is an immense desert of rock, divided by two great
rivers: the Green and Colorado, near the pioneer city of
Moab. The rivers separate the national park into three
distinctive sections that have their own, separate
attractions: Island in the Sky, the Needles, and the
Maze. The park is just southwest of the old Mormon
pioneer town of Moab, with the park headquarters in town.
The three sections are not connected by road, and you
drive from different directions to get to each
to See & Do
National Park is a huge area of desert made up of three
major areas. Each has soimething different to offer, from
great mountain biking and hiking, to four-wheel-drive
in The Sky
high, flat mesa lies between the two rivers. For those
with little time to spend, this is the easiest part of
the park to see, and to walk. With several overlooks at
an elevation of 6,000 feet, you can peer down into the
White Rim and get fine views of the Needles and the Maze.
The La Sal, Abajo, and Henry ranges are seen in the
distance. To get there, drive from Moab north along Hwy.
191 and take Utah Hwy. 313 for 22 miles (southwest). The
roads on top of the mesa are paved. Several trails lead
to wonderful vista points, and to Upheaval Dome. The
visitor center is open daily. There is a primitive
campground and picnic area (no water). There are
campgrounds, as well, in Arches National Park, just north
and more pinnacles are the features here, in this more
southerly section of the park. To get there, drive south
from Moab or north from Monticello on U.S. Hwy. 191 and
then drive west on Utah Route 211 -- passing Newspaper
Rock State Historic Park -- to reach the park entrance.
The Needles Visitor Center is just inside the boundary
with nearby trailheads to the Colorado River Overlook and
the Cave Spring Trail.
campground is located at Squaw Flat (a short drive from
the visitor center) with tables and water (spring through
fall); a fee charged. There is also a campground in
Newspaper Rock State Park (on Hwy. 211).
is a remote area of the park, accessible by 4WD or
high-clearance vehicles, on the western edge of the park
territory. To get there, drive south from Interstate 70
(near Green River) or north from Hanksville, on Utah Hwy.
24. Twenty Four miles south of I-70, there is a dirt road
which leads 46 miles east to the Hans Flat Ranger
Station. This road is suitable for two-wheel-drive
vehicles. Another backroad (for 4WD vehicles only) leads
north from Utah 95 near Hite. The Horseshoe Canyon
section of the park is reached by a two-wheel-drive
backroad, an hour's drive north of the Hans Flat Ranger
roads and foot trails lead to several scenic areas
including the Land of Standing Rocks, the Doll House, and
Ernie's Country. The Maze itself is a jumbled collection
of canyons reached via a long trail with a descent of 600
feet. There are Indian pictographs on the walls of
Horseshoe Canyon that are said to be more than 2,000
years old. This area is reached by a separate backroad.
The life-size pictures on the Great Gallery are among the
finest examples of prehistoric art to be found in