MOAB, Utah — One of Utah’s most popular national parks is considering requiring a reservation to get in during peak times.
In a new proposal being floated by the National Park Service, Arches National Park is considering requiring a reservation between March and October during the peak visiting times of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“Visitation to Arches National Park doubled in the past 11 years, reaching approximately 1.6 million visitors in 2016. During high-visitation season, March through October, visitors routinely wait in long lines to enter the park and then must search for empty parking spaces at all popular sites. Long lines to enter the park cause congestion at the intersection of U.S. 191 and the park entrance road, which can be a serious traffic hazard,” the park service said in a statement Wednesday.
Arches said an online reservation system could give visitors a guarantee of entry, eliminate longer lines, spread visitation out through the day and ensure an available parking space.
If approved, the reservation system would take effect March 2019. The National Park Service is taking comment on the idea during an open house in Moab on Nov. 16 from 4-8 p.m. at the Grand Center.
Online public comment will also be taken via this link until Dec. 4.
This is the latest proposal dealing with access to Utah’s national parks in recent weeks. The National Park Service is also considering doubling the cost of entry fees to help pay for a backlog of improvements to some of the most popular parks in America. Members of Utah’s congressional delegation have expressed concern the cost could price people out of the parks.