Off Beaten Path Attractions in Canyonlands National Park



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  • Canyonlands
  • Seek out the off-the-beaten-path activities of Canyonlands, and you'll be amply rewarded. The unusual, the unexpected, and the unforgettable hikes and views that not as many experience are what make memories for a lifetime. These are some of our favorite off the beaten path things to do in Canyonlands.

    Horseshoe Canyon is a remote, sandy hike that leads to ancient rock art panels widely considered to be the best in North America. Elephant Canyon/Druid Arch is another favorite Canyonlands hike, serving up stellar, classic views of the area. Others vigorously defend Chesler Park for its own unique topography and backcountry serenity. Salt Creek Canyon hides many ancient ruins and some natural arches. Lower Red Lake Canyon doesn't have a lake, but it does have a great overnight backpacking trail and a 1,400 foot elevation change. The Confluence Overlook leads to a lookout high above the meeting of the mighty Colorado and Green Rivers. Murphy Loop has beautiful views of the surrounding White Rim rock formations and the elegantly carved canyons.

    For some hardy, adventurous people, off-the-beaten-path means wild back roads that can be driven. In the rugged, remote Maze District of Canyonlands, you'll find plenty such dirt roads. Elephant Hill Road is quite popular with Jeep enthusiasts, while Lavender Canyon Road will definitely test both your skill and stamina along its bone-rattling 30 mile+ length. Make sure you have maps, water, and backcountry smarts before you head off on these decidedly off-the-beaten-path treks.

    Chesler Park

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    Canyonlands National Park

    17 miles, can be less. Sun exposed, largest rocks in Needles... read more

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    Horseshoe Canyon

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    Remote backcountry hike leading to well-preserved rock art panels in pristine canyon... read more

    Elephant Canyon / Druid Arch

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    Canyonlands National Park

    One of the best views of the Needles. 11 miles...
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    Salt Creek Canyon

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    Canyonlands National Park

    Rough canyon trail past arches and archaeological sites... read more

    Lower Red Lake Canyon

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    Canyonlands National Park

    18.8 mi. No actual lake! No water till muddy Colorado River... read more

    Confluence Overlook

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    Canyonlands National Park

    11 miles, flat desert trail, view Maze and Island districts... read more

    Murphy Loop

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    Canyonlands National Park

    9-miles, 1400-foot elevation gain, no water...
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    The Maze roads

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    Canyonlands National Park

    Only for experienced drivers. High clearance 4WD vehicles... read more

    Lavender Canyon road

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    Canyonlands National Park

    36.6 mile 4WD road. Too sandy for mountain bikes. Ruins... read more

    Elephant Hill road

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    Canyonlands National Park

    Very challenging 4WD road... read more
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