Canyonlands is an intriguing, mysterious, and beautiful place. Most visitors stop by the Island in the Sky District for a day while visiting nearby Arches National Park, but we suggest taking the time to really experience this incredible place.
During our four days in Canyonlands, we were able to see two distinct areas: The Needles District and the Island in the Sky District. (Next time, we’ll have to hit up The Maze District for an even more rugged experience) Both districts had their own apparent flavor and exploration options.
Although you can hardly go wrong here, we’d especially recommend backpacking (or completing a lengthy day hike) in The Needles, checking out lesser known overlooks in Island in the Sky like the White Rim Overlook, and spending some time in the wonderful gateway town of Moab, Utah.
- Where your planning begins: NPS Website
- Our article, Four Unexpected Curves from Canyonlands National Park
- Our article, “6 Eccentricities of Great Sand Dunes”
- Our Video Highlights
- Our Facebook Photo Gallery
- Our Podcast highlights
- Stop and hike in Island in the Sky: we loved the White Rim Overlook and Murphy Point Overlook, but you should definitely not skip the popular Mesa Arch.
- If you have an extra day, backpack or do a longer day hike in The Needles
- Find a place along the canyon edge to watch the sunset or sunrise one day
- Camp at Murphy Point Overlook, one of the NPS’s best kept secrets
- Drive or bike the 100-mile White Rim Road
- Take on the rugged Maze District.
- Dead Horse Point State Park
Pin it for Later:
In August 2015 we left our jobs and our home to go on a tour of all 59 National Parks across the US during the NPS Centennial year. We spent a year immersing ourselves for about 5 days in each park as we tent camped, hiked, biked, backpacked, kayaked, and climbed our way through the challenge and adventure of our lifetime.
We are Cole and Elizabeth, twenty-something Missourians turned National Parks explorers - constantly seeking to find new adventure and ourselves. Follow our journey for pictures, videos, park tips, and stories - because after all, the Parks are for sharing.