RV Rental Canyonlands National Park, UT

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Tucked away in southeastern Utah, Canyonlands National Park is a region of dramatic and colorful scenery. Immense canyons, imposing mesas, and impressive spires dot the Earth here, with myriad unique attractions carved out of the landscape by the Green and Colorado Rivers.

Located a short drive southwest of Moab, this 527-square-mile park has four separate areas, each of which offers its own unique RV camping experiences. If you’re planning on exploring the park in a motorhome, search for an RV in San Juan County, or in Wayne, Garfield, or Grand County, and get ready for a journey you’ll never forget.

Discover Canyonlands National Park

Getting Outdoors

If you’re planning a Canyonlands National Park RV camping adventure, it can be difficult to know where to start. Happily, the Green and Colorado Rivers have done some of the hard work for you by dividing the park up into four distinct areas: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and The Rivers.

Island in the Sky is the easiest to access, but it’s also the busiest. This spectacular mesa is the place to go if you want to enjoy uninterrupted views of the beautiful surrounding landscape. Standing some 1,000 feet high, it’s the perfect place to begin your Canyonlands National Park camping experience. The scenic drive here offers several pullouts where you can stop and enjoy the views, as well as easy access to backcountry hiking trails and 4WD routes.

If you’re keen to escape the crowds, The Needles will be next on your must-visit list. Located in the park’s southeastern corner, this area is named after the vibrant sandstone spires that rise skywards in this section of the park. There are several excellent hiking trails here — the seven-mile Big Spring to Squaw Canyon is a favorite — as well as the chance to explore historic rock paintings.

Located in the western area of Canyonlands National Park, The Maze is a remote section only suitable for skilled travelers. The roads in this part of the park are also quite rough, so it’s only suited to expert off-roaders in adequately equipped vehicles.

The fourth and final park district is made up by the Green and Colorado Rivers. These rivers wind their way through the park and are responsible for much of the spectacular terrain in Canyonlands, so it’s well worth getting out on the water during your visit. There are guided river trips ranging in length from half a day to a full week, while Cataract Canyon is a popular spot with whitewater rafting enthusiasts.

Camping at Canyonlands National Park

While there are many backcountry camping options available, if you’re planning on camping with an RV at Canyonlands National Park, you can take your pick of two campgrounds:

  • Willow Flat. Located in the Island in the Sky section of the park, Willow Flat Campground offers 12 RV and tent sites on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no hookups available, but toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings are all provided. You’ll also find drinking water at the visitors’ center from spring until fall, while the campground is also conveniently located close to the Green River Overlook. Best of all, it’s open all year long.
  • Squaw Flat. Located in The Needles, Squaw Flat Campground has 29 sites, but five of these are for tents only. Some individual sites can be reserved during spring and fall, but others are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Picnic tables, fire rings, and toilets are all provided, but there are no hookups available.

Exploring the Area

Aside from checking out the park’s most famous monuments, what else should you do during your Canyonlands National Park RV camping adventure? This really depends on you and your idea of the perfect RV vacation.

If you’re a thrillseeker, why not go whitewater rafting down Cataract Canyon or rock climbing at the towering sandstone peaks at Island in the Sky? You can also enjoy the scenic drives at Island in the Sky or The Needles, or book a guided tour that takes in the best the park has to offer.

Whichever experiences you choose, make sure you set aside some time each evening to simply sit back and admire the night sky. Because this is quite a remote park with no major cities nearby, the night sky in Canyonlands National Park is ideal for stargazing, either on your own or as part of a ranger-led program.

Then, once you’ve seen everything you need to see in Canyonlands National Park, head out into the big, wide world to see what else you can find. Arches National Park is half an hour northeast, while Capitol Reef National Park is a little over two hours to the west. Dead Horse Point State Park is also close by, while there are spectacular mountains just about everywhere you look. And if you want to keep the canyon theme going, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is around two and a half hours away.

If you’re eager to explore this memorable park in a rental RV, rent a camper near Canyonlands National Park and hit the road. With mile after mile of unique and fascinating terrain to admire, you may find that you never want to leave!

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Popular nearby hiking trails and campgrounds

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  • Gooseberry Trail, UTCanyonlands National Park, UT
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  • Murphy Point Trail, UTCanyonlands National Park, UT
  • Mesa Arch Trail, UTCanyonlands National Park, UT
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  • False Kiva Trail, UTCanyonlands National Park, UT
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  • Whale Rock Trail, UTCanyonlands National Park, UT

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