Canyonlands National Park

National Park in Southeastern Utah
Image by Jeff R Clow / Getty Images

Covering 527 sq miles, Canyonlands is Utah's largest and wildest park. Indeed, parts of it are as rugged as almost anywhere on the planet. Arches, bridges, needles, spires, craters, mesas, buttes – Canyonlands is a crumbling, decaying beauty, a vision of ancient earth. The park has four distinct districts separated by the Green and Colorado Rivers: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze and Horseshoe Canyon, each must be visited independently as they are not linked by road.

Moab makes a good base for visiting the Island in the Sky and Needles sections.