Island in The Sky

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park’s Island in the Sky District sits high on a mesa more than 1,000 feet above the surrounding terrain. From its lofty perch are endless views of the landscapes beyond.

Plan Your Visit

Island in the Sky is only a 40-minute drive from Moab, making it easy to visit during your stay.

There is much to see and do at the Park: Stop by the visitor center, drive the paved scenic drive to spectacular views along the way, hike its many trails, camp, experience the star-filled night skies, and drive the four-wheel-drive roads that access backcountry areas for day or overnight trips.

Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky is open 24 hours a day, year-round.

Note: the entrance road can sometimes close in winter for short periods after winter storms.

Visitor Center hours: The visitor center hours vary by season.  Get more information at NPS.gov.

  Island in the Sky webcam

Directions

The Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park is located in Southeastern Utah, 32 miles (51.5 km) from Moab.

Driving time to the visitor center from Moab is about 40 minutes. To reach the Island, drive 10 miles (16 km) north of Moab or 22 miles (35 km) south of I-70 on US 191. Turn onto UT 313, and then drive southwest 22 miles (35 km) to the entrance. Visit the Directions page on NPS.gov for more detailed directions.

Park Map

The official park map shows all the roads and trails in Canyonlands National Park. You will receive a copy when entering the park (if the fee booth or visitor center is open). The map can also be downloaded from NPS.gov, or you can purchase a copy of the park brochure that includes the map at the Island in the Sky Visitor Center, the Moab Information Center, or from CNHA’s web store.

When is the Best Time to Visit?

The busiest season is from March through October.

These holidays and weekends are especially busy:

  • The weeks surrounding Easter (date varies)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  • Labor Day (first Monday in September)
  • Utah Education Association break (in October – date varies)

Entrance Fees

You can pay at the park entrance station or online at Pay.gov. Admission to Canyonlands National Park is good for seven days.

  • Private Vehicle Fee – $30.00
    (15 passengers max)
  • Motorcycle Fee – $25.00
  • Per Person (bicyclists, hikers, and pedestrians) – $15.00
    Youth 15 and under are admitted free.

For more information on fees, visit the Canyonlands National Park Fees and Passes page at NPS.gov.

Passes

You can purchase passes at park entrance stations or visitor centers.

Southeast Utah Parks Pass

Annual – $55.00
Valid for one year through the month of purchase to Arches and Canyonlands national parks and Natural Bridges national monument. Admits one private, non-commercial vehicle or the pass holder and three persons (16 years and older) when per-person fees are charged.

America the Beautiful
The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series

Your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the United States.

These passes cover:

  • Entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges
  • Standard amenity fees (day-use fees) at national forests and grasslands and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Army Corps of Engineers
  • Annual Pass – $80
  • Current U.S. Military Annual Pass – Free
  • 4th Grade Pass for U.S. students in the 4th grade – Free
  • Senior Pass – $80 (lifetime), $20 (annual)
 

Things to Know

Can I ride my ATV/UTV in Canyonlands?

ATVs, UTVs and OHVs are not permitted in the park.

Motorbikes must be highway-legal.

Can I drive to the Needles District from Island in the Sky?

Island in the Sky is located on the top of an isolated mesa.

The paved road into the park does not connect to any other paved roads or to other districts of the park.

You will exit the Island on the same road you came in on to exit the park and return to Highway 191.

Can I take my pet?

Activities with pets are very limited at Canyonlands.

  • Pets are not allowed on hiking trails or anywhere in the backcountry.
  • Pets are not allowed to accompany you if you are traveling by four-wheel-drive vehicle, mountain bike or boat.

Car temperatures rise quickly in the sun, even on cool days. Your pet can easily die of heat exhaustion. If you are leaving a pet in a car, crack the windows as much as possible and leave water to drink. We recommend you not leave pets in the car at all when temperatures are above 68 degrees F (20 degrees C), even with the windows cracked.

Can I get gas in the park?

There is no food, gas, lodging or other services in the park.

The nearest amenities are in Moab, 32 miles (51.5 km) from the Island. Visit DiscoverMoab.com for details.

Will my cell phone work at Island in the Sky?

Cell phone coverage is poor to nonexistent throughout Canyonlands.

What's the weather like?

Check the Canyonlands National Park website at NPS.gov for weather information or stop by the Moab Information Center for the latest weather, road and trail conditions.

Here are the current conditions:

Canyonlands National Park
47°
Partly Cloudy
07:0019:44 MDT
Feels like: 41°F
Wind: 17mph NW
Humidity: 34%
Pressure: 29.82"Hg
UV index: 3
11h12h13h14h15h
49°F
47°F
48°F
47°F
47°F
ThuFriSatSunMon
49/26°F
55/34°F
67/45°F
70/47°F
68/45°F

Safety Tips

Hydration is essential in the desert, even in winter.

Take lots of water with you and drink it often as you explore the park.

Water is available seasonally at the visitor center. Note: There is no water available elsewhere in the park; bring all that you will need.

Protect yourself from the sun by using sunscreen, wearing a hat and light-colored clothing.

Wear sturdy shoes.

Do not rely on GPS navigation or cell phone service coverage. It is often not reliable in the Canyonlands area.

Use a map instead.

How to Protect the Park

Every Step Counts!

Help us protect the dark lumpy biological soil crusts during your visit. More about biological soil crusts at NPS.gov.

Biological soil crust is a living groundcover that forms the foundation of high desert plant life in Canyonlands and the surrounding area.

Please walk only on trails, rock or in sandy washes (where water flows when it rains), and keep all vehicles and bikes on designated roads.

Things to Do

Stop into the Island in the Sky Visitor Center to see exhibits, watch a park orientation video and shop the park store. Rangers are on hand to answer questions you might have about the park. Note: The only water available at Island in the Sky is at the visitor center. Water is available seasonally, so bring all that you will need.

Sample Itineraries

Make the visitor center your first stop.

  • Shop the store.
  • Watch the park movie.
  • Ask about ranger programs.
  • Get current information on trails, roads and weather.

Then head into the Park!

In two hours, you can:

  • Drive to Grand View Point or Green River Overlook.
  • Hike the easy 1/2 mile (0.8 km) trail to Mesa Arch.

If you have four hours:

  • Drive to Grand View Point, Green River Overlook, and Upheaval Dome.
  • Hike the Grand View Point, Mesa Arch, and Upheaval Dome Overlook trails.

If you have eight hours:

  • Drive the scenic road visiting every overlook.
  • Hike several shorter trails or one of the more strenuous trails descending to the White Rim.
  • Enjoy lunch on the trail, or picnic at White Rim Overlook or Upheaval Dome picnic areas.

Sunrise and Sunset:

  • Visit Mesa Arch at dawn.
  • Visit Green River Overlook or Grand View Point at dusk for colorful sunset views.
  • Hike to the top of Aztec Butte or Whale Rock for a spectacular views.

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