Arches, Canyonlands National Parks Open All Winter, But Come Prepared

The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park is inviting any time of year. Kurt Repanshek photo.

Winter days are short and nights cold even in Utah's redrock country, but that's no reason not to visit Arches or Canyonlands national parks in the coming months. Both parks are open all year, but their visitor center hours are trimmed a bit during winter.

The Arches National Park Visitor Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. this winter, except for Christmas Day when it will be closed. The Island in the Sky Visitor Center in Canyonlands National Park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed Christmas and New Year’s days.

Canyonlands's Needles Visitor Center is closed for the winter, but will reopen on Sunday, February 19. Law enforcement and other staff will remain on duty in the area.

Visitors wishing to stay overnight in the Needles backcountry this winter can obtain their backcountry permits from the park’s Central Reservation Office (435-259-4351) at Park Headquarters located at 2282 S. West Resource Blvd in Moab.

The Central Reservation Office is open Monday through Friday (except federal holidays), 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Advanced reservation permits can be sent via U.S. Mail or faxed with sufficient lead time. Those visitors unable to obtain their permits from the Central Reservation Office are asked to self register for their backcountry trip on the front porch of the Needles Visitor Center.

Visitor services (lodging, food, water, etc.) are not available in Canyonlands National Park. Winter visitors to the park need to be well equipped with all necessities.