Canyonlands National Park

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Established in 1964, Canyonlands National Park is located in eastern Utah and covers over 520 square miles south of Moab. The Canyonlands National Park consists of countless canyon carved into the Colorado Plateau by the Colorado River, its tributaries and the Green River. The park is divided into three districts: Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze and the streams that feed into the Colorado River.

The Island in the Sky district attracts the majority of the over 400 thousand people who visit the Canyonlands annually. This district offers a paved scenic drive, hiking trails and a four wheel drive road. The Maze is a more remote area that offers backpacking, camping and hiking. The Needles district also offers backpacking and hiking and has four wheel drive roads.

Another area of interest to many visitors is Horseshoe Canyon. This area is significant because of its extensive cultural resources and specifically spectacular prehistoric rock art. Horseshoe Canyon was added to the Canyonlands in 1971.

The Rivers section of the Canyonlands is perfect for rafters, kayaking and boaters. There are no launches in the Canyonlands and boaters will usually have to launch from someplace outside the park such as Moab. The Rivers District of Canyonlands can be divided into two sections, the sections of the rivers above the confluence and the section below the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers. This is an important distinction because above the confluence the water is relatively smooth and below the confluence the water can be rough and depending on the amount of flow lead to white water conditions. The Park Service recommends that for those who wish to avoid the white water conditions should arrange to shuttle back up stream by contacting:
Tex's Riverways at 1-877-662-2839, or,
Tag-A-Long Expeditions at 1-435-259-8946.

The water flow on the Colorado and Green Rivers is dependent on winter snowmelt and seasonal rains. This situation can make any boating experience unpredictable. Most of the time the best water flows can be experienced in the spring time from early May to late June due to the snowmelt. 

All Photos Courtesy of the National Park Service.
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