Things to Do at Canyonlands National Park in March

If you’re looking for an adventure-filled escape in March, Canyonlands National Park is the perfect destination. Located in Utah, this national park offers a variety of activities to explore and enjoy.

You’ll find a variety of things to do at Canyonlands National Park in March like hiking, scenic drives, and photography!

Use this Canyonlands National Park guide to plan your March vacation: what to pack, where to stay, and things to do at Canyonlands in March.

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 March is a popular season so expect crowds!

Check out these Canyonlands itineraries to help you plan your vacation!

Canyonlands Travel Bundle Optin
This site contains affiliate links which means WE may receive commissions for purchases made through these links. We only provide links to products we actually use and/or wholeheartedly recommend! As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full Disclosure Policy.

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 Planning a Canyonlands Vacation 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.

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

There may be lines to get into Canyonlands Island in the Sky vs Needles, especially on the weekends. Cars will be circling the parking lots looking for a place to park, and the points of interest will be packed with people.

We recommend getting in to the park early or later in the afternoon.

March Weather at Canyonlands

In March the Canyonlands National Park weather will still be cold in the mornings and evenings, with the daytime temperatures being “just right”. The average highs are 64 and lows 35 degrees F.

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

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

Things to Do at Canyonlands National Park in March

Check out all the fun Canyonlands National Park activities during the month of March!

Visitor Centers and Ranger-Led Programs in March at Canyonlands

We recommend stopping at the Visitor Centers at both parks:

Visitor Centers 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.

Ranger Programs at Canyonlands resume in the spring. Be sure to check the website or with the rangers

Sunset at Green River Overlook Canyonlands
Green River Overlook

Scenic Drives in March at Canyonlands

The Island in the Sky scenic drive is a must-do activity to stop at all 10 overlooks! The viewpoints atop the mesa at this park are spectacular to see and photograph!

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.

We recommend the Canyonlands GyPSy Guide App to hear fun behind-the scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location.

upheaval dome at Canyonlands Island in the Sky
Upheaval Dome Hike

Hikes in March at Canyonlands

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 sunhatsunscreen and sunglasses.

Here’s a list of resources for hiking at Canyonlands:

biking in Canyonlands
Biking in Canyonlands

Biking in March at Canyonlands

Riding your bike at Canyonlands is allowed on the paved roads at Island in the Sky and Needles.

There are also fun backcountry roads for biking at Canyonlands, many of which require permits:

  • White Rim Road: 100-mile loop around and below the Island in the Sky mesa.
  • Elephant Hill Road: one of the most technical roads in Utah
  • Colorado Overlook Road: can be sandy for mountain bikes
Mesa Arch at sunrsie by Photo Jeepers
Mesa Arch at sunrise

Photography in March at Canyonlands

We do most of our sunrise and sunset photography at Island in the Sky.

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! 

milky way over Mesa Arch
Milky way over Mesa Arch

Stargazing in March at Canyonlands

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 3:00 am to 5:00 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. Be sure to use a headlamp with a red light to navigate in the dark.

Canyonlands National Park is internationally recognized as one of the best places for stargazing because of its remote location, accessibility, altitude and clear skies.

Offroading at Canyonlands Needles
4×4 Trail at Canyonlands Needles

4×4 Trails in March at Canyonlands

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!

Needles Campground
Needles Campground

Camping in March at Canyonlands

Island in the Sky Campground: There is one small campground with 12 sites that is fully operational all-year-round, but the sites fill quickly. The nice thing about Willow Flat Campground is that it’s only two minutes walk to the Green River Overlook and the spectacular view you’ll see there! 

Needles Canyonlands Camping: There are 26 individual camping sites and three group sites around the Needles district. Fourteen campsites in Loop A are always on a “first come, first served” basis. Twelve campsites in Loop B an be reserved in the spring and fall.. and they fill quickly!

There are many RV Parks near Canyonlands National Park if you can’t get a spot in the park.

Things To Do in March Near Canyonlands

Arches Canyonlands guides and maps

BUY AT AMAZON: Arches and Canyonlands Guides and Maps

Plan Your Canyonlands Vacation

canyonlands packing list optin box

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *