Utah Canyonlands
Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National ParkCanyonlands National Park is the largest in Utah,
covering 527.5 square miles. The park is divided by the Colorado and Green Rivers into three distinct districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, and the Maze. Horseshoe Canyon is also part of Canyonlands National Park but is geographically separate. The rivers and their tributaries have had a major hand in designing this natural wonder where canyons, mesas, and buttes typify the primitive southern Utah desert landscape yet each section is highlighted by its own unique characteristics. Renowned American author Edward Abbey called Canyonlands National Park, 'the most weird, wonderful, magical place on earth.' Visitors will quickly see why.

Island in the Sky
The Island in the Sky district is a massive mesa elevated more than 1,000 feet above the surrounding landscape, with panoramic views of spectacular canyon country up to 100 miles in every direction. The district is defined by the Green River to the west and the Colorado River on the east. A paved road with several scenic pullouts leads from Moab to Island in the Sky, making it one of the easiest areas to explore. Island in the Sky district can be explored in as little as an hour, by driving to Grand View Point and Green River overlooks for a broad view of Canyonlands National Park. A half day will also allow time for a few short hikes. There are several short trails (all two miles roundtrip or less) atop the mesa, including Aztec Butte, Grand View Point Trail, Mesa Arch, Upheaval Dome Overlook Trail, and Whale Rock Trail, as well as access to longer trails like Murphy Loop, Syncline Loop, Lathrop Canyon, and Taylor Canyon. The White Rim Road Trail runs for 100 miles below the mesa top, offering spectacular views and multi-day mountain bike and four-wheel drive trips. Trail maps are available at the visitor center, which is open daily and has limited services. Overnight visitors can stay on a first-come basis at Willow Flat Campground, which offers year-round camping at their twelve sites, plus grills, picnic tables, and vault toilets. Be sure to bring bottled water and food, as no other services are available in the park. Ranger-led activities are available from March through October.

Needles District CanyonlandsThe Needles
The Needles district is named for the Cedar Mesa sandstone spires that jut up from the landscape. Located in the southwest section of Canyonlands National Park, this district is well-known for its natural formations, extensive interconnecting trail system, and more than 50 miles of rugged roads. The Needles district can be accessed from towns along Highway 191 by heading west on Highway 211 to the Visitor Center, which is open year-round. From there, a scenic road winds through a section of the Needles to Big Spring Canyon Overlook for an expansive view. Stops along the way include Roadside Ruin, Cave Spring, Pothole Point, and Slickrock Trail. Short interpretive trails at these stops are a great way to experience the park for visitors with only an hour or two to explore. Those with half a day to explore can hike the 2.4-mile Slickrock Trail or drive to the Colorado River Overlook. A full day or more allows time to hike some of the longer trails, like the Chesler Park Loop/Joint Trail, Elephant Canyon/Druid Arch, Confluence Overlook, Big Spring to Squaw Canyon, Squaw Canyon to Lost Canyon, and Peekaboo Trail. The longest trails, Lower Red Lake Canyon (18.8 miles) and Salt Creek Canyon (22.5 miles) may require overnight camping. Trail conditions are rough, typically slickrock or very sandy, and are marked with cairns. There are few water sources. Hiking isnít the only way to explore the Needles, however. More than 50 miles of rugged roads requiring a high-clearance, four-wheel drive vehicle lead through some of the most challenging backcountry Canyonlands has to offer, including Elephant Hill, the Colorado Overlook, Salt Creek, Horse Canyon, and Lavender Canyon. Permits are required for all overnight backcountry trips, whether by vehicle or on foot. Roads may close due to inclement weather.

There are three small campgrounds in the Needles district to accommodate overnight visitors: Squaw Flat, Wooden Shoe, and Split Top. Squaw Flat Campground is the largest, with 26 sites, bathrooms, grills, picnic tables, tent and RV pads. Campgrounds fill fast from March to October, and reservations are required for large groups. Squaw Flat Campground is the perfect base camp for a number of half- and full-day hikes accessible from the Elephant Hill Trailhead and the Squaw Flat Loop A Trailhead. There are five backcountry vehicle campsites with a limited number of spots.

Getting there:
Moab, La Sal, Monticello, and Blanding offer convenient access via paved roads to the Island in the Sky and Needles districts inside Canyonlands National Park. From Highway 191, take Highway 313 to Island in the Sky, or take Highway 211 to reach the Needles district. Dirt roads leading to the Maze district require a four-wheel drive vehicle and may be impassable in wet weather. Canyonlands National Park is open year-round.

Canyonlands: http://www.nps.gov/cany/index.htm

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July, 2017

Jul 20, 2017 - Jul 22, 2017
Monticello Ghost Tour
Jul 21, 2017 - Jul 22, 2017
Astronomy Program at Natural Bridges National Monument
Jul 22, 2017
Monticello Pioneer Day Celebration
Jul 22, 2017
Astronomy Program at Hovenweep National Monument
Jul 26, 2017
Starry Nights @ the Canyon Country Discovery Center
Jul 28, 2017 - Jul 29, 2017
Astronomy Program at Natural Bridges National Monument
Jul 29, 2017
Astronomy Program at Hovenweep National Monument

August, 2017

Aug 04, 2017 - Aug 05, 2017
Blue Mountain Enduro Series Mt. Bike Race
Aug 04, 2017 - Aug 12, 2017
San Juan County Fair
Aug 04, 2017 - Aug 05, 2017
Astronomy Program at Natural Bridges National Monument
Aug 05, 2017
Astronomy Program at Hovenweep National Monument
Aug 10, 2017
Collin Raye Concert
Aug 11, 2017 - Aug 12, 2017
Astronomy Program at Natural Bridges National Monument
Aug 12, 2017
Perseids Meteor Shower
Aug 12, 2017
Astronomy Program at Hovenweep National Monument
Aug 18, 2017
Monticello Movies at the Park- Old Yeller
Aug 18, 2017 - Aug 19, 2017
Astronomy Program at Natural Bridges National Monument
Aug 19, 2017
Astronomy Program at Hovenweep National Monument
Aug 21, 2017
Solar Eclipse Viewing Party
Aug 25, 2017 - Aug 26, 2017
Astronomy Program at Natural Bridges National Monument
Aug 26, 2017
Astronomy Program at Hovenweep National Monument
Aug 31, 2017
Utah Symphony- 'Great American Road Trip' Tour

September, 2017

Sep 08, 2017 - Sep 09, 2017
Indian Summer Festival
Sep 09, 2017
5th Annual Blue Mountain Chase Mt. Bike & Road Race
Sep 13, 2017 - Sep 16, 2017
San Juan ATV Safari
Sep 23, 2017
Young Eagles Fly-in

October, 2017

Oct 14, 2017 - Oct 07, 2017
Newspaper Rock 10K Race
Oct 20, 2017 - Oct 22, 2017
Bluff Arts Festival
Oct 28, 2017
Monticello Harvest Festival