Utah Canyonlands National Park map and highlights

USA   Canada   Mexico   S.America   World
Go to content

Utah Canyonlands National Park map and highlights

Map of National Park Canyonlands in Utah
Canyonlands, Utah on the map. National Park Canyonlands  (Utah state) on the map of US.    
Canyonlands, Utah    
Established: 1964   Acreage: 337,570    
Canyonlands is located in southeastern Utah in the heart of the  Colorado Plateau. Wind and water have cut flat layers of sedimentary  rock into hundreds of colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches and  spires. In the center are two large canyons carved by the Green and  Colorado Rivers. Surrounding the river are three very different regions  of the park: to the north, Island in the Sky; to the west, the Maze; and  to the east, the Needles.
     
Island in the Sky serves as Canyonlands' observation tower, a  high, broad mesa (6000-6500 feet) connected to the 'mainland' by a  narrow piece of land. Near the mesa's edge is White Rim, an almost  continuous sandstone bench 1200 feet below the island, and beneath the  shadow of the rim are the rivers. Perhaps the strangest geologic feature  on Island in the Sky is Upheaval Dome (1500 feet), which looks more  like a meteor crater or volcanic caldera than a dome, and, in fact, one  theory suggests that the dome was created when a meteor hit.
     
One of the most remote regions in the United States, the Maze  district is Canyonlands' wildest region. The maze itself is a jumble of  canyons that has been described as a '30 square mile puzzle in  sandstone.' Beyond are the oddly shaped walls, buttes, mesas and towers  of the Land of Standing Rocks, the Dollhouse and the Fins. Few people had ventured into the  canyons before it was established as a national park, and even today  less than 8000 people visit each year.
     
The Needles district is so named because of the fantastically  shaped and beautifully colored rock formations— arches, rock spires,  canyons, potholes. The diversity of names in the Needles reflects the  diversity of the land itself. Devil's Kitchen and Angel Arch. Elephant  Hill and Caterpillar Arch. Gothic Arch and Paul Bunyan's Potty. The  dominant landforms are the Needles themselves, naked rock pinnacles  banded in orange and white. The wildly beautiful rock formations were  chiseled out of the bedrock by the forces of wind, water and ice.
     
Prehistoric Indian ruins and pictographs are densely  concentrated here. This was once the land of the Anasazi Indians—the  Ancient Ones. Here they grew corn, squash and beans; hunted deer and  bighorn; and gathered seeds, fruits and roots. Many of their stone and  mud dwellings and storehouses still remain, as do the petroglyphs they  etched on the cliff walls.
     
Even the rivers reflect the wild, isolated character of the  park. The 14 miles of rapids through the Cataract Canyon are among the  most treacherous white water stretches in the United States. As the only  major source of water in a dry expanse, the rivers draw deer, fox,  beaver, bobcat and migratory birds, which find shelter in the riverside  cottonwoods, tamarisks and willows. Lush hanging gardens of maidenhair  fern, monkey flower and columbine cling to the high cliffs.
     
Right: Canoeing the quiet upper waters of the Green River through Labyrinth Canyon.    
Below: View of Island in the Sky from Meander Canyon along the Colorado River.    
Canyonlands, Utah on the map. National Park Canyonlands  (Utah state) on the map of US
Back to content