Canyonlands National Park

Fact Box

Canyonlands National Park
Established in 1964
337,598 acres
Visitation (2010) 435,908

Canyonlands National Park protects and preserves an immense, wild, desert wilderness at the heart of the Colorado Plateau. Sculpted mainly by water, including by the Green and Colorado rivers, this wilderness contains hundreds of colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires. Prior to the park’s establishment in 1964, prehistoric Native Americans, cowboys, river explorers, and uranium prospectors were the few who dared to enter this rugged country.

Canyonlands National Park remains exceptionally wild. The roads are mostly unpaved, the trails mostly primitive, and its rivers are free flowing. Throughout its 527 square miles roam desert bighorn sheep, coyotes, foxes, deer, and bobcats. The rivers are the only major water source in the midst of the dry expanse, and attract a variety of wildlife, including migratory birds that find shelter in the riverside cottonwoods, tamarisks, and willows.