Things to Do at Canyonlands National Park in March

Visiting Canyonlands National Park in March is a great time of year to explore this park in Utah without worrying about the daytime heat during the summer! But spring is a popular season at Canyonlands so expect crowds!

You’ll find a variety of things to do at Canyonlands National Park in March like hiking, biking, scenic drives, and photography to explore the unique landscape of towering mesas and deep river canyons!

things to do at Canyonlands in March

If you’re looking for an adventure-filled list of things to do at Canyonlands National Park, March is the perfect time of year to visit! It’s a remote park so it’s important to know the services available, road conditions, and weather for your March vacation!

Use this Canyonlands National Park guide to plan your March vacation: what to pack, where to stay, and things to do. We live only a few hours away from Canyonlands so we’ve had the opportunity to visit many times during every season. The tips we share are based on our experiences visiting Canyonlands throughout the years, and specifically for the month of March!

Our biggest tip is to be prepared for the temperatures and weather so you’re able to enjoy the outdoor activities you want to do at Canyonlands! Use our Canyonlands Packing List to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting in March! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

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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!

Things to Do at Canyonlands National Park in March

Renowned for its awe-inspiring natural beauty, Canyonlands offers a rugged and captivating terrain that’s perfect for hiking, camping, and off-road adventures. The scenic vistas overlooking the Colorado and Green rivers, and the intricate maze of canyons, make it a haven for photographers and nature lovers alike.

Check out all the fun Canyonlands National Park spring 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.

If you’ll be visiting Canyonlands National Park with kids, there are fun ways to get everyone excited before, during and after the trip with National Park activities:

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.

Check out these two scenic drives to see different views of Island in the Sky and 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 National Park spring 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.

  • Island in the Sky hikes: Mesa Arch, Grand View Point, Aztec Butte, and Upheaval Dome
  • Canyonlands Needles hikes: Roadside Ruin, Pothole Point, Cave Spring. There are a few popular difficult hikes as well: Chelser Park Loop and Druid Arch trails.

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

Canyonlands National Park photography is best at sunrise and sunset. The colors are vibrant and the light creates a spectacular glow on the red rocks that cannot be missed.

The mornings and evenings will be cold so we recommend photographer gloves and rechargeable hand warmers as well as a headlamp for navigating the trails before sunrise and after sunset!

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!

Canyonlands Tours in March

With experienced guides on Canyonlands National Park tours, you can explore all the amazing sights the park has to offer and make sure you don’t miss anything.

Whether you’re looking for a half-day or full-day excursion, there are plenty of Canyonlands National Park tours available to fit your needs: guided hikes, canyoneering, biking, and photography!

Needles Campground
Needles Campground

Camping in March at Canyonlands

You’ll find Canyonlands National Park camping at both districts:

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.

Lodging Near Canyonlands in March

If camping isn’t your thing, there are a variety of lodging options near Canyonlands:

Arches Canyonlands guides and maps

BUY AT AMAZON: Arches and Canyonlands Guides and Maps

Things To Do Near Canyonlands in March

Canyonlands Itineraries

We’ve created some done-for-you itineraries for visiting Canyonlands depending on the time you have to spend at the park. Click the graphic below to get a free travel bundle that includes printable daily itineraries. Or click the links below to see detailed itineraries of the best things to do at Canyonlands!

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