Canyonlands - The Maze

Canyonlands National Park is divided into three different sections; Island and the Sky, The Needles, and The Maze. Each section of the park holds a unique experience but our favorite is the experience you find while visiting The Maze. Although it’s considered one of our dream destinations The Maze is not for the faint of heart. To get there you drive over miles of washboard dirt roads through the center of Utah’s desert and down steep jeep trails dropping off the edge of mesas. Because of its remote location, you have to pack in AND OUT everything. Yes, that may be a deal breaker for a few of you, you have to pack out your poop!

You may be asking, at this point, what it is that we love so much about visiting The Maze? Just take a look for yourself.

We’ve actually been to The Maze more than once (we might be a little embarrassed to tell you how many times we’ve actually been because it’s a lot) so we’ve had the opportunity to stay at many of the campsites. We’ll list the ones we’ve stayed at in order from favorite to least favorite to help you with your decision making. 

  • The Dollhouse - absolutely, hands down, worth the long road in. The drive is amazing and your camping experiences are incredible. If you can, try to get either of the campsites that are the ones closest to each other. They are nestled back in the dollhouse rock formations and provide shade and lots of fun exploring.

  • Maze Overlook - talk about an amazing view. It’s actually really hard to decide between the Dollhouse and the Overlook because both are such a fun but different experience. Because of their locations, unless you are planning to stay in the maze for an extended amount of time, you probably won’t be able to stay at both locations. At the Overlook, you are right on the edge of why The Maze got its name. An incredible jungle of twisty turny canyons that make up a giant maze. There are some really fun (but difficult) hikes that start from this campsite.

  • Chimney Rock - You also get some pretty great views of the maze from this location although not quite as stunning as the Overlook. This site gets its name from a rock formation that resembles a chimney.

  • The Wall - I don’t know if it’s like this ALL the time but this location was VERY windy for us. We’re guessing it’s quite windy a good portion of the time because of evidence that people had set up their tents strategically behind rock features to seek out protection from the wind. We actually have a crazy story about our tent flying away hundreds of feet in the air here (watch our maze recap for the story). Apart from the wind it was also very sunny. There was virtually no shade to be found and we could not set up our own shade because of the wind. You do have a pretty stunning view of the maze from this point but it was probably our least favorite and a let down after staying at the Dollhouse.

  • Teapot Rock - The only reason why this site is last on our list is that we consider it just a site to use on your way into The Maze. Although very pretty it offers no views of the maze and is not very far down the road. 

The Maze is not for you if: 

  • You hate car rides. Half of the experience of The Maze is the crazy (and slow) roads through it. (Laura actually brings running clothes and runs a good portion of the trail because she gets car sick. You actually drive slow enough that a runner can keep up with you)

  • Your vehicle is not off-road capable and by this we mean you need high clearance, 4 wheel drive, and best to have locking diff. 

  • You like flushing toilets and running water. 

  • You are dependent on others to solve your problems. You may not see ANYONE ELSE on your trip through The Maze so it’s best to have good problem-solving skills in case you get into trouble. 

The Maze is totally for you if:

  • You want to be the only one around for miles and miles.

  • You love “jeeping”.

  • You love Utah’s amazing deserts and awe-inspiring rock formations. 

  • You love a good adventure.

  • You love living the simple life.

The Maze is an incredible part of Utah that’s only seen by a few 100 people each year. It’s important that we take care of our National Parks and do our part so that we can keep visiting them year after year. 

As always, keep on adventuring!

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We’re an adventurous family of five who think you should follow your wildest dreams! We’re doing just that by getting outdoors with our family and (hopefully) inspiring you to do the same! Follow us as we create a life of adventure with our three munchkins in tow!