The Island in the Sky and Needles districts each have a visitor center offering exhibits and sales areas. The Maze District Ranger Station at Hans Flat has a small sales area. Visitors using the backcountry for overnight recreation must sign in at the information centers. These are also good places to inquire about water sources and trail conditions, and a necessary stop for overnight use of the park.
Canyonlands is primarily a backcountry park. Most visits involve primitive camping in sites along the hundreds of miles of trails, roads and rivers of the park. Backcountry permits are required for overnight use and are limited in number.
Visitation increases dramatically during the more temperate periods of spring and fall, when evening programs, overlook talks and other programs are offered. Campgrounds and popular backcountry areas usually fill every night from mid-March to Memorial Day and, again, from Labor Day through mid-October. If you are planning to camp during these times, be prepared with a backup plan in case no sites are available. Backcountry permits and group campsites may be reserved in advance, but all developed campgrounds are first-come, first-served.
Developed camping opportunities are available in the Needles and Island in the Sky Districts. Individual sites for ten or fewer people are first-come, first-served. In the Needles District the Squaw Flat Campground supports 26 sites with water and vault toilets. The Island in the Sky District contains the Willow Flat Campground with 12 sites and maintained vault toilets. There is no water available at this site. There are three group campsites located in the Needles District of Canyonlands, which will accommodate groups of eleven or more people. Reservations are recommended for use of these sites.