Road Closures Coming to Canyonlands National Park this Fall: What to Know

by Jon D. B.
road-closures-coming-to-canyonlands-national-park-this-fall-what-to-know
Shafer Trail Road Will Close Intermittently for Required Maintenance in October and November. (Photo credit: NPS media release, Canyonlands National Park)

Heading to Canyonlands National Park in Moab, Utah this fall? The park is planning road closures that may impact your visit.

As the National Park Service cites today, Shafer Trail Road will close intermittently for required maintenance throughout the fall. If you plan on visiting this fantastic wilderness and its countless canyons and buttes carved by the Colorado River system, here’s what you need to know.

Shafer Trail Road Closures will occur on:

  • October 24 – 27, 2022
  • October 31 – November 3, 2022
  • November 7 – 10
  • Closures will occur Mondays through Thursdays from 7:30 AM to 4 PM

Please note that these closures apply to all methods of road use, not just vehicles. All use, including mountain bikes, motorcycles, four-wheel-drive vehicles and hikers, will be prohibited during closures. But Shafer Trail Road will reopen for public use at 4 p.m. each Thursday and stay open through weekends. Then, the road will close again at 7:30 a.m. Monday mornings.

As for why, “This project will repair tread surfaces and road shoulders damaged by significant rain events this year,” the park cites in their media release Wednesday.

Visitors to Canyonlands National Park will still be able to access the White Rim Road via Potash Road during these closures. Please note, however, that these four-wheel-drive roads can be challenging to navigate. Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and seek out alternative routes during the closures.

Canyonlands National Park Provides Map for Road Closures

To help plan, the park has provided a road closure map:

road-closures-coming-to-canyonlands-national-park-this-fall-what-to-know-Shafer-Trail-Road-Map
Shafer Trail Road Will Close Intermittently for Required Maintenance in October and November. (Photo credit: NPS media release, Canyonlands National Park)

Rivers divide Canyonlands National Park into four districts: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers themselves. These areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, “but each offers different opportunities for sightseeing and adventure,” the park says.

Island in the Sky is the district affected, so it may be best for visitors to forego this area’s driving connections unless taking a 4-wheel-drive, high-clearance vehicle.

For further information from the park on closures and conditions, visit their NPS website here.

To plan your trip around the Island in the Sky district, see our Canyonlands breakdowns on Outsider:

For nearby Arches National Park, see our:

Stay safe out there and happy trails, Outsiders!

Outsider.com