Canyonlands National Park is home to the marvelous Island in the Sky, which offers sweeping canyon views and fantastic photo ops. Canyonlands is a top US national park featuring three districts, and the crown jewel of them all is Island in the Sky. The latter boasts easy hikes, scenic views, and marvelous attractions, and it sees people flocking from the whole world to witness its beauty and majesty.

However, to enjoy the most of Island in the Sky, people must plan for the trip and avoid the crowds. The Sky district counts among the most popular outdoor destinations in the US, and the best part is when one gets the chance to visit it like a local and not like a tourist. There are many things to do on Island in the Sky, and not everyone is up for the same activities. So here’s a guide to help people know everything about visiting Island in the Sky.


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The Best Ways To Tour Island In The Sky

Located at a 45-minute drive from downtown Moab, Island in the Sky lies at the heart of the top US national park, Canyonlands. Driving along the way is easy, and it is straightforward to access Moab, which makes Island in the Sky the busiest district in Canyonlands. People must start their journey early in Island in the Sky to avoid the crowds.

Visitors will enjoy the Mesa Arch and the Grand View Point when watching the sunrise in the district. People can also enjoy an epic scenic drive on Island in the Sky, where they will have the chance to see the most spectacular views in Moab without getting tired. The drive takes around 34 miles ( round trip) and allows one to see all of the viewpoints in the district. However, to enjoy absolutely all of the attractions, one would have to walk for a couple of miles.

Still, they will be treated to fantastic scenery along the way. Those who don’t want to drive will also be lucky to enjoy the easy hikes in Island in the Sky’s trails, including the Mesa Arch, Grand View Point Trail, Gooseberry Canyon, and Upheaval Dome. When hiking in Island in the Sky, one will learn what hiking in a desert looks like. It is recommended to wake up early to witness the beauty of the sunrise at Mesa Arch.

Things To Know Before Visiting Island In The Sky

When planning a trip to Canyonland’s Island in the Sky, one must avoid coming during summer, when temperatures are very high and the area gets overcrowded. The optimal time to visit is during the fall where the number of people there will be at a minimum, and the weather will be pleasant. Visiting during the spring season is also a great option. However, those who are not annoyed by the cold and come equipped with the required gear can visit during the winter when there’s literally no one else in the park.

Moreover, people don’t have access to food, water, or lodging within Island in the Sky because the area is remote. This is why they should consider stocking up on food and water before coming to the district, or they would have to drive for 45 minutes to downtown Moab to access some services. Water can be filled in cans at the Gearheads Gear Shop in Moab.

Additionally, visitors and hikers must carry a physical map at Island in the Sky to avoid getting lost. A GPS is also a good idea. People must note that cellular service is scarce on Island in the Sky. Furthermore, hiking during midday is not recommended because high temperatures can get dangerous, and people can faint or lose their conscience.

  • Cost: When visiting Island in the Sky, people pay the entrance fee for 7 days. A ticket for one person who wants to hike the area costs $15. For groups who come in a car, the cost is $30 in total per vehicle. For those on a motorcycle, the price is $25 per vehicle. However, it is worth noting that those fees apply to all three of Canyonlands National Park districts, so people can also enjoy a getaway at the Maze and the Needles. For those looking to visit several national parks within 12 months, it would be more affordable to get the America the Beautiful Pass for $80.

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This Is Where To Camp When Visiting Island In The Sky

The best camping experiences in Moab are found right at the Island in the Sky. It’s an unforgettable experience to camp in the desert, and doing it at Island in the Sky is just jaw-dropping. People can camp at the Island in the Sky Campground, which is open year-round, and there’s no need to book a spot to stay there since the Willow Flat works on a first-come, first-served basis.

Another option for camping at Island in the Sky is the Gooseberry Campground A, where people can enjoy stunning sunset views along White Rim Road.

  • Cost: The cost for camping at the Island in the Sky Campground amounts to $15 per site per night.

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