During the open comment period for Arches' Traffic Congestion Management Plan (TCMP), we hosted a public open house on November 16, 2017, and presented these graphics for visitors. Explore our current situation and our proposed solutions to the problem.
Alternative text: This horizontal bar graph shows a 90 percent growth in visitation at Arches National Park in the last 10 years. In the same period, visitation increased 84 percent at Utah national parks, 37 percent at Intermountain Region national parks, and 21 percent at all US national parks.
What's happening now?
Daily vehicle entrances at Arches National Park 2016
Alternative Text: This line chart shows visitation throughout the year of 2016. These holidays are labeled: Presidents Day, Spring Breaks, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Utah Education Association (UEA) Weekend, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day.
There are notable spikes on holiday weekends, and visitation remains high between March and October. A red horizontal line is just above the 2,000 line with the label: "Proposed 2,006-vehicle limit." In 2016, the park was busiest on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.
What's happening now?
Most people enter the park in mid-morning. The park remains crowded through the afternoon.
long walks to trailheads
What would change?
We propose to implement a reservation system during the busy season, March through October. During these months, you would need a vehicle entry reservations between 7 am and 6 pm daily. Between 6 pm and 7 am, you would not need a reservation
Between November and Feburary, you would not need a reservation at any time.
How would this affect visitors?
We propose a vehicle limit of 2,006 vehicles between 7 am and 6 pm, March through October. Outside those times, there would be no limit.
In that reservation period, only 3.2 percent of current visitors would have to make other plans, like coming back at another time.
What Might Change?
How might this plan affect visitors, businesses, and the local community?
Potential Impacts on Visitors
loss of spontaneity
may not be able to enter at their preferred time
ensured entrance at reserved time
reduced crowding and wait times
Potential Impacts on Businesses and Community
could spread tourism more evenly across the year
more consistent economic opportunities and employment
could restrain some growth opportunities for commercial services
could increase demand for commercial tours and guide services