Visitors to Arches National Park may soon have to reserve their trip in advance

Enjoying the view of the Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Utah, Sept. 14, 2014 | Photo by Drew Allred, St. George News

MOAB (AP) — The National Park Service recently proposed a new plan that would put in place a reservation system for visitors traveling to Arches National Park during its high-visitation season. This announcement comes not long after the park service released another proposed plan that is causing some controversy to possibly raise entrance fees to certain parks by more than double.

Park officials emphasized the point of the recent proposal for Arches is not to limit the number of visitors but to spread visitation out during the course of the day and throughout the year.

The plan would limit park entries during certain three-hour windows between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. during the park’s high season – March through October.

Superintendent of Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park Kate Cannon says the plan was developed as a part of the park service’s traffic congestion management plan, which was established to address traffic and parking congestion to the park.

The reservation system would be implemented March 2019 if passed.

If passed, Arches may not be alone. Zion National Park officials have been investigating ways to address the crushing increase in visitation it has experienced the last 10 years, including a possible online reservation system as part of the solution.

Additionally, on Oct. 24, the park service announced a proposal to increase entrance fees at Zion, as well as 16 other of its most popular parks – mostly in the U.S. West – to from its current $30 to $70.

Read more: Should entrance fees more than double at Zion, 16 other national parks? Comment period open

Written by The Associated Press

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2 Comments

  • Travis November 5, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Do it and raise the fees as well. If I have to get up in the dark and begin driving out of Moab to the park and begin on the trail in the dark to avoid the crowds or reservations, so be it. That’s also the only way to get photos WITHOUT people standing under Delicate Arch.

  • Caveat_Emptor November 6, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Many of us locals can adjust our visits, so we do not compete with the super-busy visitation. Besides, some of the busiest days coincide with the hottest weather.
    The good news is that these public facilities are very popular with both US citizens, and foreign visitors. Creating a reservation system to balance out the crowds should improve the visitor experience for everyone.
    The higher entrance fees can only be justified if the incremental funds are earmarked for deferred maintenance projects at that specific park. It would be an insult to send the money back to Washington so Zinky can fly around in chartered aircraft to RNC-sanctioned events……

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