Canyonlands National Park Overnight River Permits

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park is a wilderness of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries. Rivers divide the park into four districts: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers themselves. The park preserves the natural beauty and human history throughout its four districts. While they share a primitive desert atmosphere, each offers different opportunities for wildness and solitude.

The Colorado and Green Rivers have played a significant role in shaping the landscape of Canyonlands. Seeing the park from the bottom up affords a unique perspective. Above their confluence at the heart of Canyonlands, the rivers offer miles of flatwater perfect for canoes, sea kayaks and other shallow-water boats. A commercial upriver shuttle is necessary for non-motorized boats. Below the confluence, the combined flow of both rivers spills down Cataract Canyon with remarkable speed and power, creating a fourteen-mile stretch of Class III to V whitewater. It is a particularly hazardous and isolated section of the Colorado River, subject to extreme water level fluctuations, for experienced river runners only. 

There are numerous options for responsible camping prior to your Canyonlands National Park river trip. Visit Discover Moab for options in the Moab area. 

Permit & Season Information

Permits are required year-round for all overnight river trips. A permit for an overnight trip on either the flatwater sections of the Green or Colorado Rivers or Cataract Canyon on the Colorado River allows for the launch of one group, maximum of 40 people, for the date issued, up to 14 consecutive nights.  

Need to Know

Backcountry Permit Office: or 435-259-4351.

Fee Policy

Reservation Fee: There is a non-refundable $36.00 reservation fee for all permit reservations for Canyonlands National Park.

Recreation Fee: $25 per person

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy:  

Once a permit reservation is completed, it is non-refundable. Do not pay for more than the number of people confirmed to be on the trip.

Change Policy:

Changes to a permit reservation including an increase to group size and trip length may be made up until 8:00AM MT of the launch date. Additional fees apply. You may list one alternate trip leader to which the permit may be transferred.

No changes to the trip start date are allowed. No permit changes are allowed once the permit has been printed.

Contact Information

Mailing Address

2282 SW Resource Blvd. Moab UT 84532

Phone Number

Email is the best option for a quick response, 435-259-4351

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