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Sample Itinerary Needles District Island in the Sky

Canyonlands National Park

Carved-out canyons. Sheer drop-offs. Body-wide footpaths slicing through red rock. Exploring Canyonlands National Park is touring with an edge.

The whole park is a redrock woodcut engraved by wind’s and water’s big, slow chisels. The Green and Colorado Rivers trisect the Colorado Plateau, etching Canyonlands into distinct districts. The mesas you see at Island in the Sky look like a mountain range lopped off by a broadsword. The Maze is gorges, gorgeously gouged. Needles is a pincushion, pointy-sides-out. Chopped buttes, scored sediment and carved petroglyphs. Lots of sculpting, scraping and dividing asunder. Read more...




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38F 17F Average Temperature
1.5" Avg. Precipitation (inches)
17.1" Avg. Snowfall (inches)

Island in the Sky

Most start here, the district closest to Moab. Park and gawk at the Grand View Point turnoff, or take the easy two-mile hike for even more perspective. Mesa Arch is also quick & pretty. The 100-mile White Rim Road is famous among 4WDrivers, motorcyclists and mountain bikers. It’s fairly intensive, so whether you’re spending a few days doing the whole thing or tackling a section on a day trip, you’ll need a permit. Check road conditions at the visitor center and make sure you’re properly equipped.

Needles District

Southeast of the Colorado River, Needles holds a hundred stunning hikes and world-class off-roading. Plenty to see on day hikes (Pothole Point, Cave Springs) or drive and camp a few days for even more (Chesler Park Loop). Research the roads, reserve your park permits, tune up your 4WD and cut as deep into the Canyonlands map as you dare.

The Maze

The (wild) west district. Don’t go here. It’s too remote and you’re not tough enough. And it’s too beautiful to tolerate (see: Doll house; Maze Overlook). Okay, fine. If you insist. But take extra water, extra gas, sensible shoes, a GPS and a topo map of Canyonlands. Your phone can’t save you here.

In Canyonlands National Park, Utah goes wild. All of the above, plus gnarly whitewater at Cataract Canyon, life-size petroglyphs and pictographs at the Great Gallery in Horseshoe Canyon, and permit-only camping, off-roading, hiking and rafting. Sleeping in true, silent darkness.

Stay sharp.

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