Things To Do In Canyonlands National Park Utah
You could at least drive the switchbacks in a 2WD down to the bottom. We were held up in the visitor center while the helicopter came in to rescue them. And it certainly does have the airy and Olympian aura of a floating island, detached from the earth below. Summer will be baking hot and the crowds will arrive making finding a spot in some of the small car parks difficult — start early if you visit during the summer.
Things To Do in Canyonlands National Park
The two rivers that cut through Canyonlands National Park, the Colorado River and the Green River, divide the park into three distinct districts. The rivers themselves are classified as the fourth district. Located a short drive from the town Glacier National Park To Great Falls Mt Moab and near Arches National Parkit can be explored on a scenic drive and on various short hiking trails.
The district gets its name from its geographical location. Surrounded on both sides by the canyons of the Colorado and Green Rivers, the area appears to be a floating plateau.
Needless to say, the views are mind-blowing. With its sheer vertical cliffs, boulder-covered mesas as far as the eye can see, a seemingly endless stairway of canyons and plateaus, and awe-inspiring night skies, Canyonlands National Park is truly America at its very wildest. This enormous national park can easily keep you occupied for days, if not weeks.
Note that you can cover all of this in just one day. I should mention, though, that the night skies are nothing short of epic in this park, so you might want to stick around for a night or two.
As in all national parks in Americathe visitor center is the best place to start. This Canyonlands visitor center lies on UTa minute drive from Moab. From spring through fall, this is where you can top off your water bottles. There also are exhibits, general information, books and maps.
Scenic Drive What makes the Island in the Sky District so awesome is that you can explore the entire mesa top by car. The mile roundtrip Scenic Drive takes you past all trailheads and a number of spectacular overlooks, impressive rock formations and other fun stuff.
This is arguably the crown jewel of the Island in the Sky, a place that you should by no means skip. Sunset is pretty amazing as well. Upheaval Dome A contender for the strangest geological feature in the district, Upheaval Dome lies at the end of one—the western—of the two arms of the Things To Do In Canyonlands National Park Utah Drive. Its name might cause you to expect a towering rock dome, but this is actually a 1,feet meter deep crater.
Grand View Point, definitely appropriately named, provides amazing panoramic views of the canyons below the rim and stretching toward the horizon. As great as the views from this Canyonlands overlook are, they get even better at the end of the Grand View Point Trail. One of the best things to do in Canyonlands National Park, this 2-mile 3.
It ends at the very edge of the rim, at a point where daredevils can literally gaze vertically down the cliff wall. From this overlook, the view takes in the canyons of the southern part of the Island in the Sky, stretching all the way to the Green River in the utterly wild Maze District.
This vista is so sensational that no words suffice to describe it. Gooseberry Trail The Gooseberry Trail is unquestionably one of the best Canyonlands hikes in Island in the Sky if you want to get a real sense of the sheer magnitude of these landscapes. This is the steepest trail in the Island in the Sky district. Some sections are very steep, running along sheer cliffs and near-vertical slopes. Watch your step and keep an eye on the weather. The roundtrip distance is 5. I also suggest adding the 1.
Both Canyonlands trails start from the same parking lot on the Scenic Drive. While Arches National Park is scenic and accessible, the things to do in Canyonlands…
Alerts In Effect
As mentioned, protect yourself if a thunderstorm rolls through. The Needles Utah is what makes this part of the Canyonlands park special, so I think the ability to explore them makes it a worthwhile journey. Overlook at Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky Although the trail network in Island in the Sky is not as extensive as The Needles, hikers can still have their pick of wonderful hikes. Stargazing : With few nearby cities, Canyonlands’ night skies are especially dark.