Bryce Canyon National Park to resume fee collection, increase access to certain areas, services

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, date not specified | Stock image, St. George News

BRYCE CANYON CITY — Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities, Bryce Canyon National Park has been steadily increasing recreational access and services and will resume collecting fees starting Wednesday.

According to a pres release from the National Park Service, the success of this phased reopening has been in large part thanks to the cooperation of the visiting public, which helps the park to take further steps to increase recreational access and services.

“Bryce Canyon is excited to provide more access to this beautiful park,” Superintendent Linda Mazzu said in the press release.

“We will continue to do so in a thoughtfully paced approach to ensure the utmost safety for our employees, our visitors and our communities. The spirit of cooperation and a continued focus on safety will help us continue moving forward.”

Key areas and services to which visitors currently have access

  • The main road and all viewpoints to Rainbow Point.
  • Visitor Center and NHA bookstore: outdoor and indoor operations from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, the theater and museum remain closed, and in accordance with regional public health guidance on group gatherings, indoor visitor occupancy will be limited for retail or restroom access only.
  • In the Bryce Amphitheater area, restrooms are available 24/7 at Sunset Point and Inspiration Point.
  • Along the southern Scenic Drive, restrooms are available 24/7 at Farview and Rainbow points.
  • Trails within the Bryce Amphitheater area. Only the Navajo Loop remains closed.
  • Mossy Cave parking, restroom and trail area, although this area may temporarily close for short periods due to construction.
  • Guided horseback rides.

Key areas and services planned to resume with anticipated dates

  • Effective Wednesday, the park will resume collecting park entrance fees via traditional methods of credit card (preferred) and cash or park pass. Digital fee collection via recreation.gov is not yet available at Bryce Canyon but will likely be announced soon as a preferred option.
  • Effective Friday, the General Store will reopen its camp store and restrooms from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; however, showers and laundry services will remain closed.
  • Effective June 7, Sunset Campground will reopen to the public for camping by reservation only. Click here for reservation information.
  • Effective June 15, private horse use reservations will resume within the park.
  • Effective no later than July 1, hiking of backcountry trails and permits for backcountry camping at sites along Riggs Spring Loop, the Under-the-Rim Trail and Under-the-Rim connecting trails will again be permitted.
Looking up at the base of Wall Street, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, July 15, 2016 | Photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News

Services and activities that do not yet have a date to resume

  • All park food service.
  • The park lodge and its overnight accommodations.
  • Park shuttle service.
  • North Campground is currently closed for paving and will reopen for first-come-first-serve camping when this rehabilitation project is completed.

While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased, and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

The park service offered the following tips for the visiting public to ensure your best experience when visiting Bryce Canyon National Park:

  • Visit the park during nonpeak hours, either early morning or late afternoon/evening.
  • The park’s Shared Use Path provides a fun way to walk or ride a bicycle from less busy parking lots such as those in Bryce Canyon City and near the Visitor Center to popular park overlooks and the Rim Trail.
  • Avoid the park’s most popular overlooks at busy times by enjoying views along the Rim Trail, which provides endless vistas between Bryce Amphitheater viewpoints.

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

“We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health,” the press release stated.

Park rangers are available in real time to answer phone calls and emails during regular business hours for information and trip planning. Call 435-834-5322 or email the park at brca_information@nps.gov for assistance.

Visitors can also contact the park through its social media pages and find the latest on park operations by visiting the park’s public health page.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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