Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park

RV Rental Dates


Canyonlands National Park was established on September 12, 1964, and it covers over 337,598 acres of rugged terrain. The park is known for its deep canyons carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries. It holds great cultural significance to Native American tribes, including the Ute, Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni, who have lived in the region for thousands of years. These indigenous peoples left behind rock art, dwellings, and artifacts that provide valuable insights into their way of life.

Canyonlands experiences a semi-arid climate with hot summers and cold winters. Summers can be scorching, with temperatures often exceeding 100°F (37°C), while winters can be cold and snowy. RV renters should be prepared for extreme temperature fluctuations and sudden weather changes. It’s essential to carry adequate water, sunscreen, and clothing suitable for varying weather conditions. Check road conditions and park alerts, especially during inclement weather.

The peak season for visiting Canyonlands National Park typically occurs from late spring to early fall when the weather is more favorable. Late spring and early fall offer milder temperatures, making outdoor activities more enjoyable. It’s advisable to make campground reservations well in advance during this period.

RV renters have a plethora of activities to enjoy in Canyonlands National Park.

Park Alerts (2)

From March to November, especially on busy holiday weekends, it is possible to encounter extensive queues at the entrance road. The parking areas near popular trailheads and viewpoints tend to reach capacity quickly. It is advisable to bring along your patience and arrive early to evade large crowds.

IThe Hite Ramp is currently not accessible due to closure. The take-out at North Wash is a basic and undeveloped dirt area, where it is not possible to maneuver a trailer in reverse down the uneven slope. The conditions have worsened due to recent washouts, adding to the deterioration of the area.

RV Rentals in Canyonlands National Park


When visiting Canyonlands National Park, transportation options include private vehicles, camper vans, and RVs. To explore each district of Canyonlands National Park, separate drives are necessary as there are no road or bridge connections between them. Visitors with camper vans or RVs can access the park through various entrances such as Island in the Sky, The Needles, and The Maze districts. The Island in the Sky district is the most convenient for drivers and RVs, accessible via the 100-mile White Rim Road. However, there are restrictions on rig sizes, with some roads having length and width limitations. Among these districts, the Maze is particularly challenging to access, and it is not advisable to use large vehicles like RVs or trailers there due to the difficulty of the roads.

Parking options for RVs at Canyonlands National Park are somewhat limited. While there are designated RV campgrounds within the park that provide suitable overnight parking with amenities, parking opportunities for RVs at visitors’ centers, trailheads, and popular points of interest are often constrained. Some areas may have parking lots that can accommodate RVs, but the number of spaces is generally limited, and they may not be suitable for overnight stays. RVs can park overnight outside of designated campsites with a backcountry permit, but it’s essential to consider road conditions and size restrictions. Given the park’s narrow roads and limited RV parking at many viewpoints and trailheads, it’s advisable for RV owners to camp within the designated campgrounds and explore the park using smaller vehicles, bicycles, or alternative transportation methods for a more convenient and enjoyable visit.

RV parking space at Canyonlands National Park is limited, especially at visitors’ centers, trailheads, and points of interest. While some areas have parking lots that can accommodate RVs, spaces are often limited in number and size. Narrow roads, tight turns, and restricted parking at viewpoints can make RV navigation and parking challenging. It’s recommended for RV owners to use smaller vehicles or park at designated campgrounds within the park and explore using alternative transportation methods for a more convenient visit.

Campgrounds and parking areas in Canyonlands National Park

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Top Campsites in Canyonlands National Park

Willow Flat Campground

Located in the Island in the Sky district. It offers 12 first-come, first-served sites with no reservations. The campground is typically open year-round but may have reduced services in winter. RVs and trailers up to 28 feet in length are permitted, and it is pet-friendly.

Squaw Flat Campground

Situated in the Needles district, Squaw Flat Campground is favored for its access to unique rock formations. The campground is usually open from early spring to late fall. RVs and trailers up to 28 feet in length are allowed, and it is pet-friendly.

Island in the Sky Campground

Located near the visitor center in the Island in the Sky district, this campground offers 12 sites on a first-come, first-served basis. It provides vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire grates. The campground is typically open year-round but may have reduced services in winter. RVs and trailers up to 28 feet are allowed, and it is pet-friendly.

Horsethief Campground

Horsethief Campground is in the Island in the Sky district and offers three group sites that can be reserved. The campground is typically open from spring to fall. RVs and trailers up to 28 feet are permitted, and it is pet-friendly.

Campsites in The Maze

he Maze district offers primitive campsites that are popular with backcountry enthusiasts seeking a remote and rugged experience. Permits are required for backcountry camping, and RV access is challenging due to rough roads.

Willow Flat Campground

Willow Flat Campground is located in the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park. Thiscampground offers 12 first-come, first-served sites.RVs and trailers up to 28 feet in length are permitted.The campground is typically open year-round, but it may have reduced services in winter.Amenities include vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire grates.It is pet-friendly, allowing visitors to bring their pets.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Land

BLM lands surround Canyonlands National Park, and dispersed camping is often allowed in these areas. RV renters can find suitable locations on BLM land, but they should follow Leave No Trace principles and research specific regulations for the area they plan to camp in.

Season-specific experiences in Canyonlands National Park

Mesa Arch Sunrise

In winter, the Mesa Arch is especially captivating at sunrise when the sun’s warm glow illuminates the natural rock bridge. It’s located in the Island in the Sky district, easily accessible by RV.

Hiking and Photography

Winter offers cooler temperatures for comfortable hiking. Popular trails like the Grand View Point Trail provide stunning vistas. RV campers can explore these trails in the Island in the Sky district.


Clear, crisp winter nights make for excellent stargazing. The dark skies in Canyonlands offer a chance to view celestial wonders. Anywhere within the park with a clear view of the night sky is suitable.

Bird Watching

Winter is a prime time for birdwatching, with migratory birds making a stop in the park. The Willow Flat Campground in the Island in the Sky district is a good spot for bird enthusiasts.

Backcountry Adventure

Experienced backcountry campers can explore The Maze district in winter for solitude and unique landscapes. Permits are required for backcountry camping.

Foliage Viewing

The cottonwood trees along the Green and Colorado Rivers create a vibrant display of fall colors. Scenic drives along the river corridors, such as Potash Road, offer great views.

Canyonlands 4×4 Adventure

Fall is an ideal time for 4×4 adventures on the White Rim Road in the Island in the Sky district. RV campers can enjoy the challenging but rewarding drive.

Balanced Rock

This iconic formation in the Island in the Sky district is particularly photogenic in the fall when the surrounding landscape transforms with autumn hues.

Candlestick Tower

Located in the Needles district, this rock spire is an intriguing geological formation and offers great photo opportunities.

Canyonlands Music Festival

This annual event in Moab, just outside the park, typically takes place in the fall and features live music, arts, and food.

Colorado River Rafting

Summer is prime time for rafting trips down the Colorado River. Experience thrilling white-water rapids and enjoy the refreshing water amidst the desert heat.

Mountain Biking on White Rim Road

The White Rim Road is a popular mountain biking route. Summer is ideal for this adventure, but it requires advanced planning and permits.

Sunset at Grand View Point

Grand View Point in the Island in the Sky district offers stunning summer sunsets. Watch the sun dip below the horizon, casting a warm glow on the red rock formations.

Stargazing Programs

Join stargazing programs hosted by the park during summer evenings. Learn about celestial wonders and enjoy the clear desert skies.

Canyonlands Visitor Center

Visit the visitor center to learn about the park’s natural and cultural history through exhibits and ranger-led programs, especially during the summer when educational activities are abundant.

Wildflower Blooms

Spring brings colorful wildflowers to the park, enhancing the scenery. Hikes in the Island in the Sky district offer excellent wildflower viewing.

Cycling Events

Moab hosts various cycling events in the spring, attracting cyclists from around the world. RV campers can participate or spectate.

Druid Arch

The 10-mile roundtrip hike to Druid Arch in the Needles district rewards hikers with breathtaking desert views and unique rock formations.

Camping at Squaw Flat

Spring is a popular time to camp at Squaw Flat Campground in the Needles district. Reservations are recommended.

Canyonlands Half Marathon

This annual event in March includes a scenic race route near the park and provides an opportunity for active RV campers to participate.