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Utah national parks prepare for return of Spring Break crowds

Posted at 5:57 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 19:57:56-04

SALT LAKE CITY — It might very well have been one of the happiest announcements made for travelers -- Disneyland will re-open its doors at the end of April.

Except it will be open at 15 percent capacity, for California residents only.

"What we're seeing is national parks, AirBnB's, open-air country," said Gelwix.

Something, park rangers are preparing for.

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Karen Garthwait has been a park ranger for Arches and Canyonlands National Parks for 15 years and said they are not fully back to business since the pandemic shut their gates in 2020.

"We have not started giving the ranger lead programs that people might remember in the past," said Garthwait. "The visitor center itself is still partly closed."

Yet, the bookstore and restrooms are still open.

Garthwait said the crowds they will see this year will be a huge comparison to what happened last year.

"We're certainly expecting to see more people than zero," said Garthwait.

Down at Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, no one was there last April.

READ: Utah sees record fishing and hunting license sales during pandemic

Since re-opening in May, Garthwait said they have broken records with the number of visitors.

"October in Arches and Canyonlands was busier than any other October, ever before," said Garthwait.

Though state restrictions are slowly lifting, Garthwait reminds visitors they are still on Federal lands with Federal restrictions.

"There is still a requirement to wear masks," said Garthwait.

But if a state trip or Disneyland doesn't fit the family agenda, Gelwix said Hawaii, Mexico and Caribbean resorts are the most popular.

"The advance cruise bookings for this fall and winter have broken nationwide, all sales records," said Gelwix.

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Prices are at all-time lows and discounts are at record highs, said Gelwix.

"With the Vaccine out and COVID numbers dropping, it seems to have changed us psychologically," said Gelwix.

If spring break does take your family out of State, Gelwix reminds travelers to plan for the COVID19 test required to return to the United States.