Things to Do Near Canyonlands National Park

The entire Moab, Utah area is an outdoor lover’s paradise! There are a variety of things to do near Canyonlands National Park like hiking, climbing, biking, river rafting, photography and more!

Of course, if you’ll be near the park, you’ll want to use our Canyonlands National Park guide to know what to do in the park as well.

things to do near Canyonlands

We live just a few hours from Moab so we get to visit often. The activities we share here are based on our experiences enjoying all the things to do near Canyonlands!

Use our list below to learn more about the hiking trails, scenic drives, adventure tours, photography spots and more you’ll find near Canyonlands National Park.

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!

canyonlands packing list optin box
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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!

Canyonlands National Park Activities

If you’re looking for things to do near Canyonlands, we assume you’ll want a list of activities to do when visiting Canyonlands National Park. You can enjoy all types of outdoor activities at this park!

Always check the NPS website for the most updated information about fees, services and permits.

Balanced Rock
Balanced Rock at Arches National Park

Things To Do Near Canyonlands National Park

There are a variety of things to do in the Moab, Utah area like hiking, scenic drives, biking, river rafting, photography and more! We also recommend visiting Arches National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park.

Arches National Park Activities Near Canyonlands

The distance between Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky and Arches National Park is 28 miles and takes about 35 minutes to drive there. From Needles Canyonlands the distance is about 80 miles and takes 1 hour and 30 minutes.

There are a variety of things to do at Arches National Park:

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

Dead Horse Point
Dead Horse Point Near Canyonlands

Dead Horse Point State Park Activities Near Canyonlands

From Dead Horse Point State Park you’ll see a view of the gooseneck bend of the Colorado River that cannot be seen from Canyonlands.

It’s worth the separate entrance fee to see and photograph the views you’ll see at this Utah State Park. The National Park pass is not accepted here.

There are some easy Dead Horse Point State Park hiking trails to explore the various views from the rim of the canyon. This is a fabulous place to watch and photograph the sunset!

Faux Falls in Moab
Faux Falls Hike Near Canyonlands

Hiking Near Canyonlands National Park

The National and State Park boundaries have amazing hikes to do, but you’ll also find a variety of Moab Utah hiking trails to explore. Some of our favorite hikes in Moab include:

Corona Arch – The Corona Arch Trail is one of the most popular and unique trails in Utah. It offers stunning views along the way and the reward at the end is the 140-feet wide and 150-feet high Corona Arch.

Faux Falls – The Faux Falls Trail takes you to a waterfall created by piping that diverts water from Mill Creek to fill the reservoir, Ken’s Lake. In the spring the waterfall is full due to the spring rains and snow runoff from the nearby mountains. In the hotter months, there’s still water flowing, but it’s not the same as spring. Expect crowds since the cool water is a nice reprieve from the heat!

Fisher Towers – The Fisher Towers Trail winds around the bizarre formations of pinnacles, spires, and gargoyles. The color, texture, and structure of these formations are incredibly photogenic, especially at sunset.

Biking near Canyonlands

Biking Near Canyonlands National Park

Moab mountain biking is a very popular activity with a variety of trails for any experience level. There are a variety of trails for any experience level, from beginners looking for a scenic ride through beautiful canyons and mesa tops, to seasoned bikers looking for the ultimate challenge. Join a Moab bike tour to explore the amazing landscape in the area!

Jeeping in Canyonlands

Off-Roading Near Canyonlands National Park

Off-roading tours are the best way to see the scenery and enjoy the thrill, especially if you’re intimidated by the vehicles and terrain.

You can also book a Drive Along Tour where you get behind the wheel of a Jeep, and under the watchful eye of an experienced guide, follow their vehicle along the trail. We have used and recommend Outlaw Jeep Tours for the Drive Along Tour.

view from Anticline Overlook
View from Anticline Overlook

Scenic Drives Near Canyonlands National Park

Check out all the beautiful drives you can enjoy near Canyonlands Island in the Sky and Needles Canyonlands:

Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway – the 34-mile round-trip drive is a terrific half-day excursion from the Moab area to see great views of the Colorado River, ancient rock art, and dinosaur tracks. Watch for signs and pullouts indicating petroglyphs. And look for the “Dinosaur Tracks” sign and turnout. A short hike takes you to a series of three-toed dinosaur tracks. You’ll be amazed at all the dinosaur tracks in Moab you can find.

Arches National Park Scenic Drive – the full 43-mile scenic drive, including the spur roads, takes 2 to 3 hours. Add more time if you plan to walk around and take photos or do any hiking at any of the stops.

Needles Overlook Scenic Drive – the 22 mile drive to the overlook is a scenic side trip and worth the time! It’s a graded dirt road suitable for any vehicle. It’s located off Highway 191 on County road 133 between Moab and Monticello.

Anticline Overlook Scenic Drive – this drive is accessed from the same road you’ll take to see the Needles Overlook. From the vista 1,600 feet above the Kane Creek area, you can see the Colorado River and Arches National Park in the distance.

Red raft going down rapids on a river - white water river rafting

Kayaking, Paddleboarding, and Rafting Near Canyonlands

Explore the Colorado River near Moab by canoe, kayak, paddle boards, or rafting! You can rent boating equipment at local outfitters in Moab.

There are half-day, full-day and even multi-day Moab rafting trips that are perfect for families or groups of friends.

If you want to enjoy calm waters, there are sections of the river where you can have fun doing stand up paddleboarding in Moab. There are many guided tours for stand up paddleboarding for beginners and seasoned paddlers as well.

Rock Climbing Near Canyonlands National Park

Canyoneering and rock climbing tours in Moab are available for both first-timers and experienced climbers!

There are half-day and full-day guided tours that take you to the slot canyons of Moab. The tours are customized according to group interests, skills, and fitness levels.

All equipment is provided. First-timers are welcome! It’s a unique way to experience the area around Canyonlands!

Moab Giants dinosaur museum

Moab Giants Near Canyonlands National Park

Moab Giants Dinosaur Park is amazing!! Both kids and adults will have a blast exploring the outdoor trail and walking along 100 life-sized dinosaurs.

This fun attraction in Moab also includes a 5D PaleoAquarium, Tracks Museum and playground. We recommend you go in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the scorching heat of the sun.  

Arches National Park at sunrise

Photography Near Canyonlands National Park

You definitely want to pack your camera to take pictures of the stunning Moab landscape. Download our camera gear checklist!

Sunrise and sunset hours are the best for photography in Moab because the reflected light on the red rocks is so vibrant!

Our favorite sunrise photo spots in Moab near Canyonlands: La Sal Viewpoint, Balanced Rock, and The Windows at Arches National Park.

Our favorite sunset photos spots in Moab near Canyonlands: Dead Horse Point, Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Potash Road, and Fisher Towers!

We highly recommend this photography guide if you’re SERIOUS about taking photos in Moab: 3 Day Itinerary & Photography Guide

Camping Near Canyonlands National Park

There are a variety of ways to camp in the Moab area near Canyonlands: RV Parks and Campgrounds, National Park Campgrounds, State Park Campgrounds, and BLM camping.

Arches Canyonlands guides and maps

BUY AT AMAZON: Arches and Canyonlands Guides and Maps

Utah Bucket List Activities

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of must-do activities that belong on every Utah Bucket List: things to see, do and taste all around the state! Grab the free download by clicking the graphic below!

utah bucket list - grab the free packet

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