Canyon Rims Recreation Area, Moab Utah

Moab Utah
> Parks
> Canyon Rims Recreation Area

Canyon Rims Recreation Area

The Canyon Rims Recreation Area was established by the BLM in the early 1960s and encompasses 100,273 acres of primitive wilderness between Moab and Monticello in southeastern Utah.

  • Canyon Rims Recreation Area is a 100,273 acre region between Moab and Monticello.
  • The Windwhistle Nature Trail is a self guided tour of 17 plant species.
  • Anticline Overlook is 31 miles from highway 191.
  • Discover the dwellings and rock art of the Anasazi Indians.
  • Enjoy wildlife from the scenic overlooks.


Canyon Rims Recreation Area has a primitive landscape that has been shaped by millions of years of deposition and erosion thus creating colorful bands of rock strata. Under review for Wilderness Classification, the area is known for its unique landscape, ecological diversity, and rare species of wildlife.

Location & Information

Canyon Rims Recreation Area is located between Moab and Monticello. The main entrance, along Utah 191, is a paved road to "Needles Overlook/Anticline Overlook." Campsites and overlooks can be accessed from Utah 191, or, just east of Canyonlands National Park, on Utah 211. For more information, check out the BLM web site.


Canyon Rims has a couple campgrounds maintained by the BLM that do not require a permit or a reservation.

  • Windwhistle Campground
    Six miles from Utah 191, Windwhistle Campground's 17 individual sites accommodate 2 vehicles and 10 people each, and are run on a first come first serve basis. The group site accommodates up to 15 people and can be reserved by calling 435-259-2100.
  • Hatch Point Campground
    Hatch Point Campground is located near the Anticline Overlook, twenty four miles from highway 191, and has ten individual sites operated on a first come first serve basis.

Wildlife Viewing Areas

With patience and a keen eye, visitors can observe Peregrine Falcons, Pronghorn Antelope, Golden Hawks, Sage Grouse, Mule Deer, and Blacktail Jackrabbit from the scenic overlooks.

  • Needles Overlook
    The Needles Overlook is 22 miles from Highway 191 and has a view of the Colorado River, the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, and Indian Creek. Amenities include a picnic area, toilets, and interpretive displays.
  • Anticline Overlook
    Dead Horse Point State Park, the Colorado River, and Kane Creek Canyon are just some of the features that can be viewed from the Anticline Overlook, located 31 miles from Highway 191. Amenities include a picnic area, vault toilets, and an interpretive display.
  • Minor Overlook
    Located six miles from the Anticline Road, Minor Overlook offers views of the Colorado River Canyon and requires high clearance 4x4 vehicles. A map is necessary as the road is not marked.

Hiking Trails

Trough Springs Trail
The trailhead to Trough Springs is just off the Anticline Road-twenty five miles from Highway 191. The trail reaches from the plateau down into the Kane Creek Canyon.

  • Out and Back
  • Strenuous
  • Elevation Change: 1100 foot descent
  • 5 mile round trip

Windwhistle Nature Trail
Located near the campground, this is a quick self guided informative tour of the local plant life.

  • Easy
  • Out and back
  • 1 mile round trip
  • Elevations change: insignificant

Note: Stay on the trails and avoid stepping or driving on delicate Cryptobiotic Soil. The area is primitive, so take a map and plenty of supplies.

Fun Facts

The Anasazi Indians inhabited Canyon Rims in the early 1200's. Their dwellings and rock art can been seen throughout the area.

Other Canyon Rims Recreation Area Resources

The Grand Canyon Trust

The Grand Canyon Trust is dedicated to the protection and restoration of the natural Colorado Plateau.