Canyonlands National Park
With over 330,000 acres of land Canyonlands National Park offers a lifetime of adventures for first-time visitors and seasoned veterans alike. There are four districts of Canyonlands naturally divided by the Colorado and Green River: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers themselves. Wondering where to go and what to explore? We’re here to help you out.
Less than an hour away from the town of Moab is the Island in the Sky District, one of the most popular and accessible sections of Canyonlands. An easy 15 minute hike can lead you to spectacular views of Mesa Arch and surrounding red towers on the valley floor. Want another photogenic spot? With multiple lookouts along a short trail Upheaval Dome Overlook is a geographic mystery from the remains of an impact crater. The unusual blue minerals stand out against the red rock.
South of Moab is The Needles District, named after the multi-colored sandstone spires that seem to grow out of the ground itself. While just as beautiful as Island in the Sky, the area is more remote so it’s less likely to run into crowds of people. Before entering the park be sure to stop at Newspaper Rock, which features the largest known collection of petroglyphs. Once in the park, there are over 60 miles of interconnecting trails as well as 50 miles of backcountry off-roading for jeeps, ATVs or 4-wheelers. A must-do is Druid Arch, accessible through a moderate 9.5 mile hike.
The Maze District is not for the inexperienced of faint of heart. A high-clearance or 4-wheel vehicle is necessary to explore this area, the most remote district in Canyonlands. Advanced backcountry skills are required to safely navigate here. Test yourself first with the The Maze Overlook Trail, an 8-mile trek that follows along the Green River before venturing out into the unknown.
Last but far from least, the Green River and the Colorado River make up the fourth district of Canyonlands. Take the scenic route down the Colorado River with both exciting whitewater and flatwater rafting or SUP trips through PaddleMoab.