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Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

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

1. 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. Keep your energy up along the way with a refreshing picnic lunch. 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. Stop at Devils Garden for a delicious picnic lunch. After lunch, 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.

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

2. 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.

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

3. 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.

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

4. 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.

Moab: Half-Day Canyonlands National Park 4x4 Tour

5. Moab: Half-Day Canyonlands National Park 4x4 Tour

Folks visiting the parks on their own typically only see what is alongside the pavement road ─ this 4x4 half-day trip will let you explore both the paved sections and backcountry of Canyonlands National Park. Enjoy complimentary snacks and water during your trip. If you’re looking to get the most out of your national park experience in Moab, this adventure tour is just what you're looking for. Discover hidden gems, hear stories, and leave feeling like you missed nothing. Venture through the backcountry of Canyonlands National Park (Island in the Sky District) alongside a personal guide while on board a 4x4 backcountry vehicle with heat and air-conditioning for a comfortable ride no matter the season. Learn all about the parks, history, and geology of the Moab area as you explore hidden, off-road spots. Your guide will point out arch formations and other towering landscapes along the way. Some of the sights you’ll see include Potash Mine, Shafer Trail, Musselman Arch, Ancient Indian Petroglyphs (Rock Carvings), Thelma and Louise Point, and breathtaking canyon views. Since this is your own private tour experience, you can choose to stop for photos at any point. 

Moab: Canyonlands National Park 4x4 White Rim Tour

6. Moab: Canyonlands National Park 4x4 White Rim Tour

See the best sights of the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park and experience the famous White Rim 4x4 Trail. Your excursion starts from your accommodation in Moab with a professional and knowledgeable tour guide. Travel alongside the Colorado River as you gain elevation and make your way toward Canyonlands National Park. Before reaching the park boundary, you'll make several stops, including pristine rock art panels, overlooks of the Colorado River Canyon, and wide sweeping vistas. Once you reach the backcountry of Canyonlands National Park and the White Rim Trail, stop again and enjoy a short hike to one of the many backcountry arches that the park has to offer, including the unique Musselman Arch.   Continue your trek along the White Rim and down Lathrop Canyon, a side route that will lead to the riverside oasis, where you'll enjoy a buffet-style picnic lunch prepared by your guide. There are several optional hike options throughout the day. On your way back to Moab, your 4x4 vehicle will climb up the famous Shafer Trail that will take you up to the mesa top for one more stunning view.  

Moab: Calm Water Cruise in Inflatable Boat on Colorado River

7. Moab: Calm Water Cruise in Inflatable Boat on Colorado River

Experience the Colorado River as you float down some of the most incredible scenery the U.S. has to offer. Glide south of the Moab Valley, where the water is calm, as you take in the majestic sights of Meander Canyon, located in the Canyonlands.   You'll ride in a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) on a half-day scenic tour. Enjoy this small group tour for a relaxed atmosphere, as you make your way through the canyon. Enjoy either morning or afternoon options. Glide under Dead Horse Point and see Native American art and ruins along the way. Hop off the boat for a short walk to see an ancient petrified forest. Take in incredible views of Canyonlands, as you float past the Goose Neck of the Colorado, before completing your tour.

Canyonlands and Arches National Park: Scenic Airplane Flight

8. Canyonlands and Arches National Park: Scenic Airplane Flight

Soar from the Canyonlands Field Airport in Moab over the scenic Arches National Park and the Canyonlands. Make the most of your time by visiting both parks on this scenic flight. Fly with the only operator certified to offer scenic flights over these iconic attractions.  Meet your pilot at the airport and feel the thrill of taking off. Discover the vast geologic diversity, which attracts scientists from around the world, 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.  Expereince these parks comprehensively and comfortably. Gain access to the remote restricted districts of Canyonlands and bypass the lines and crowds in Arches National Park. 

From Moab: Canyonlands Needle District 4x4 Tour

9. From Moab: Canyonlands Needle District 4x4 Tour

Begin your journey with a pickup in downtown Moab, which will take you to the remote areas of the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. Before entering the park, take your first stop at Newspaper Rock, one of the largest petroglyph panels in the area, then head down the road and get ready to start your 4x4 experience.   Traverse the technical 4x4 trails and conquer challenging obstacles such as Elephant Hill, SOB Hill, and The Squeeze as you make your way into the Devils Kitchen, all the while taking in the incredible and unique vistas and rock formations of the Needles.   After stopping for a picnic lunch, make your way over to the head of the Joint Trail where you'll spend the afternoon enjoying the moderately strenuous 3-mile hike that meanders through iconic slot canyons and into the heart of Chesler Park. After completing the hike, settle back into your rugged yet comfortable vehicle and enjoy the ride back to Moab.

Arches and Canyonlands National Park: In-App Audio Guides

10. Arches and Canyonlands National Park: In-App Audio Guides

Discover Arches and Canyonlands National Parks with interactive guides on your phone. Admire stunning vistas, rock formations, and scenic hiking trails with an app developed by local guides, curated by creative writers, and narrated by professional voice artists. Arches National Park Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your audio guide and map all in one. Begin with an adventure into Arches National Park, starting at the visitor center. As you set out, pass the towering formation of the Three Penguins and the geological Moab Fault, offering a fantastic hiking trail. See the iconic Three Gossips and the towering series of formations that form the Courthouse Towers and Sheep Rock. Witness the strangely beautiful petrified dunes while learning about the native Paiute and their legends. Reach the famous Balanced Rock formation, followed quickly by the two most popular stops: the Windows Arches and Double Arch. You’ll make your way to Delicate Arch, the unrivaled highlight of this park. You can also check out the historic Wolfe Ranch and some ancient tribal petroglyphs. Your journey continues through the unique Salt Valley and to stunning formations like the Fiery Furnace, Sand Dune Arch, Arches Forest, Skyline Arch, and Tapestry Arch. Finally, make your way to the farthest point in the park: the Devil’s Garden. Here, you’ll get to visit the famous Landscape Arch. Canyonlands National Park Next, explore Canyonlands National Park, starting at the Moab Giants museum near the park’s east entrance. Head west into the deep red of the desert, where you’ll find the striking formations of Merrimack and Monitor. Then you’ll arrive at your first major viewpoint: Big Mesa Viewpoint. As you head toward the famous backcountry trail of White Rim Road, learn all about the invisible life which thrives in this seemingly desolate desert. Then, on your way to Basin Overlook, offering great views of the Colorado River, you’ll get the scoop on the uranium king of Canyonland. Next up is Dead Horse State Park, home to a legend spooky enough to suit its name. You’ll then enter the national park itself, where the Island in the Sky Visitor Center will be waiting in case you need a break. Visit Upheaval Dome, the formation of which has stumped geologists for decades. Catch the sunset at one of the nearby overlooks. Finally, you’ll arrive at the immensely popular Grand View Point, where your guide concludes. Don’t miss a thing with full itinerary, travel tips, and professionally narrated audio. Start when you want with the option to begin where there is less of a crowd, stop to take pictures, break for hikes, or go for lunch. Take the tour again with an app that is valid for life.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Canyonlands National Park

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What people are saying about Canyonlands National Park

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 459 reviews

My wife and I had the pleasure of experiencing a breathtaking scenic flight tour of the Canyons in a helicopter. What we loved the most was the personalized commentary we received from our professional and experienced helicopter pilot and guide Tracy. And we could ask questions! It's rare talent to find both a skilled pilot AND one who is passionate and knowledgeable about the changing geographic landscapes and formations that we fly over. The helicopter flight was like no other flights that we experienced. The front seat provides an almost 180 degrees view of the front and it feels like flying through the aerial scenes of a sci-fi movie or Top Gun. Experiencing the canyons, rivers and arches from a bird's eye view is nothing like what you experience from witnessing it from a lookout points or hiking on ground level. There were moments we felt completely overwhelmed with wonder and awe at how majestic the landscape was, as our helicopter cut over the cliffs and circled over arches.

Probably the best way to see Canyonlands National Park. Since there are very few roads in the park. Dan the pilot is not only a superb pilot (both me wife and I are pilots) but also very knowledgeable about the area and points out the various features of the park. The airplane we used is really suitable for sightseeing. Large windows and a low cruising speed allows lingering over the park. The only negative would be the lack of leg room. If the plane has lots of empty seats on the flight I would ask if I could sit in the first row aft of the door because of the increased legroom. That request might be denied by the pilot because of weight and balance issues but I would ask. All in all a great experience. I would love to go again.

First time we all took a small plane, and it was great. Beautiful view you don't see when on the ground.

Very beautiful off road experience. Guide took time for us to take photos and enjoy the vistas

Love these guides! They really enhance the Park experience