Things to do in
Canyonlands National Park

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Canyonlands National Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Moab: Half-Day Canyonlands Island in the Sky 4x4 Tour

1. From Moab: Half-Day Canyonlands Island in the Sky 4x4 Tour

Discover the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park on this exciting half-day tour by 4x4 vehicle. After pickup from your hotel in Moab, drive towards the national park, meandering alongside the river. Stop outside the park boundary to explore ancient Native American rock art that was carved into the cliffs by the Ancestral Puebloans. Continue to the jeep trail that leads up to the Island in the Sky district. Along the way, you'll stop at vistas such as Fossil Point and Musselman Arch. See the remarkable Gooseneck Overlook and travel along a section of the White Rim trail. Wind up the switchbacks of the famous Shafer Trail, and enjoy one last look out over the park before driving back to Moab.

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From Moab: Full-Day Canyonlands and Arches 4x4 Driving Tour

2. From Moab: Full-Day Canyonlands and Arches 4x4 Driving Tour

Take a 4x4 driving tour through Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. This thrilling adventure includes stops for short hikes and scenic views. After pickup from your hotel in Moab, drive towards Canyonlands National Park high atop the Island in the Sky mesa. Descend via the steep switchbacks of the famous Shafer Trail and enjoy a brief stop to explore Native American rock art that was carved into the cliffs by the Ancestral Puebloans.   Continue through Canyonlands along a portion of the White Rim Trail over to Musselman Arch for incredible views of the Colorado River below. Enjoy a few stops with short hikes. In the afternoon, enter Arches National Park near Doc Williams Point. Climb a steep rock wall and drive across a valley through sandstone fins and dunes.   Pass the famous Tower Arch, the Eye of the Whale Arch, and the Marching Men — a group of 7 towers lined up in one row. Stop for some short walks to enjoy the fresh air and admire the views of the red rocks. Once you have explored both parks you'll be driven back to Moab, with a brief stop to explore dinosaur tracks along the way.

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From Moab: Canyonlands 4x4 Drive and Colorado River Rafting

3. From Moab: Canyonlands 4x4 Drive and Colorado River Rafting

Start your full-day tour with a pickup from your hotel in Moab. Drive to the stunning Canyonlands National Park, and spend the morning exploring the remote areas of the Island in the Sky district of the park in a 4x4 vehicle. Follow the White Rim Trail, and drive along the narrow switchbacks of the Shafer Trail. See incredible rock and fossil formations, and stop along the way for photos opportunities. After your driving tour, enjoy a picnic lunch on the banks of the Colorado River. Admire majestic views of the river and the surrounding canyons. Finish your tour with an adrenaline-filled rafting trip on the Fisher Towers section of the Colorado River. Enjoy some whitewater fun, accompanied by professional river guides. At the end of your rafting experience, relax on the beach as your guides prepare for the short drive back to Moab, where you'll be dropped off at your hotel.

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Moab: 3-Hour Jet Boat Tour to Dead Horse Point State Park

4. Moab: 3-Hour Jet Boat Tour to Dead Horse Point State Park

Start your 3-hour boat tour just 2 miles north of Moab, on the banks of Colorado River. After a safety orientation, you’ll begin your scenic tour. Relax and enjoy the ride. Your covered boat has plenty of shaded seats so you won’t get caught in the sun. Glide down the Colorado River, passing remote side canyons. You may be able to spot some wildlife and birds. Marvel at the 2,200 feet of canyon walls above you, a fossilized sea bed, wonderful views of arches, Indian petroglyphs, and a unique view of an Indian granary. Along the way, your guide will point out interesting sights and inform you of the areas past and present. Pass through the bottom Dead Horse State Park, the iconic Thelma and Louise Point, and a natural amphitheater. Travel 32 miles downriver until you reach the entrance of Canyonlands National Park, where the captain will turn back.

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Moab: Canyonlands National Park Airplane Tour

5. Moab: Canyonlands National Park Airplane Tour

This spectacular flight will carry you above the fantastic scenery of the northern district of the Canyonlands National Park, known as the Island in the Sky. Majestic 1,000-foot high cliffs rise above the Colorado and Green Rivers, which border it on either side. Serpentine drainage systems are carved into the terrain below the cliffs. Upheaval Dome can be seen at its northern end, the confluence of the two rivers form the district’s southernmost point.  Then, continue to Needles District, the most fanciful and colorful portions of Canyonlands. Pink and white bands can be seen in its many spires and cliffs. It is the home of some of the most remote and famous arches of canyon country. Difficult to reach by hiking and extremely beautiful, Angel Arch and Druid Arches are the best-known landmarks in Canyonlands. Elephant Arch, Kirk Arch, Wedding Ring Arch, and Castle Arch, hidden away in the backcountry, are also included in this one-of-a-kind scenic flight tour.  Hiking to these arches would take several multi-day permitted visits and are beyond the physical reach of many of us. On this flight, you will see them all, jewels among the many wondrous features of this national park. Unlike hikers, you will see their magnificent surroundings from a bird’s-eye view, in the vastness of this remarkable portion of this gorgeous earth. A unique and very special opportunity awaits you on this exclusive flight through the remote arches of Canyonlands.

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Moab: Ultimate Utah Combo Self-Driving Audio Tour

6. Moab: Ultimate Utah Combo Self-Driving Audio Tour

From the canyons of Zion to the gravity-defying formations in Arches, witness Mother Nature at her most impressive on this self-guided driving tour starting in Moab, Utah. Enjoy animated videos to visualize parts of the tour. Simply hop in your car, get the app set up on your phone, and get started. Visit Arches National Park and discover hidden life within this harsh yet beautiful desert. Marvel at impossible rock formations and towering arches millions of years in the making and learn how it all came to be. Learn the history of the Ute and Paiute tribes who lived at Arches for thousands of years. Hear their legends of the trickster god who brought them to the desert and the portals through time that lie dormant. Find out how these tribes survived and what they left behind. See Zion National Park and hear why early Mormon pioneers thought it was heaven on earth. This tour works by car, bike, or shuttle, so you can see the park however you want to. At Zion, see natural wonders like the Temple of Sinawava and the Weeping Rock. Learn the park’s history, from its geologic formation to the first people who lived here. See emerald pools, staggering mountain peaks, and much more. Next, marvel at the towering hoodoos that dot Bryce Canyon. Dive into the history and legends of the Native tribes who lived here, including the harrowing tale of a race of giants who were turned to stone and became the hoodoo formations we see today. Visit groves of Earth’s oldest trees and hear the spooky story of the supposed curse which afflicts anyone who chooses to study these ancient, gnarled plants too closely. Stop at the spot where Forrest Gump ended his famous run at Monument Valley. Then, head into the valley itself to get up close and personal with jaw-dropping mesas, buttes, and spires. Get the inside scoop on how Hollywood turned Monument Valley into the quintessential image of the American West. Learn about the mysterious Anasazi who vanished from this land centuries ago and the Navajo who still call the valley home. Then, unearth hidden secrets at the Grand Staircase. Hidden within this towering staircase are clues to the land’s long history. Learn about the dinosaur fossils people have found here, including a T-Rex skeleton. Before concluding your tour, explore a petrified forest, sparkling waterfalls, and sweeping vistas. Plus, hear the legends and tales of the tribes who once lived at Grand Staircase.

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Moab: Canyonlands National Park Self-Driving Tour

7. Moab: Canyonlands National Park Self-Driving Tour

This self-guided audio and GPS tour allows you to explore Canyonlands’ expansive wonders with maximum flexibility. Simply hop in your own car, get the tour guide app set up on your phone, and get started. All audio plays automatically based on location and most stops along the way have images that will help you to visualize what you cannot see such as snapshots from different centuries or interior rooms. Begin your exploration of Canyonlands as you drive to the visitors center. When you arrive, go to the Moab Giants at the Canyonlands National Park. You’ll immediately be struck by the enormous mesas rising from the sweeping landscape. As you continue driving, explore Mesa Arch, Green River, and the White Rim Trail. Within an hour of booking, you will receive a password and an app. Download the app, enter the password, and download the tour.

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Moab: 3-Hour Scenic 4x4 Off-Road Adventure

8. Moab: 3-Hour Scenic 4x4 Off-Road Adventure

Discover the natural landscapes of Moab, Utah on a 4x4 adventure. Embark on a breathtaking experience with a dash of excitement. After meeting your guide, hop in your 4x4 vehicle and head into the landscape. Enjoy an experience focused on the natural beauty of the area and ancient rock art.  See ancient Native American petroglyph panels—rock art and carvings spanning multiple millennia. Some even go as far back as 3500 BC. Use your personal interpretation skills to decipher the images.  Admire views of gorgeous towering Canyons. Also get a look at a handful of arches, red rock spires and towering canyon walls all along the beautiful Colorado River. Have all your needs catered to with some short stops to snack, take pictures, and talk about Moab’s history.

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Canyonlands and Arches National Park: Scenic Airplane Flight

9. Canyonlands and Arches National Park: Scenic Airplane Flight

Arches National Park and the Canyonlands are two big reasons that Moab, Utah has become an international destination. Make the most of your valuable time here by visiting both parks on this scenic flight. This is the only operator certified to offer scenic flights over these iconic attractions so you will see these national parks in a way that very few have.  The vast geologic diversity, which attracts scientists from around the world, can best be appreciated from a bird’s eye view. Get more of a thorough overview of eons of geologic history on this flight than you might obtain from years of hiking. Capture the moments with stunning aerial photography.  There is no other way to visit these parks so comprehensively and comfortably. Gain access to the remote restricted districts of Canyonlands and bypass the lines and crowds in Arches National Park. This adventure truly provides an excellent opportunity for a truly memorable and awe-inspiring experience. 

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From Hurricane, Utah: West Rim Trail Self-Drive UTV Tour

10. From Hurricane, Utah: West Rim Trail Self-Drive UTV Tour

Hit the trails and climb the high hills of Sand Hollow State Park on a private UTV tour. Take a 2, 3 or 4-hour tour and discover the terrain and rock formations of the area on one of these rugged vehicles. The West Rim offers enough variety of trails to match your interests. Follow your guide on trails such as The Funnel, The Squeeze, Top of the World, and Big Rock Candy Playground. Take a 3-hour tour to explore the Cliffhanger Trail, or a 4-hour tour to see the cliffs of the Insanity Trail. These exhilarating tours are suitable for any skill level. Your professional guide will train you up on driving a UTV, and teach you how to best drive around the obstacles you encounter on the trails.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Canyonlands National Park

Want to discover all there is to do in Canyonlands National Park? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Canyonlands National Park

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 256 reviews

For me this is the only way to see Canyonlands and Arches NPs. We didn't have to wait in any lines to get into the park because we went in the back way. Our guide, Charlotte, was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and filled with information about the parks, the natural history and geology of the area, and a great driver. We would take this trip again if we are in the area.

Wow! Sometimes there are just no words. To see the amazing geological formations from 7000 ft was magnificent! Our skilled pilot was also our guide and shared a lot of interesting info! Made our trip to Moab most memorable. Thank you.

The self-driving tour guide was great. We had limited time in the park and the guide got us everywhere we wanted to be. Explanations of what we were seeing were wonderful.

Great Day with Ric our guide. Even though it was a rainy day we didn't miss a thing. It was a terrific experience and highly recommend this trip for everyone!

He was a wonderful guide. He was nice, informative, great driver, asked what we would like to see most, and how much time we wanted to spend.