The Arches and Canyonlands National Park located in Utah is just one of the state’s many famous national parks. Split into four different districts, the park consists of The Island in the Sky, The Maze, The Needles, and The Rivers. However, the distance between these four districts can require up to a six hour car drive, meaning to explore each region of the Canyonlands would require at least a couple of days.
Having four different districts that each bring a different experience makes the Canyonlands one of the most unique and diverse parks in the country. Though these districts still bring forth the same Utah desert feel, they each manage to offer something different than the others.
When can I visit the Arches and Canyonlands National Park?
This National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is recommended you consult one of the visitor centers available upon arriving at the Canyonlands. Each district has its own visitor center, so plan on checking out a specific region.
Island In The Sky Visitor Center – Open daily from 8 AM – 6 PM in spring, summer, and fall. During the winter, hours for this center change to 9 AM – 4 PM. The Island in the Sky Visitor Center is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
Hans Flat Ranger Visitor Center – Open daily from 8 AM – 4:30 PM, closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. This visitor center is located in the Maze district of the Canyonlands National Park.
Needles Visitor Center – Open daily from 8 Am – 4:30 PM, this visitor center is closed on Thanksgiving Day, as well as Decemeber 1st – February 15th. During spring and fall, this visitor center is typically open a bit later.
How much does it cost to visit the Arches and Canyonlands National Park?
Pricing to visit the Arches and Canyonlands is relatively cheap in comparison to most other National Parks. For an invidividual on a motorcycle, bicycle, or on foot, the price is $5 for a pass that is valid seven days. A vehicle pass is $10, good for 7 days, and accommodates all passengers in the vehicle. Alternatively, one could purchase a “Local Passport” which grants access to the Arches, Canyonlands, Hovenweep, and Naural Bridges for an entire year at the cost of $25.
There are camping fees as well at the Canyonlands, it costs $10 for a night at the Willow Flat Campground, which is located in the Island of the Sky district. For a night at the Squaw Flat Campground which is located in the Needles district, the cost is $15. The policy for reservation is first come, first served.
What is there to do in the Arches and Canyonlands National Park?
Typically, visitors will enjoy the various hiking and biking trails available in the Canyonlands. There is also plenty of room for those interested in different boating or four-wheel driving adventures. Visitors interested in getting a tour of one of the districts have a few options as well, as the Island of the Sky district offers several different tours.
Kids can enjoy some of the many shorter trails available in the Canyonlands National Park. One great attraction for children is the Cave Spring Trail located in the Needles district. This trail features some prehistoric pictographs as well as a fun cowboy camp that kids of all ages are sure to enjoy. The Canyonlands also offers a Junior Ranger Program, where kids can work towards earning different certifications and/or badges for completing different tasks designated in the program. More information about signing up for this program can be found at any of the Canyonlands Visitor Centers.