Your Canyonlands National Park Itinerary
Most travelers spend hours or days trying to figure out the most popular sites and hidden gems to visit. We create detailed itineraries that give you a step-by-step game plan so you can get to the best places at the right times and have a trip your family will remember forever!
Canyonlands is the least visited national park in Utah and is overshadowed by its neighbor, Arches. Similar to the Grand Canyon, its defining feature is to stand on the edge of a sheer cliff and look into forever. It’s not as deep as the Grand Canyon, but it’s much wider. John Wesley Powell first explored this area on a river raft, overshadowed by his more famous trip through the Grand Canyon. Poor Canyonlands, always playing second fiddle.
Canyonlands has four sections:
- Island in the Sky. It’s close to Moab and Arches and is the most visited section with the most iconic Grand Canyon-like views.
- The Needles. The bottom of the canyons, with wonderful hikes and interesting variety.
- Horseshoe Canyon & The Maze. Backcountry destinations requiring off-roading and hiking.
Island in the Sky
- Mesa Arch. One of the best sunrise locations!
- Viewpoints. Take in panoramic vistas from one of these great spots.
- Aztec Butte. Fun, scrambling hike with great views.
- White Rim Overlook Trail. Flat, easy hike to the best viewpoint in the park.
- Upheaval Dome. Mysterious formation known as “Utah’s Belly Button.”
- Shafer Road. Winding drive through the canyon.
- Dead Horse Point. Nearby state park with views of the Colorado River.
- Slickrock Trail. Easy but rewarding hike almost entirely on slick rock.
- Cave Spring. Short but fun hike with a variety of history and views.
- Newspaper Rock. An accessible panel of rock art.
- Chesler Park. A 10-mile jaunt through the Needle formations.
- Pothole Point. Short and flat hike over rock indentations, with views of the Needles.
- An Easy Guide to Visiting Canyonlands National Park
- 9 Great Places to Stay When Visiting Arches, Canyonlands, and Moab
- Best places to eat in Moab, Arches, & Canyonlands
- Hiking in the Desert: 11 things to know before you go