NileGuide Expert Says:
Classic Utah gem, rugged and gorgeous
Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park, UT 84532
NileGuide Expert tip:
Island in the Sky District is most accessible area; the Maze District is for experienced visitors only
Canyonlands National Park is smack in the red rock heart of Utah's canyon country, part of the Grand Circle. The park itself is divided into three main districts: Island in the Sky, the Needles district, and the Maze. Canyonlands has diverse enough attractions to tempt families who want to check out the easily accessible Mesa Arch as well as hardcore desert rats tackling the 100-mile White Rim Road on their fat tires. Most visitors hit up Island in the Sky, so-called because it's a mesa that juts into the sky. This area is chock-a-block with activities for everyone, home to the visitor's center and plenty of ranger-led events. But if possible, also head to the Needles District, which features those fabulously spiky fingers of sandstone that point up at the impossibly blue Utah sky. Amazing hikes, both long and short, define this area. The Maze district is out in beautiful boo-hucky and should be attempted by those who are hardy, resourceful, and really well-prepared. Don't head out here unless you know what you're getting into! But the rewards of the Maze are awesome for those ready to spend at least three days, if not more, exploring one of nature's truly spectacular offerings.