#18 of 61 national parks in United States of America

Best backpacking trails in Canyonlands National Park

1,138 Reviews
Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Canyonlands National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of backpacking trails in Canyonlands National Park
Park information
Acreage:
337,597 acres
Contact
(435) 719-2100
Top trails (27)
#1 - Chesler Park Loop Trail
Canyonlands National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(442)
Length: 10.4 mi • Est. 5 h 12 m
#2 - Syncline Loop
Canyonlands National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(273)
Length: 8.6 mi • Est. 4 h 34 m
Loop trail around Upheaval Dome in Canyonlands National Park: Islands in the Sky This strenuous backcountry route follows the washes on either side of Upheaval Dome. Spur trails partway around the loop provide access to the center of the crater and the Green River. Total elevation change is roughly 1,300 feet. The north side of the loop passes through a riparian area where water and shade are usually available. There is one designated campsite along the trail. Go clockwise for a more gradual uphill journey back to the trailhead. If you'd like a bit of a challenge and don't mind very steep switchbacks at the end of your journey, try counter-clockwise.Show more
#3 - Squaw Flat and Big Spring Canyon Loop
Canyonlands National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(71)
Length: 6.6 mi • Est. 3 h 6 m
Note: The term squaw is considered universally offensive by Indigenous groups in America due to its use for hundreds of years in a derogatory context. Indigenous activists have continued to work both locally and in more general educational efforts, to rename the locations across North America that contain the slur, as well as to eliminate the slur from the lexicon in general. See here for more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw#Efforts_to_rename_placenames_and_terms_with_squaw_in_themShow more
#4 - Murphy Trail Loop
Canyonlands National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(76)
Length: 10.1 mi • Est. 5 h 9 m
Descends into canyon, crosses Murphy's Hogback to White Rim Road, then returns via Murphy Wash.Show more
#5 - Maze Overlook Trail
Canyonlands National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(8)
Length: 8.0 mi • Est. 3 h 52 m
#6 - Druid Arch to Chesler Park
Canyonlands National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(57)
Length: 11.2 mi • Est. 5 h 31 m
This is a good trail combination to see both Druid Arch and the east side of Chesler Park. Be careful backtracking from Druid Arch, so you don't miss the turn off to Chesler Park. The route involves some scrambling and edges, but the rock formations are incredible. Route finding is easy as there are cairns all over the place. Crampons useful in some sections in the winter, but not required. Make sure you bring enough water.Show more
#7 - Shafer Trail and White Rim OHV Road
Canyonlands National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(21)
Length: 47.1 mi • Est. Multi-day
#8 - Druid Arch to Chesler Park Loop
Canyonlands National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(36)
Length: 16.6 mi • Est. 7 h 40 m
#9 - Squawflat Trail to Lost Canyon Peekaboo Trail
Canyonlands National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(30)
Length: 9.6 mi • Est. 4 h 52 m
Note: The term squaw is considered universally offensive by Indigenous groups in America due to its use for hundreds of years in a derogatory context. Indigenous activists have continued to work both locally and in more general educational efforts, to rename the locations across North America that contain the slur, as well as to eliminate the slur from the lexicon in general. See here for more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw#Efforts_to_rename_placenames_and_terms_with_squaw_in_themShow more
#10 - Salt Creek and Horse Canyon OHV Trail
Canyonlands National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(5)
Length: 16.0 mi • Est. 7 h 4 m
From the gate at Cave Spring, hikers follow Salt Creek Canyon for 2.5 miles before reaching Horse Canyon. Horse Canyon is typically very dry, and the deep sand of the wash bottom makes for slow hiking. A four-wheel-drive road extends up the canyon as far as Fortress Arch, so hikers may see vehicles. There are several arches and numerous side canyons to explore. Access to Paul Bunyan's potty, Tower Ruin, Castle Arch and Fortress ArchShow more
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