Sunset At Canyonlands National Park

Post Summary: Canyonlands National Park in Utah and what to expect during sunset.

A few weeks ago, Berty and I got in our car and embarked on an epic Southwest road trip!

We’ve never experienced this landscape of desert, red, rock, and dry air but we were so excited to see what all the talk was about! Our goal was to visit all 5 of Utah’s national parks, and the first stop on this journey was Canyonlands National Park.

We came here after lunch with full anticipation to capture the beauty of these magnificent canyons. After driving around all afternoon, we knew we had to stay for sunset too. With tons of exposed edges and sweeping views of the deep canyons below, Canyonlands is a must-stop on any tour around Southern Utah!

In this post, we’re sharing a ton of pictures of our afternoon and evening here, as well as the incredible sunset we experienced in the park. Enjoy!

Sunset At Canyonlands National Park

Canyonland National Park -

Canyonland National Park -

Canyonland National Park -

Canyonland National Park -

For starters, here are some facts about Canyonlands National Park:

  • The park was established in 1964.
  • It has “337,598 colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires” (from their Visitors Guide Brochure).
  • The park has four districts: Island In The Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and Horseshoe Canyon.
  • Canyonlands National Park is an official International Dark Sky Park as of 2015. This means the park takes measures to preserve the night sky, which means installing lights that produce less “light pollution” and allows visitors to see spectacular views at night.

During this trip, we found ourselves shooting in a harsher light more than we ever had before.

The Pacific Northwest has clouds that give us that ever-soft and moody light. Since driving through the Southwest, Berty and I have not only had more sunshine, but a completely different landscape of red rock to photograph.

Read More: Our Complete Travel Photography Gear List

Canyonland National Park -

Canyonland National Park -

Canyonland National Park -


Since Berty and I were living in our car for three weeks, we packed much of our own food and water supply.

This gave us the freedom to stop and cook whenever (and where ever!) we pleased. We use our Jetboil and Mountain House backpacking freeze-dried food for a good portion of the trip.

Our camping meals are easy, there’s no mess, and they’re delicious! Other foods we packed were goods that were non-perishable. Things like peanut butter, granola bars, instant oatmeal, and cup of noodles are road trip staples for us!

Read More: Car Camping 101: The Complete Guide To Sleeping In Your Car

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This sunset location at Canyonlands National Park was actually a last-minute decision. As we were driving to our planned stop, we passed Candlestick Tower and were floored by the beauty of the landscape surrounding it.

The sun was going to set right next to it, so we made a quick readjustment in our plans to stay here for the setting sun.

Read More: 30 Necessary Road Trip Essentials You Need To Be Packing

Canyonland National Park -

Canyonland National Park -

Red Wing Boots

Berty and I are extremely proud to be partnering with Redwing Boots! When Red Wing reached out to us to collaborate together, we were STOKED!

We could talk about this brand every day, and as you can see from our Instagram account, they could pretty much be the boots we wear for the rest of our lives. Just know that you’ll be seeing a lot more of these sweet shoes in the future!

Read More: Utah’s Best Kept Secret: Capitol Reef National Park

Canyonland National Park -

After hanging out for a while we scouted a new place to watch the sunset. It was a little closer to the cliff edge (eeek!) but a little quieter, more off the road, and with a clearer view of Candlestick Tower.

This part of the park is the Island In The Sky District. It gets its name because it appears that the mesa sticks out into the canyon, standing 1,000 feet above the surrounding area.

This part of the park is easiest to visit and has sweeping overlooks scattered all over. It is an extremely scenic and beautiful drive, and there are many hikes to take in this part of Canyonlands National Park as well.

Read More: Conquering Zion’s Dangerous Angels Landing Hike

Canyonland National Park -

Canyonland National Park -

Canyonland National Park -

We sat for a long time just enjoying the view. Then out of nowhere, we got the most INCREDIBLE SUNSET!

Canyonland National Park -

Canyonland National Park -

Canyonland National Park -

Canyonland National Park -

That’s it!

We didn’t have much time to explore the park in depth as we did at Arches National Park the day before.

Nevertheless, the day was full of beauty and wonder. We were very grateful to have experienced a lovely sunset here at Canyonlands National Park. In the future, we hope to come during the summer, when we can shoot the stars and the night sky!

Camping In Canyonlands National Park

Are you wanting to stay and camp around Canyonlands National Park? The closest and most accessible campgrounds to all the main things to do n Canyonlands National Park are Willow Flat Campground and Gooseberry Campground A. 

If you are looking for more places to camp nearby Canyonlands, we highly suggest downloading the app The Dyrt. It’s the largest campground finding app on the market, with tons of ways to filter through spots (from RV parks to free sites!) to help you find the best camping spots along your route. Try their pro membership free for 30-days when using our code MANDAGIES to unlock all their coolest features!

Have you ever visited Canyonlands National Park? What was your favorite part? We’d love to hear your experience in the comments below!

Read More Road Trip / Utah Posts

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The Complete Guide To All 5 Utah National Parks

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Spend Sunset at Cathedral Rock Trail in Sedona

Want more southwest inspiration? Follow our Southwest Road Trip Board on Pinterest for more adventurous ideas!

1 Comment

  1. Loved your Canyonlands trip. Yes, went in1997 with my husband. (Passed in 2005). Near there in March 2012 with our
    little dog. Love Utah route 12. Would still sleep in car at 84 yrs.
    Did West N.Y. to Alaska & West coast in 2003.
    Enjoy your travels. & photography.