Canyonlands National Park Camping Overview

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Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park (National Park Service)

Canyonlands National Park Highlights

  • There are two developed campgrounds within Canyonlands National Park. Squaw Flat, in the Needles District, is an ideal base camp for day hikes. There is a 14-day limit for the 26 sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. Bathrooms and water are available year-round. Willow Flat Campground is located at Island in the Sky, about seven miles south of the visitor center. There are 12 sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no water on hand. All campers must bring in firewood because collecting within the park is prohibited.
  • Three group campsites are available within the Needles may be reserved in advance. The Squaw Flat Group Site can accommodate 50 people, the Wooden Shoe Group site can hold up to 25 campers, and the Split Top Group Site has room for 15 people.
  • Camping along the White Rim Road Trail is open to mountain bikers and four-wheel-drive vehicles. ATVs are not permitted. A popular route, the trip usually takes two-to-three days by vehicle and three-to-four days by bike. Permits are required for all overnight trips along the White Rim Trail. Make reservations well in advance because demand for permits exceeds the number available. There are 20 individual campsites within ten campsites. Be aware that no water is available on the White Rim Road, so be prepared to bring enough water with you for your entire journey.
  • There are no developed campgrounds in the Maze district of the park, but there are backcountry four-wheel-drive opportunities in Maze and Orange Cliffs. Permits are required and reservations are recommended.
  • Dead Horse Point State Park is located near the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands and offers the Kayenta Campgrounds. The modern campground has 21 sites and although reservations are not required, they are recommended in peak season.
  • Near Moab, there are plenty of private campgrounds that are equipped for camping by RV, cabin, and tent. The Bureau of Land Management also offers camping options in the vicinity.

Here's useful information to have on hand before you pitch your tent in Canyonlands:

Have a backup plan for finding a campsite outside the park if you are visiting during the peak seasons of spring and fall. Private campgrounds with utility hookups are located in nearby towns. State parks like Dead Horse Point State Park, Bureau of Land Management areas, and the Manti La Sal National Forest also have campgrounds.

Picnic areas on the Island and in the Needles have tables, grills, and toilets, but no water.

Do not hike alone. Stay on trails. Carry a map and water. Obtain a backcountry permit if you plan to camp. For more information on Canyonlands camping, check visitor resources.

Camping in the Park

Canyonlands has two front-country campgrounds. Both campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-served basis only. Vault toilets, picnic tables, and grills are provided. Campgrounds typically fill up daily from late March through June and again from early September to mid October. The Needles District has an additional three campsites for groups of 11 or more, which may be reserved in advance for a fee.

Squaw Flat Campground (Needles District)
26 sites
Drinking water available spring through fall
Fee charged March through October
Group size limit of 10 people and 2 vehicles per site
No reservations for individual sites

Willow Flat Campground (Island District)
12 sites
No water
Group size limit of 10 people and 2 vehicles per site
No reservations

Group Campsites (Needles District)
Squaw Flat (50 people, 10 vehicles)
Wooden Shoe (25 people, 5 vehicles)
Spit Top (15 people, 3 vehicles)

Camping Outside the Park

Dead Horse Point State Park, which has a 21-site campground, is located on Utah 313 approximately 35 miles from Moab, near the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands. Drinking water, flush toilets, picnic tables, and grills are provided. Reservations may be made 3 to 120 days in advance by calling the Utah State Parks reservation office at 800-322-3770.

Private campgrounds are located in nearby towns and near the Needles District. For information on private campgrounds, contact the Grand County Travel Council.

Camping is allowed in many Bureau of Land Management (BLM) areas outside the park. Some restrictions apply. Contact the nearest BLM office for more information.

Grand Resource Area (outside the Island): 435-259-6111
San Juan Resource Area (outside the Needles): 435-587-2141
Hanksville Resource Area (outside the Maze): 435-542-2652


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