Plan your Visit to
Canyonlands National Park
It Is Awesome What Nature Can Accomplish
Sites include amazingly sculpted sandstone and cavernous areas carved out by centuries of water throughout history rushing through and eroding the sides making the canyons deeper through time. Although there are a few national parks found in Utah, Canyonlands National Park is worth visiting for the ability to feel as though you are transported to another planet.
When to go
March – April – May – June – July – August – September – October
Climbing – Day Trip – Geological Formations – Rafting – Stunning Vistas – Hiking – Boating – Archaeological Sites – Biking – Scenic Drives – Bird-Watching – History – Wild flowers
A Little History
The world we live in would be nowhere with our ability to recount the history in which the earth was forged from and the history behind Canyonlands National Park is amazing. The 337,598 acres that we know as Canyonlands National Park was not always considered a national park. Ancient cultures have called the area home for thousands of years and each culture has left their mark on the land including cave carvings that are still visible today. It was not until 1965 that Lyndon Johnson, President of the United States decided to name the land as a national park to ensure its protection from development. Since that time visitation to the park has grown steadily and averages around 400,000 visitors annually. Visitors are drawn to the truly remarkable natural wonders found within Canyonlands National Park.
As you might have guessed, Canyonlands National Park is named for the many canyons found throughout the park. Canyons such as Cataract Canyon have rushing rivers that run through the canyon floor. Trips down these waters can range from Class 1 rapids where the water flows smoothly all the way up to class 5 where it takes expert skill to navigate the fast moving waters. It is important to be aware of your individual skill level. If you are unsure of your ability you can get some expert advice from the visitor’s center or from the expert rangers found throughout the park. Never underestimate the power of the water and always be aware of where you are on the river. River rafting can be a very fun activity if you are equipped to handle it. A river permit is required for all river excursions of this caliber.
Island in the Sky
A visit to Canyonlands National Park would not be complete without a trip to Island in the Sky. This area of the park is noted by its sheer rock faces that can reach heights of 1000 feet. Although this is a beautiful landscape that offers views for miles, you have to climb to the areas to take the best pictures from. That requires knowledge and the ability to scale the cliffs. Rock climbers flock to this area of Canyonlands National Park because it is the only area of the park that maintains its structure while being climbed. Other areas of the park are not as strong and can make rock climbing impossible and very dangerous. Regulations for rock climbing change with the weather conditions so make sure that you stop by the visitor’s center before you travel to Island in the Sky.
Where you can find much excitement in Cataract Canyon, you will find a more subdued atmosphere on both the Colorado or Green River. Flat water refers to any area where the water is calm. These rivers are perfect for canoeing slowly along the water and enjoying the colors of the canyons and vegetation found throughout Canyonlands National Park. Permits are required for all flat water trips including overnight excursions that are quite popular throughout the park. During the hot summer months, you will welcome the chance to find serenity out on the calm waters.
Things to Know
Like most of the national parks in North America, there are fees involved. The fees for Canyonlands National Park are $25 for private vehicles, $15 for motorcycles, and $10 for anyone arriving on foot or non-motorized transportation. Annual passes are by far the best value if you intend on visiting the park multiple times throughout the year. The fee for an annual pass is $50.
Camping is a wonderful experience for guests and Canyonlands National Park has 5 campgrounds dotted around the park. Fees for camping within the campgrounds range from $15 to $70 per night depending on how big of a group you are camping with. Backcountry camping is available as an alternative and permits should be acquired at the visitor’s center.
While in Canyonlands National Park you need to make sure that you have an ample water supply. The recommended amount of water per day is one gallon for every person in your group. If you intend on hiking to the back country area of the park you may want to bring along a water filter to filter the water flowing in the rivers and streams throughout Canyonlands National Park.