Canyonlands National Park encompasses a vast expanse of rough land to the west and south of Moab, Utah. Its main components are canyons and plateaus that have been carved by the Green and Colorado rivers over the course of several years. The park provides some of the most demanding 4X4 roads and whitewater rapids in the world. It also contains many opportunities to hike, bike and engage in a variety of other activities.
One of the more striking aspects of Canyonlands is Island in the Sky: a sheer-walled mesa that makes up the northern part of the Park. A scenic drive follows along the rim of the mesa, with the ability to park at vistas where visitors are afforded incredible views of the surrounding country, including the canyons for which it is named. In some locations, the surrounding area is practically 1,000 feet straight down from the top of the mesa.
The least accessible area of Canyonlands is the Maze, which is expansive, distant, and intense. To travel the Maze's roads requires high-clearance four-wheel-drive, and there are no amenities within approximately 100 miles. While there is no entrance fee to access this area of the park, those who might wish to take an overnight trip are required to obtain a permit. Furthermore, travel to the Maze requires more time and an increased level of self-sufficiency due to its relative isolation and the challenging nature of the trails and roads. It's uncommon for visitors to this area to spend less than three days here, as there is an awesome amount of space available for exploration. Popular sights contained within the Maze include:
·      The Doll House
·      Maze Overlook
·      Land of Standing Rocks
·      Golden Stairs
·      Orange Cliffs
Horseshoe Canyon, a separate extension of Canyonlands National Park, is located between the towns of Hanksville and Green River and is not contiguous with the rest of the Park. Within the Canyon are some of the most important collections of rock art on the North American continent, including "The Great Gallery," which contains well-preserved, life-sized human-like characters and detailed symbols. In addition to the anthropological interest provided by this rock art, Horseshoe Canyon also supplies several excellent trails for hiking.