|Camping||Back Country Camping||Permits & Reservations|
Canyonlands has two developed campgrounds, both available on a first-come, first-served basis only. Vault toilets, picnic tables, and grills are provided. Campgrounds typically fill daily from late March through June and again from early September to mid-October.
|Campground||Open||Close||Sites||Dump Station||Laundry||Showers||Groceries||Service Station||Fee|
|Squaw Flat||All Year||26||No||No||No||No||No||$ 10.00|
|Willow Flat||All Year||12||No||No||No||No||No||$ 5.00|
Additional Camping Information
Squaw Flat Campgrounds - Sites have fire rings and picnic tables. There are central bathrooms and water is available year round. Visitors must bring all their own firewood as collecting wood in the park is Prohibited. Maximum RV length 28 feet. Group size limit of 10 people and 2 vehicles per site
The Needles District has an additional three campsites for groups of 11 or more people, which may be reserved in advance for a fee of $ 15.00. Nightly fees are $ 3.00 per person. These group sites are:
Split Top - 15 people, 3 vehicles can be accommodated.
Squaw Flat - 50 people, 10 vehicles can be accommodated.
Wooden Shoe - 25 people, 5 vehicles can be accommodated.
Willow Flat Campgrounds - Is located 7.5 miles / 12 km south of the visitor center. The last mile / 1.6 km access road is unpaved. Sites are primitive, offering tables, fire grills and pit toilets. No Water is available in the district. Visitors must bring all their own firewood as collecting wood in the park is Prohibited. Campsites can accommodate vehicles up to 28 feet in length. Maximum group size is ten people, with a limit of two vehicles per group. Maximum length of stay is seven days.
|Activity||Fee||Group Size Limit - Per Permit|
|Backpacking||$ 15.00||7 people||7 people||5 people|
|Four Wheel Drive / Mountain Bike||$ 30.00||15 people / 3 vehicles||10 people / 3 vehicles||9 people / 3 vehicles|
|Flat water||$ 20.00||
|Cataract Canyon||$ 30.00||
|Four Wheel Drive Day Use (Needles)||$ 5.00||
1 vehicle per permit
|Frontcountry Group Camps (Needles)||$ 15.00||Squaw Flat: 50 peo / 10 veh � Woodenshoe: 25 peo / 5 veh � Split Top: 15 peo / 3 veh|
Backcountry Camping Information
Canyonlands' backcountry is a primitive area and managed according to regulations that protect its wilderness values. Backcountry camping is allowed on a limited basis and a backcountry permit and fee is required.
Sites and Zones
In order to protect natural and cultural resources and prevent crowding, the backcountry of Canyonlands is divided up into sites and zones, and access to each is limited. There are designated walk-in sites along some heavily traveled hiking trails, mostly in the Needles District, for use by backpackers. In more remote areas, where travel is limited to foot or boat, visitors stay in at-large zones and may choose their own campsites.
Water is a limiting factor for most backcountry trips in Canyonlands. There are springs scattered throughout the park, mostly in canyon bottoms. There are also large areas, such as the Grabens in the Needles and the entire White Rim bench at the Island, where there are no reliable water sources and are not maintained or tested for bacterial contamination or heavy metals. Obtaining drinking water from either the Green or Colorado rivers is difficult as the water is very silty and hard to purify. Backpacking groups are encouraged to pack in water whenever possible. Many springs marked on topographic maps may dry up during periods of drought. Spring locations and current conditions are available at district visitor centers. We recommend that each person carry at least one gallon of water from an approved drinking source for each day they are in the backcountry.
Campfires are only permitted along the river corridors in Canyonlands National Park. Charcoal or camp stoves are recommended for cooking. All fires must be contained in a firepan, which may be as simple as a metal garbage can lid or an oil pan.
Garbage / Waste
Everything you carry in, including garbage and if possible, waste. Toilet paper will not decompose in this dry climate and must be carried out. Never burn or bury it! The burning of toilet paper can cause serious brush fires in the desert. You are going to love this - Consider using natural alternatives to toilet paper such as smooth rocks or twigs! Always leave it better than you found it.
Stop at the visitor center and talk with a ranger before making any overnight trip into the backcountry. Maps and other information concerning trials, campsites, water availability and backcountry regulations are available at the visitor center.
|Glen Canyon Rec Area||Island in the Sky||The Maze||The Needles|
|High Spur||Taylor||Maze Overlook||New Bates Wilson|
|Cleopatra's Chair||Labyrinth||Chimney Rock||Devils Kitchen|
|Panorama Point||Hardscrabble||The Wall||Bobby Jo|
|North Point||Potato Bottom||The Doll House||Horsehoof|
|Golden Stairs||Millard Canyon|
|Sunset Pass||White Crack|
|The Needles||Island in the Sky|
Permits & Reservations
Permits are issued to walk-ins on a space available basis, and to confirmed reservation holders. Permits may be obtained in person either the day of, or the day before a trip begins. All members of a party must be present for a regulation talk at the time the permit is issued. Rangers will not issue permits during the last hour of visitor center operations.
Permits must be obtained at the district visitor center nearest to where the trip originates. For example, if your trip is in the Needles, you must pick up the permit at the Needles Visitor Center. Visitors entering the backcountry through remote locations (that do not involve passing one of the park's visitor centers) may receive their permits in the mail. In addition, permits for river trips and for campsites along the White Rim Road may be mailed in advance. The reservation office at park headquarters in Moab is the issuing visitor center for river trips as well as for mail permits.
In order to receive permits by mail, visitors must contact the reservation office at least two weeks before a trip begins. Groups must provide vehicle information for all vehicles that will be in the park overnight (license plate number, make, model and color), and coordinate parking arrangements for any vehicles left at trailheads before a permit can be mailed.
Do I need a reservation? Reservations are highly recommended. Competition is greatest for White Rim trips during the spring and fall, Needles backpacking permits during spring, and for group campsites throughout the year. For these activities, groups should apply as early as possible. In the past few years, the Cataract Canyon allocation has been filling by late April or May.
Unreserved campsites are made available to walk-ins on a first come, first served basis. Walk-in permits may be obtained only at district visitor centers. Reservations are made by mail or fax only. Write to the park for a reservation form.
Reservations are available for all backcountry permits and for group campsites in the Needles District of Canyonlands. The Canyonlands Reservation Office also handles group sites at Arches National Park.
Reservations are recommended, but not required. Currently, competition is greatest for White Rim trips during the spring and fall, Needles backpacking trips during spring, and for frontcountry group campsites in Arches and the Needles. For these activities, visitors should apply as early as possible. In the past few years, the Cataract Canyon allocation has been filling by late April or May. Campsites and permits not reserved in advance are available on a first-come, first-served basis at district visitor centers.
The earliest date to apply varies by activity. Reservation requests for backpacking, four-wheel drive/mountain bike and day use trips are accepted (postmarked or faxed) no earlier than the second Monday in July for the following calendar year. Requests for frontcountry group campsites and river trips are accepted no earlier than the first business day in January for trips during that calendar year.
Provide the name, address, and phone numbers for the individual making the reservation. Include estimated group size and number of vehicles / boats (these may be finalized later).
Choose an activity from the list provided. Multiple activities may be combined on one permit providing group size limits are not exceeded and not more than one activity is chosen on a given day (e.g. if part of a river trip group wants to backpack for a night, they must be on a separate permit). Day use permits are not required for visitors camping at, or backpacking from, the Peekaboo vehicle sites. Cataract Canyon trips include the flat water section. Flat water trips must indicate upstream travel arrangements.
List the dates and campsites desired. Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance of a trip. At least two itineraries should be developed in case your first choice is not available. River trips do not have to specify campsites, but must include launch and take-out locations. Four wheel drive day use trips indicate either Horse or Lavender canyon.
All applications must include a credit card number with expiration date (Visa or MasterCard only) or a check/money order made payable to the National Park Service. When multiple activities are reserved on one permit, only the higher fee is collected (e.g. Cataract Canyon trips include the flat water section). Reservation fees are nonrefundable.
Provide other specifics and/or options for your trip (i.e. campsites you definitely want, preferred direction of travel on the White Rim Road, alternate dates, etc.). If you�re visiting for the first time, please say so and reservation office staff will schedule the best trip possible based on availability. Mail or fax your request at least two weeks in advance the address listed below.
You will receive a mailed response confirming your reservation. If questions arise about your application, we will try to contact you by phone.
Reservation office staff are available by phone to answer questions and assist with trip planning Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 12:30 pm (Mountain Time), at: 435-259-4351. When workload permits, phones may be answered until 4:00 pm. Visitors may also email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Reservations may not be made over the phone or by email.
Click here for an Application Form (30k Adobe pdf file).
Click here for an Application Form (23k gif file).
River permits must be obtained from the reservation office at park headquarters in Moab, UT. The reservation office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm (special hours apply for phone calls - see below). Before contacting the reservation office, visitors interested in flat water trips should make their upstream travel arrangements. Jet boat shuttles from the Confluence or Spanish Bottom to Moab are available from two licensed operators.
River permits are usually mailed in advance.
In order to receive a permit by mail, visitors must contact the reservation office at least two weeks before a trip begins. Groups must provide vehicle information for all vehicles that will be in the park overnight (license plate number, state of registration, make, model, color) and coordinate parking arrangements for any vehicles left at trailheads before a permit can be mailed.
The reservation office and district visitor centers are closed on some federal holidays.
Reservation office staff are available by phone to answer questions and assist with trip planning Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 12:30 pm (MST), at: 435-259-4351.
When the workload permits, phones may be answered until 4:00 pm. Please have a map available if you would like assistance with trip-planning.
Reservations may not be made over the phone.
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