Canyonlands National Park Needles District

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Canyonlands National Park Needles District: Our most recommended tours and activities

Arches and Canyonlands National Park: Self-Driving Tours

1. Arches and Canyonlands National Park: Self-Driving Tours

Discover Arches and Canyonlands National Parks with self-guided driving tours on your phone. Admire stunning vistas, rock formations, and scenic hiking trails on a tour developed by local guides, curated by creative writers, and narrated by professional voice artists. Arches National Park Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Begin with an adventure into Arches National Park, starting at the visitor center. As you set out, pass the towering formation of the Three Penguins and the geological Moab Fault, offering a fantastic hiking trail. See the iconic Three Gossips and the towering series of formations that form the Courthouse Towers and Sheep Rock. Witness the strangely beautiful petrified dunes while learning about the native Paiute and their legends. Reach the famous Balanced Rock formation, followed quickly by the two most popular stops: the Windows Arches and Double Arch. You’ll make your way to Delicate Arch, the unrivaled highlight of this park. You can also check out the historic Wolfe Ranch and some ancient tribal petroglyphs. Your journey continues through the unique Salt Valley and to stunning formations like the Fiery Furnace, Sand Dune Arch, Arches Forest, Skyline Arch, and Tapestry Arch. Finally, make your way to the farthest point in the park: the Devil’s Garden. Here, you’ll get to visit the famous Landscape Arch. Canyonlands National Park Next, explore Canyonlands National Park, starting at the Moab Giants museum near the park’s east entrance. Head west into the deep red of the desert, where you’ll find the striking formations of Merrimack and Monitor. Then you’ll arrive at your first major viewpoint: Big Mesa Viewpoint. As you head toward the famous backcountry trail of White Rim Road, learn all about the invisible life which thrives in this seemingly desolate desert. Then, on your way to Basin Overlook, offering great views of the Colorado River, you’ll get the scoop on the uranium king of Canyonland. Next up is Dead Horse State Park, home to a legend spooky enough to suit its name. You’ll then enter the national park itself, where the Island in the Sky Visitor Center will be waiting in case you need a break. Visit Upheaval Dome, the formation of which has stumped geologists for decades. Catch the sunset at one of the nearby overlooks. Finally, you’ll arrive at the immensely popular Grand View Point, where your tour concludes.

Moab: Half-Day Canyonlands National Park Private 4x4 Tour

2. Moab: Half-Day Canyonlands National Park Private 4x4 Tour

Folks visiting the parks on their own typically only see what is alongside the pavement road ─ this private 4x4 half-day trip will let you explore both the paved sections and backcountry of Canyonlands National Park. Enjoy complimentary snacks and water during your trip. If you’re looking to get the most out of your national park experience in Moab, this adventure tour is just what you're looking for. You’ll discover hidden gems, hear stories, and leave feeling like you missed nothing. Venture through the backcountry of Canyonlands National Park (Island in the Sky District) alongside a personal guide while on board a 4x4 backcountry vehicle with heat and air-conditioning for a comfortable ride no matter the season. Learn all about the parks, history, and geology of the Moab area as you explore hidden, off-road spots. Your guide will point out arch formations and other towering landscapes along the way. Some of the sights you’ll see include Potash Mine, Shafer Trail, Musselman Arch, Ancient Indian Petroglyphs (Rock Carvings), Thelma and Louise Point, and breathtaking canyon views. Since this is your own private tour experience, you can choose to stop for photos at any point. 

From Moab: Full-Day Canyonlands and Arches 4x4 Driving Tour

3. From Moab: Full-Day Canyonlands and Arches 4x4 Driving Tour

Take a 4x4 driving tour through Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. This thrilling adventure includes stops for short hikes and scenic views. After pickup from your hotel in Moab, drive towards Canyonlands National Park high atop the Island in the Sky mesa. Descend via the steep switchbacks of the famous Shafer Trail and enjoy a brief stop to explore Native American rock art that was carved into the cliffs by the Ancestral Puebloans.   Continue through Canyonlands along a portion of the White Rim Trail over to Musselman Arch for incredible views of the Colorado River below. Enjoy a few stops with short hikes. In the afternoon, enter Arches National Park near Doc Williams Point. Climb a steep rock wall and drive across a valley through sandstone fins and dunes.   Pass the famous Tower Arch, the Eye of the Whale Arch, and the Marching Men — a group of 7 towers lined up in one row. Stop for some short walks to enjoy the fresh air and admire the views of the red rocks. Once you have explored both parks you'll be driven back to Moab, with a brief stop to explore dinosaur tracks along the way.

Moab: Guided Full Moon Hike

4. Moab: Guided Full Moon Hike

On this full moon hike, admire the landscape and unique rock formations, illuminated by the glow of the moon. Gaze up to the sky as your guide points out satellites, planets, and constellations. When the full moon comes around each month, it provides enough light to read a newspaper near midnight. The canyons and arches take on a mysterious white glow as the landscape is illuminated in a different way. This easy to moderate hike provides a great opportunity to admire the stars. As you look up at the night sky, your guide, with the help of a laser pointer, will show you the different satellites, planets, and constellations that can be seen at this time.

Moab: Canyonlands National Park Airplane Tour

5. Moab: Canyonlands National Park Airplane Tour

This spectacular flight will carry you above the fantastic scenery of the northern district of the Canyonlands National Park, known as the Island in the Sky. Majestic 1,000-foot high cliffs rise above the Colorado and Green Rivers, which border it on either side. Serpentine drainage systems are carved into the terrain below the cliffs. Upheaval Dome can be seen at its northern end, the confluence of the two rivers form the district’s southernmost point.  Then, continue to Needles District, the most fanciful and colorful portions of Canyonlands. Pink and white bands can be seen in its many spires and cliffs. It is the home of some of the most remote and famous arches of canyon country. Difficult to reach by hiking and extremely beautiful, Angel Arch and Druid Arches are the best-known landmarks in Canyonlands. Elephant Arch, Kirk Arch, Wedding Ring Arch, and Castle Arch, hidden away in the backcountry, are also included in this one-of-a-kind scenic flight tour.  Hiking to these arches would take several multi-day permitted visits and are beyond the physical reach of many of us. On this flight, you will see them all, jewels among the many wondrous features of this national park. Unlike hikers, you will see their magnificent surroundings from a bird’s-eye view, in the vastness of this remarkable portion of this gorgeous earth. A unique and very special opportunity awaits you on this exclusive flight through the remote arches of Canyonlands.

From Moab: Canyonlands Needle District 4x4 Tour

6. From Moab: Canyonlands Needle District 4x4 Tour

Begin your journey with a pickup in downtown Moab, which will take you to the remote areas of the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. Before entering the park, take your first stop at Newspaper Rock, one of the largest petroglyph panels in the area, then head down the road and get ready to start your 4x4 experience.   Traverse the technical 4x4 trails and conquer challenging obstacles such as Elephant Hill, SOB Hill, and The Squeeze as you make your way into the Devils Kitchen, all the while taking in the incredible and unique vistas and rock formations of the Needles.   After stopping for a picnic lunch, make your way over to the head of the Joint Trail where you'll spend the afternoon enjoying the moderately strenuous 3-mile hike that meanders through iconic slot canyons and into the heart of Chesler Park. After completing the hike, settle back into your rugged yet comfortable vehicle and enjoy the ride back to Moab.

Moab: Monument Valley & Canyonlands Airplane Combo Tour

7. Moab: Monument Valley & Canyonlands Airplane Combo Tour

Embark on the tour of a lifetime as you soar above Monument Valley with plenty of opportunities for spectacular photography. Fly South from Moab to the Navajo Tribal Park of Monument Valley, into the heart of the Grand Circle and Four Corners. On the way, see Canyonlands National Park, Dark Canyon Wilderness Area, Natural Bridges National Monument, Cedar Mesa/Grand Gulch, and Valley of the Gods. Look down upon cliffs, canyons, mesas, and desert scrublands that have been home to generations of Native Americans. After a brief touch down, the famous Mittens, and other well-known features of the Monument will be explored from the air. Monument Valley was first made internationally famous by the John Wayne movies filmed in the area. Over 130 cinema and television productions have featured its compelling scenery, among them Stagecoach, Rio Grande , 2001: A Space Odyssey, Easy Rider, Wind Talkers, and Mission: Impossible II. These films have been widely viewed, making the park a major tourist attraction. From the air, enjoy sights that very few have seen as you gain a greater appreciation of their improbable beauty. The entire tour provides a splendid overview of a vast area that could take years to explore on foot. The wonders of its diverse geology and human history will give you enduring memories that will last a lifetime.

Utah: Private 2-Day Arches & Canyonlands National Park Tour

8. Utah: Private 2-Day Arches & Canyonlands National Park Tour

Spend two glorious days exploring the major attractions of the Arches and Canyonlands National Park, two must-sees for anyone visiting Utah. With your pre-booked accommodation and the expertise of your local guide, this 2-day adventure will be a convenient and memorable outing for you and your group. On the first day of your tour, become acquainted with the splendour of Arches National park, a rugged scenic landscape boasting unique red rock formations. Arches National Park claims over 2,000 arches, the largest concentration of natural arches in the world. Get to enjoy a 28.9 km winding drive through the parks beautiful vistas. Stop at many of the overlooks and roadside stops for those wanting a relaxed experience. There are also easy to moderate hiking trails for those who like to explore. On day two, visit the stunning Canyonlands National Park and marvel at the towering cliffs and deep canyons. Take short walks to overlooks and drive along the scenic roadway so you can see much of the park. Feel free to choose an optional short, moderate hike that leads to Mesa Arch, an unassuming arch whose fame is not for its size but it's placement as it clings to the cliff edge and picture frames an expanse that can be seen for 30 miles. Spend your evenings enjoying the desert in an intimate way as you discover remote canyons, seek out prehistoric dinosaur tracks, visit ancient rock art panels, watch the sunset from a clifftop overlook, or see the stars in a certified dark sky park.

Canyonlands National Park: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

9. Canyonlands National Park: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

Explore the dramatic landscapes of the Canyonlands National Park on a self-guided audio driving tour. Learn facinating information about the park and uncover 6 trails like the Aztec Butte Trail.  Download the app to your phone while connected to the internet and save your data while driving with an offline tour map. Find sights easily with the included GPS feature. Gain insight into the sights with the engaging audio content.  Have the freedom to pause and resume your tour. Craft your own adventure with a self-guided tour. Go thorugh the park’s Island of the Sky District, a marvel of geology and scenic views that stretch on for hundreds of miles. Uncover the mystery of the Upheaval Dome geological formation. Take in stunning views from the park's Mesa Arch. Stop by Island in the Sky Visitor Center to learn more about the park.

From Moab: Lavender Canyon 4x4 Drive & Hiking Combo Tour

10. From Moab: Lavender Canyon 4x4 Drive & Hiking Combo Tour

Discover the jewel of Lavender Canyon in the Canyonlands National Park, full of archaeological sites, giant stone arches, and stunning beauty in every direction. Witness red to orange striped sandstone with yellow honeycomb facets and dark purple mesas and towers. Starting from Moab, climb into a 4x4 off-road vehicle which will take you to the southern entrance of the Canyonlands National Park. From here, embark on a 3-mile moderate hike through the incredible landscape. As you make your way toward the Needles District, pass by one of the first and still operational ranches. Continue the hike on towards Joint Trail to see some isolated sections of The Needles District. Make your way into Lavender Canyon and cut across 2 major creek crossings with steep banks. View many arches and archaeological sites from the road. Stop for a lunch break which is included in the tour price and admire the views.  After eating, explore an alcove with 5 cylindrical dwellings that must have provided comfortable shelter for the Ancestral Puebloans. View many other arches in the area that only a few get to view and learn about. After a full day exploring the canyon, make your way back to Moab where the tour ends.

Other Sightseeing Options in Canyonlands National Park Needles District

Want to discover all there is to do in Canyonlands National Park Needles District? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Canyonlands National Park Needles District

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 16 reviews

We had the best experience with learning about the area and the beautiful terrain. Our tour guide Blaine was awesome and made the day very memorable. He was not only knowledgeable about the parks (Arches and Canyonlands) but super personable and made it a fun day for us.

Excellent day of adventure through Arches and Canyonlands. Ricky was a first class guide and driver and kept us entertained throughout the day. Many thanks to all for the experience.

Great ride down into the canyon floor and back up the canyon walls to the top, covering so much more beautiful scenery than we could cover in several days of hiking.

Justin was a great driver and a terrific knowledgeable guide! We had a wonderful trip and never felt rushed.

Fantastic day trip with Rick as our guide. Just beautiful and highly recommended