Canyonlands National Park is located near Moab in Utah and in direct proximity to Arches National Park. The area was declared on September 12, 1964 National Park and covers an area of ​​527.5 mi ² ( 1.366 km ²).

The Colorado and Green River have cut deep canyons in the Colorado Plateau, and divide the park into three parts:

  • Iceland in the Sky in the North
  • The Needles in the southeast
  • The Maze in the West

In addition to these three major sections, there is a small section in the west, the so-called Horseshoe Canyon.


The Iceland in the Sky and the Needles section are over U.S. 191, which runs through Moab, accessible. The Maze is the most remote of the three regions and is accessible only from the west on the state roads 24 or 95 and on unpaved roads.

Between the individual sections there is no road connections within the park.

Iceland in the Sky

The Iceland in the Sky is a sprawling plateau ( mesa ) enclosed by Colorado and Green River. There are many spectacular views of the White Rim, a sandstone escarpment some 360 ​​meters below the plateau, and on the rivers, a further 300 meters below the White Rim. Along the White Rim leads the popular 160 km long White Rim Trail, an unpaved rocky path that can be traveled after the approval of park management in all terrain vehicles or mountain bikes. By car, the journey takes two to three days, with the approval of accommodation places are allocated, which as only features a single outhouse. The number of permits issued per day is strictly limited, so that the visitor to the partially adventurous guided route is usually completely alone.

The rapids Big Drop Rapids of the Colorado River located at 1,128 meters above sea level.

The Needles

The Needles got its name from red and white grained rock spiers that dominate the area. But there are still a number of other rock formations such as canyons, sinkholes, columns and arches. Unlike in Arches National Park, where many of these arches are accessible by short walks or even by car, they are in the Needles District in the hinterland and can only be reached by jeep or on long walks.

The area was formerly the home of the Pueblo Indians of which many remains are preserved. Many of the tools and small items have been stolen from antique hunters, but many of the stone houses and mud huts are well preserved. The members of the Pueblo culture have also left traces in the form of petroglyphs. The best known are visible on the so-called Newspaper Rock near the Visitor Center at the entrance.

The Cathedral Point in the Needles District is 2,170 meters the highest peak in the park.

The Maze

The Maze District is located west of the Colorado and Green River and is the most remote and least accessible section.