Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Canyonlands National Park with kids. Since we live so close, we have a ton of tips to share!
Use this Canyonlands National Park guide to plan an amazing itinerary full of family-friendly activities! We also share tips for things to pack, where to stay and more!
Located in southeast Utah, Canyonlands is a great destination for families to explore the stunning landscapes found at this National Park!
Kids will find a variety of fun things to do like hiking, biking, stargazing, and more! So pack up your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure with kids in Canyonlands!
Check out these Canyonlands Itineraries for 1, 2, or 3 days in the park!
- Canyonlands National Park One Day Itinerary
- Two Days at Canyonlands National Park
- Three Days at Canyonlands National Park
- One Day at Needles Canyonlands National Park
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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!
Tips For Visiting Canyonlands With Kids
Canyonlands is subdivided along the Green and Colorado Rivers into four unique districts, that are known as The Needles, Island in the Sky, The Maze and The Rivers.
Of all the districts, we recommend visiting Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky because it’s the most accessible. It also offers fantastic, panoramic views of the park along the Island in the Sky scenic drive.
Take a short side trip to visit Dead Horse Point State Park near the entrance to Island in the Sky. It is a must-see location!
In contrast, when you visit Needles Canyonlands, you’ll experience a remote, backcountry experience with an assortment of natural geologic formations that can only be reached by using one of the many Canyonlands hiking trails or four-wheel driving trails.
Check out our article explaining Canyonlands Island in the Sky vs Needles!
There are so many fun ways to explore Canyonlands: hiking trails, scenic drives, rock climbing, and off-road driving to name a few.
Best Time to Visit Canyonlands
Finding the best time to visit Canyonlands National Park all depends on the activities you want to do, and the type of weather you’ll enjoy.
The Canyonlands National Park weather varies drastically from summer to winter so you’ll need to be prepared for the temperatures during the time you visit.
Most of the year you’ll enjoy fun outdoor Canyonlands National Park activities like scenic drives, hiking, and biking. During the winter, the activities are a bit more limited due to the cold and snow!
- Canyonlands in the spring
- Canyonlands in the summer
- Canyonlands in the fall
- Canyonlands in the winter
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 National Park With Kids
There are fun ways to get the kids excited before, during and after the trip with National Park activities:
- Canyonlands National Park Facts
- National Park Activity Pack (FREE PRINTABLE)
- National Park Activity Books for Kids
Check out this list of fun things to Do at Canyonlands National Park with kids:
Canyonlands Visitor Centers & Ranger Programs
If this is your first time visiting the park, stop at the Canyonlands Island in the Sky Visitor Center and Needles Visitor Center. Take time to talk to the park ranger to get information about things you are interested in seeing and doing.
The rangers can give you tips for the best things to do with kids You can also find out what Canyonlands ranger-led programs are offered during the time you visit.
Canyonlands Passport Stamps with Kids
Kids, and adults, will enjoy collecting stamps in their National Park Passport book! Passport booklets and stamp sets are “usually” available at the park visitor centers, but we recommend you get the passport book before the trip, just in case!!
We’ve seen sad kiddos when a visitor center is out of passport books. Rangers can stamp a piece of paper, but it’s not just the same experience!
Canyonlands Junior Ranger Program
The Junior Ranger Program at Canyonlands is a fun kid activity! There are activities to complete in order to earn the Junior Ranger Badge and signed certificate. Grab the free Junior Ranger booklet at the Visitor Center.
Canyonlands Scenic Drives With Kids
Exploring the Island in the Sky scenic drive is a must-do activity! Stop at all 10 overlooks to enjoy and photograph the never-ending views!
You’ll see different views at Needles Canyonlands as you drive through the park. Stop at all pullouts to enjoy the diverse beauty of the stone spires in this part of the park, and see why it’s called Needles.
A fun way to entertain the kids while exploring the scenic drive is using the Canyonlands GyPSy Guide App! You’ll hear fascinating behind-the scenes stories, local tips, and directions that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location. It’s like having a park ranger in the car with you!
Check out these two scenic drives close to Needles with stunning views of Canyonlands:
Hiking at Canyonlands With Kids
Exploring the Canyonlands hikes is one of the best activities to appreciate this park. Some of the easier hikes for kids include:
- Island in the Sky hikes for kids: Mesa Arch, Grand View Point, Aztec Butte and Upheaval Dome.
- Canyonlands Needles hikes for kids: Roadside Ruin, Pothole Point, Cave Spring.
Stargazing at Canyonlands With Kids
Stargazing at Canyonlands is another must-do activity with kids. On a clear night, the sky is literally filled with stars. Canyonlands National Park is a Dark Sky Park and they have a slogan that says “Half the Park is After Dark”!
Be sure to maximize your experience by allowing your eyes time to adjust (usually takes about 30 minutes), avoiding the moon, bringing a star chart, and using a headlamp with red light to reduce harm to your night vision.
Canyonlands Tours With Kids
There are a variety of Canyonlands National Park tours kids would love: guided hikes, canyoneering, biking, and river rafting!
- Private Half-Day Canyoneering Tour Near Canyonlands
- Mountain Bike Tour in Canyonlands National Park
- Half-Day Canyonlands 4WD Tour
- Canyonlands Cataract Canyon Rafting Tour
BUY AT AMAZON: Arches and Canyonlands Guides and Maps
Things To Do Near Canyonlands With Kids
- Arches National Park with Kids
- Kid-Friendly Things to do in Moab, Utah
- Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway
Where to Stay Near Canyonlands With Kids
- Island in the Sky Campgrounds
- Needles Canyonlands Camping
- Hotels Near Canyonlands National Park
- Cabins near Canyonlands National Park
Packing List for Canyonlands
Use our Canyonlands Packing List to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting any time of year! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!