• Double O Arch

    Arches

    National Park Utah

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  • Delicate Arch Viewpoint Inaccessible

    Wolfe Ranch and the hiking trail to Delicate Arch are open, but flood waters and mud have blocked the road to Delicate Arch Viewpoint.

  • Safety in Bear Country

    Black bears have been seen near Devils Garden Campground. Don't lure or feed them. Dispose of trash in designated receptacles; don't leave it in bags or other soft containers. Store food in vehicles or hard containers when not being prepared or consumed. More »

Transportation Planning

As part of its long term transportation planning effort, the park intends to manage traffic congestion by reducing the number of automobiles within the park while maintaining and improving public access. This action is supported by the park’s Transportation Implementation Plan and Environmental Assessment (2006), and Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership In Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance (2009), which requires agencies to measure, manage, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions toward agency-defined targets including a 30% reduction in vehicle fleet petroleum use by 2020.

Since 2004 to 2012, park visitation increased from 733,131 to 1,070,577, with more than a 35% increase in park visitors over 5 years. From 2004-2009 there was an increase of 100,000 cars annually, 36% more cars than documented in the 2006 Transportation Study. Arches also averages around 2,000 commercial bus tours a year with the busiest seasons from May through October. With this increase of visitation the park has seen an increase of parking issues that are no longer associated with holidays or weekends or other special occasions. Parking congestion is now the norm from mid-March through early November.

 
Graph showing Arches Recreational Visitors
Arches Recreational Visitors: 1982 - 2009 (click to view larger PDF version)
 
Graph: Arches Average Entry Count by Week/Month
Arches Average Entry Vehicle Count by Week/Month: 2000-2010 (click to view larger PDF version)
 

These parking issues along with the issue of decreased air quality related to tailpipe emissions have prompted the National Park Service (NPS) to begin looking at alternative transportation methods and other congestion management strategies. In August 2011, the NPS hired a consultant team, the Louis Berger Group, Inc., Nelson Nygaard, and Rhodeside and Harwell, to conduct a feasibility study to look at shuttle and non-shuttle opportunities within Arches National Park. The completed feasibility study is available for download below.

Alternative Transportation System and Congestion Management Study, Vol 1 (May 2012)

Alternative Transportation System and Congestion Management Study, Vol 2 (Appendices) (May 2012)

Transportation Newsletter (May 2012)
[2mb PDF file]

Finding of No Significant Impact
[78k PDF file]

Did You Know?

Desert Bighorn Sheep

Once feared of becoming extinct, desert bighorn sheep are making a tentative comeback in southeast Utah due to reintroduction efforts by the National Park Service. There are roughly 50 sheep in Arches, though their shy nature keeps them well-hidden from most visitors. More...