the Sky scenic drive and recommend you stop at all 10 overlooks to enjoy and photograph the landscape at this park! The viewpoints atop the mesa at this park are spectacular!
As you drive through Needles Canyonlands you’ll see the views are quite different. Take time to stop at the pullouts in the park to enjoy the diverse beauty of the colorful stone spires, called needles.
Canyonlands Hiking Trails 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 to stay hydrated and carry a hydration pack or a refillable water bottle in your backpack. And since most of the trails are fully exposed to the sun, you’ll need sun protection like a sunhat, sunscreen and sunglasses.
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.
- What to Bring on a Day Hike
- Hiking Gear and Tips for Kids
- Winter Clothing for Hiking
- Photography Gear for Hiking
- Best Cameras for Hiking
Canyonlands Photography in March
We do most of our sunrise and sunset photography at Island in the Sky. Our favorite sunrise spots are Grand View Point and Mesa Arch and for sunset we the Colorado River Overlook.
The overlooks along the scenic drive at Island in the Sky are also must-photograph spots. We recommend taking pictures in the morning when the sun isn’t so harsh. If it’s a cloudy day then you’ll be able to take pictures all day!
Check out our Arches & Canyonlands Photography Guide and Itinerary if you’re serious about getting the BEST photos! We share the best photography spots at each park for sunrise, sunset and even night time…and give you our favorite 3 day itinerary!
Stargazing at Canyonlands in March
Did you know Canyonlands has the slogan “Half the Park is After Dark”? On a clear night, the sky is literally filled with stars so definitely take one evening to stay after the sun set and LOOK UP!
In March you can see the milky way from 3 to 5 -ish am. Yes, that’s 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 March
If you want to drive the 4×4 trails in Canyonlands in March, you’ll need to know the up-to-date conditions. Many trails can be impassable if wet. Check with the park rangers for the conditions of the specific trail you want to drive before heading out!
If you’re up for a thrill of a lifetime, and have the right vehicle, we recommend Shafer Trail! It’s a challenging, unpaved backcountry road in Island in the Sky that connects with Moab.
We also enjoy the 4×4 trails at Needles Canyonlands, but check to see if you’ll need a permit for the trail you want to drive.
High-clearance 4WD vehicles with a low range gear (4LO) are required on all off-road trails in Canyonlands. ATVs, OHVs, or UTVs are not permitted inside the park. These 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!
Other Canyonlands Activities
FAQ’S FOR VISITING CANYONLANDS 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?
- 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:
Lists of places to stay near Canyonlands
- 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!
Plan Your Canyonlands Vacation
- Canyonlands National Park Guide
- Best Time to Visit Canyonlands National Park
- Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky
- Needles Canyonlands
- TOURS Near Canyonlands