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“Lovely.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park, UT
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Type: Canyons, Outdoors
Attraction details
Herriman, Utah, United States
Top Contributor
241 reviews 241 reviews
153 attraction reviews
Reviews in 86 cities Reviews in 86 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Spend a day and bring a some food. There is so much beauty, it is difficult to understand until one has been there. Worth the family outing.

Visited April 2012
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Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
48 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
“Amazing Hiking Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

I love our American National Park system and Canyonlands National Park is one of the reasons why. It may not match the big name appeal of a Yellowstone or Grand Canyon. It may not even match the amazing sight after sight that its neighbor, Arches N.P. possesses and makes a premier tourist attraction. However, it's these very reasons why I love Canyonlands so much - it's relatively scarce visitation numbers, particularly outside of Island in the Sky(1 of 3 areas of the park, each increasingly distant to reach and requiring a degree of self suffiency), means you'll have most of the park to yourself. And with that the case, even a day hike into the back country can not only be immensely rewarding, but give a sense of something sacred and special amidst the stark desert beauty of the park.

To begin, there are 3 sections to the park - Island in the Sky/The Needles/The Maze. Island in the Sky is close to Moab and the entrance to Arches. From here, you'll see some impressive overviews of southern Utah canyon country. Mesa Arch and the Upheaval Dome are must see sights to this area.

While Canyonlands can be enjoyed by car, it's true character only can be appreciated with some adventurous spirit. Southern Utah is the epicenter of mountain biking for good reason - there are countless trails, including the White Rim Road of Island in the Sky. Rugged off road driving rentals are available in Moab and there is even some white water rafting, too. The opportunities for the outdoorsy type are numerous at Canyonlands.

However, I'm more of a hiker and though Island in the Sky has some good trails that descend into the canyons themselves, the Needles section of Canyonlands offers some amazing hikes requiring rock scrambling, as well as strenuous descents into canyons. The Needles can only be accessed by driving about 80 miles south of Moab, so if you're touring by car only, the distance may be an obstacle; furthermore, the Needles can only truly be appreciated by getting out and doing an all day hike.

This section of the park is so named for its numerous rock structures that jut out from the ground like a huge collection of rock needles. A day hike can take you right past these awe-inspiring formations and passing them, you can get a sense of why such ground was considered so sacred and spiritual by Native Americans. Though vegetation is sparse, the hike never becomes boring as the landscape constantly changes as you move from rock to rock, requriing dexterity and focus. You'll be tired at the end of the day, but it's rewarding. Camp underneath the stars in this vast land of solitude and you'll feel like your light years from civilization.

The Maze is even more remote and is by far the least visited area of the park. I didn't visit the Maze, but it's rugged nature and sparse resources would make it the type of area best reserved for those accustomed to desert hiking with particular attention to packing a great deal of water. I would love to go there one day, but it would require a lot of planning.

Canyonlands is not a park for everyone - casual motor tourists or families won't find much besides a quick stop to Island in the Sky. However, the park's stark desert beauty and opportunities for rugged adventure make it a special place for those who love to get back in touch with nature.

Visited May 2012
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Groton, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Take time to visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Not as crowded as Arches but well worth seeing. The topography is altogether different from Arches but equally fascinating.

Visited September 2012
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Ogden, Utah
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“way pretty.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

Staff did great on advising and were friendly. Did a short but beautiful hike at the very end of the park. Only passes two couples the whole time, so it was secluded and peaceful. Drove to the same spot at night to see the stars and were blown away.

Visited March 2013
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Greenville, South Carolina
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Not as good as Arches”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

Canyon lands worth visiting but I would spend most of your time in Arches. Views are neat but similar to south rim Grand Canyon

Visited March 2013
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