Where to stay near Canyonlands National Park, UT

  • Post last modified:September 15, 2021
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Canyonlands National Park is one of the mighty 5 national parks in Utah. It’s vast, remote and incredibly beautiful. But where to stay near Canyonlands National Park for the best experience?

Canyonlands National Park consists of the three districts Island in the Sky, the Needles and the Maze. Great places to stay when visiting Canyonlands National Park are Moab, Monticello, Hanksville or Green River depending on which part(s) of the park you plan to visit.

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Where to stay near Canyonlands National Park, UT

The Canyonlands lodging areas

Canyonlands National Park is a huge national park. To discover every part of the park could take months and months. Its more than 335,000 acres are filled with numerous winding canyons and unusual rock formations such as arches, buttes and mesas. In the park you can stop by with your car at canyon overlooks, hike exciting trails and even travel on the rivers.

As Canyonlands National Park is so big and diverse it has been organized into three different park districts. The districts are Island in the Sky, the Needles and the Maze. Each area has its own personality and the best Canyonlands National Park place to stay depends on which district(s) you are going to visit.

But the most popular district is by far Island in the Sky. And in nearby Moab you find all the Canyonlands National Park hotels and restaurants that you need for a comfortable stay. The hotels near Canyonlands National Park in Moab are very conveniently located just a short drive away from the park. Moab is the obvious option for where to stay near Canyonlands National Park if you primarily want to visit the popular Island in the Sky district.

Canyonlands’ second most popular district is the Needles. It’s more remote than Island in the Sky but still relatively easy to access and you can decide between lodging near Canyonlands National Park in Monticello or to have Moab as your base for both the Needles and Island in the Sky.

The third district, the Maze, is incredibly remote and demands more time and effort to be explored. Hanksville and Green River are the nearest located towns with Canyonlands accommodation for the Maze. But the cities are still so far away from the park highlights that they mostly are used as bases before or after a trip to the Maze.

Clarification note: Many sources about Canyonlands National Park mention four districts and not three. That’s because sometimes the rivers in the national park are treated as a separate district. While the rivers offer a separate experience they flow through the other three districts in the park. Therefore the rivers aren’t included as a separate district in this guide to the best places to stay near Canyonlands National Park.

Canyon overlook during daytime
Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Where to stay near Canyonlands National Park: Island in the Sky

The Island in the Sky district is the most popular district in Canyonlands National Park to visit. And for visiting Island in the Sky you find the best Canyonlands lodging in Moab. It’s the closest town to the Island in the Sky district and it’s in fact even nearer Arches National Park which makes it easy to combine the two.

Moab, UT – The best place to stay near Island in the Sky in Canyonlands

There are no hotels inside Canyonlands National Park. But Moab is the most convenient option for where to stay near Canyonlands National Park. In the city you find many great places to stay near Canyonlands National Park.

Moab is the town that without competition is located closest the Island in the Sky district, which is the most visited out of the three districts in Canyonlands National Park. From the hotels near Canyonlands National Park in Moab it’s only 30 miles (52 km) and a 40-minute drive to the visitor center in the Island in the Sky district.

So when you stay in Moab you get the best of two worlds. You can effortlessly explore the park during daytime and enjoy all the perks of your comfy Canyonlands National Park hotel when it’s time to recharge.

In Moab you also find a surprisingly good amount of excellent Canyonlands accommodation and all the choices you need for dinner. So Moab is a really comfortable place to stay near Canyonlands National Park.

The town of Moab is also the best place to stay for Arches National Park. Depending on where you stay in Moab it can be as little as 3 miles (4.8 km) to the entrance of the neighboring park. It’s also possible to stay in Moab for a visit to the Needles district even though Monticello is located closer.

In short, Moab is the perfect base for where to stay near Canyonlands National Park. From your Canyonlands lodging in Moab you have great access to all the fun in the park. As a bonus Moab is also a great base to visit Canyonland’s northern mighty 5 neighbor.

  • Driving distance: 30 mi / 52 km
  • Driving time: ≈ 40 min
  • Stay in Moab for: Best access to Island in the Sky and Arches NP.

SpringHill Suites by Marriott Moab – Canyonlands accommodation in northern Moab

Springhill Suites sits optimally for both Canyonlands and Arches. The location of the place to stay in northern Moab means that you minimize driving time to the parks. And the mountain view, hot tub and pool certainly don’t make things any worse at the hotel near Canyonlands National Park.

Best Western Plus Canyonlands Inn – A Canyonlands place to stay in central Moab

Best Western Plus Canyonlands Inn is a great Canyonlands hotel if you want great comfort but in central Moab. The facilities at the Canyonlands lodging in the central Moab area include swimming pool and hot tub.

Red Cliffs Lodge – The best place to stay when visiting Canyonlands for peacefulness

If you look for serenity and don’t mind a 17-mile (27 km) drive from Downtown Moab you don’t need to look further. Red Cliffs Lodge sits in a breathtaking setting with a horse corral by the Colorado River. The view at the Canyonlands lodge just can’t be beaten. Red Cliffs Lodge is the best option for where to stay near Canyonlands National Park if you look for serenity.

Arch overlooking canyon during winter
Mesa Arch, Island in the Sky.

Where to stay near Canyonlands National Park: The Needles

Monticello is the option for where to stay near Canyonlands National Park with best access to the Needles district. However, Moab is also a viable option for the Needles even though it’s a little further away than Monticello.

Monticello, UT – Canyonlands lodging with best access to the Needles

No other town is located as conveniently as Monticello for the Needles district in Canyonlands National Park. Still, in the remote area of Utah you need to count with some driving to get from your Canyonlands lodging to the main sights.

From Canyonlands accommodation in Monticello it’s a drive of 44 miles (71 km) and roughly one hour to get to the Needles Visitor Center. So it’s a longer drive from the Canyonlands places to stay in Monticello to the Needles than it is from Moab to Island in the Sky.

Monticello has a much higher elevation compared to Moab. The former city sits at an elevation of 7070 feet (2155 m) compared to Moab’s 4026 feet (1227 m). The elevation difference makes the summer heat a bit less intense and the winter temperatures more chilly in Monticello.

In Monticello you find some Canyonlands National Park accommodation and places to grab a bite after a day exploring the mighty Utah nature. But you don’t find as much to choose from in Monticello as in Moab.

The fact that Monticello is located slightly south of the Needles makes it a great option for a night on the way north to Island in the Sky/Arches or south from Island in the Sky/Arches.

If you travel north to south from Island in the Sky/Arches you can spend a whole day in the Needles district and then relax on your hotel in Monticello after. Or contrary if you go south to north you can have a night’s good sleep in Monticello before you explore the Needles for a full day and then continue toward Moab.

The bottom line is that Monticello is the option for where to stay near Canyonlands National Park with best access to the Needles district. The city is a great place to stay when exploring the Needles and Monticello is conveniently located on the way to or from Island in the Sky/Arches.

  • Driving distance: 44 mi / 71 km
  • Driving time: ≈ 1 h
  • Stay in Monticello for: Best access to the Needles.

Moab, UT – Combine the Needles and Island in the Sky

Moab is located further away than Monticello from the Needles. Driving from Moab to Needles Vistor Center is 74 miles (119 km) and takes 1.5 hours. So the drive is 30 minutes longer one way compared to if you stay at an Canyonlands hotel in Monticello.

But what speaks for picking a Canyonlands National Park hotel in Moab is if you plan visiting Needles together with Island in the Sky and Arches National Park. If you plan to do so it could be more convenient to pick Moab as one single place to stay near Canyonlands National Park rather than moving around between different Canyonlands hotels.

It’s also worth to note that there are many more Canyonlands National Park hotels and restaurants in Moab than in Monticello. And more options make a longer Canyonlands stay more attractive. Maybe you want to make it a whole week in the desert and just relax a few days in the sun by your Canyonlands hotel pool with your favorite amenities.

To sum up, Moab is the best option if you want one single base for the Needles/Island in the Sky/Arches NP. The hotels near Canyonlands National Park in Moab are conveniently located for exploring the area. And another advantage with picking Moab for Canyonlands lodging is the bigger selection of hotels and dining options that the city offers.

  • Driving distance: 74 mi / 119 km
  • Driving time: ≈ 1.5 h
  • Stay in Moab for: One base for the Needles and Island in the Sky.
Rock formation on hill top during daytime
Elephant Canyon, the Needles.

Where to stay near Canyonlands National Park: The Maze

The Maze district in Canyonlands is even more remote than the other two districts. And most visitors to Canyonlands NP don’t ever set their feet in the Maze.

Because of the remoteness and difficult roads you need to prepare for a visit to the Maze in another fashion than you need if you visit the other districts.

You don’t even find any lodging near the Maze district. And because of the time it takes to travel not just to but also within the park, most visitors choose to spend a few nights camping while exploring the Maze instead of going in and out just for a day.

However, the best Canyonlands lodging options for the Maze district before or after park exploration are Hanksville and Green River.

Hanksville, UT – Canyonlands accommodation nearest the Maze

Hanksville is located west of the remote Maze district in Canyonlands National Park. It’s the town nearest the Maze district, but it’s still a long drive away from the main sights. There simply are no Canyonlands National Park places to stay near the Maze District.

To get from Canyonlands accommodation in Hanksville to Hans Flat Ranger Station is a drive of 61 miles (98 km), which roughly takes 1 hour and 45 minutes to drive. And from the ranger station you are still hours away from the best canyons of the Maze.

From the ranger station it’s recommended to budget with more than 3 hours to get all the way on the difficult roads to the Maze overlook. That’s how remote Canyonlands National Park is.

Still Hanksville is the city with Canyonlands lodging closest to the Maze District. And in Hanksville you discover a tiny town with little to choose from when it comes to Canyonlands lodging and places to eat. But the Maze district is such a remote part of Utah that anything else would be surprising.

To sum up, Hanksville is a humble and remote small town without much to offer. But you come to the area for the nature and it’s together with Green River the best place for lodging before and after visiting the Maze in Canyonlands National Park.

  • Driving distance: 61 mi / 98 km
  • Driving time: ≈ 1 h and 45 min
  • Stay in Hanksville for: Shortest distance and time to the Maze.
Canyonlands National Park sign during daytime
Canyonlands National Park, UT.

Green River, UT – More Canyonlands hotels a little further away

Green River is located along Interstate 70 north of Canyonlands National Park. The town is even a little further away from the Maze than Hanksville.

It’s 68 miles (109 km) and about 2 hours and 15 minutes to drive from Canyonlands lodging in Green River to Hans Flat Ranger Station. And in the remote Maze district you have hours left to drive to the canyons even when you have reached the ranger station.

When it comes to Canyonlands National Park accommodation and dining options in Green River there isn’t a big selection to choose from. But the selection of Canyonlands lodging still edges it over Hanksville. In Green River you have some more options for Canyonlands places to stay and eat.

In conclusion, the town Green River offers Canyonlands lodging before and after visiting the Maze district. The drive to the Maze is slightly longer from Green River than from Hanksville, but you also have slightly more Canyonlands places to stay and dining options to choose from in Green River.

  • Driving distance: 68 mi / 109 km
  • Driving time: ≈ 2 h and 15 min
  • Stay in Green River for: Decent access to the Maze and more accommodation and restaurants.
Huge rock formation in valley during daytime
Goblin Valley between Hanksville and Green River.

Find a hotel near Canyonlands National Park, UT

Use the booking tool below to find the perfect accommodation for your stay near Canyonlands National Park. Browse the map for options in various areas, or click on the search button to get all Canyonlands hotels in Moab listed.

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Where to stay near Canyonlands National Park FAQ

Here you find the answers to some frequently asked questions about where to stay near Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Where should I stay when visiting Canyonlands National Park?

Where you should stay depends on which part(s) of the park you plan to visit. Moab is the ultimate option for where to stay near Island in the Sky, which is the most popular part of the park.

What is the closest town to Canyonlands National Park?

Moab is the closest town to Canyonlands National Park if you aim for the Island in the Sky area. For the Needles district the city Monticello is located closer. The Maze is the most remote part of the park with the nearest accommodation in Hanksville and Green River.

Where should I stay to combine Canyonlands and Arches National Park?

The best place for where to stay near both Canyonlands and Arches National Park is Moab as well. It’s the town nearest both Island in the Sky in Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park.

How many days do you need at Canyonlands National Park?

Just for Island in the Sky you need a full day at Canyonlands National Park to see the best sights and explore some of the trails. Add more time to venture deeper into the park or if you plan to visit more Canyonlands districts.

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