SUPERINTENDENT'S COMPENDIUM: or Designations, Closures, Permit Requirements and Other Restrictions Imposed Under Discretionary Authority - 36 CFR 1.7(b)
As provided in 16 USC, Section 3, and Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Chapter I, Parts 1-7, the following Superintendent's Orders are established for Arches National Park. Unless otherwise noted, these orders apply in addition to the regulations contained in Parts 1-7 of Title 36 CFR.
This compendium is organized, with reference to the applicable sections, of Title 36 CFR . For example, (the order entitled 1.5 closures and public use limits), is addressed in section in 1.5 Title 36 CFR.
I have determined that these actions are necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental or scenic values, protection of natural or cultural resources, aid to scientific research, implementation of management responsibilities, equitable allocation and use of facilities, or the avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities.
Visitors may obtain a copy of this compendium, additional information or permit applications by contacting:
A copy of this compendium is also available for public review at the following locations:
Chief Ranger's Office
The Arches National Park Internet Web Site: http://www.nps.gov/arch
Approved: /s/Scott Brown, October 4, 2019
36 CFR 1.5 Closures and Public Use Limits
Road closures and restrictions
Use limits, conditions, and restrictions
Rock Climbing and Canyoneering
The following closures, conditions, and restrictions apply to rock climbing or similar activities such as, but not limited to, technical rock climbing, free climbing and clean aid climbing and canyoneering within Arches National Park:
Climbing and canyoneering within Arches National Park shall be either free climbing or clean aid climbing, and includes the following conditions:
Technical Rock Climbing is defined as ascending or descending a rock formation utilizing rock climbing equipment.
Free Climbing and Clean Aid Climbing are minimum impact approaches that employ chocks, stoppers, nuts and camming devices, rather than pitons or bolts, for protection or direct support. These are climbing aids that are removable, do not damage or scar the rock, and do not become fixed after ascent
Aid Climbing is the direct use of a fixed or placed protection – pitons, nuts, bolts rivets, spring-loaded cams, etc., to support a climber’s weight and assist in the climber’s ascent. In general, aid techniques are reserved for pitches where free climbing is difficult to impossible, and extremely steep and long routes. Most difficult aid climbs still require pitons or other techniques using a hammer.
Canyoneering (also known as Canyoning) is defined as cross country travel involving descending into canyons or major rock formations using a variety of techniques that are associated with technical descents –those that require rappels and rope work, climbing or down-climbing, and/or swims.
Slacklining or Slinglining is defined as walking on a rope or other line that is anchored between rock formations, trees, or any other natural features. Height of the rope above the ground is immaterial.
Hang Gliders, BASE Jumping, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Arches National Park is closed to the use of hang gliders, paragliders, and parachutes. BASE jumping is prohibited in Arches National Park. 36 CFR 2.17 (a)(3); NPS Management Policies 2006, 188.8.131.52.
Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Arches National Park is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent. 36 CFR 1.5
Definition: The term “unmanned aircraft” means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within, or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (for example, model airplanes, quadcopters, drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation and commerce.
No use of vehicles is allowed off of designated roads. 36 CFR 4.10(a), (b).
All motor vehicles operated within the boundaries of Arches National Park must have a valid state registration as a “motor vehicle,” display a valid state license plate(s), and be operated by someone in possession of a valid state issued operator’s license. Motorcycles that are registered for road use are allowed. 36 CFR 4.2.
All vehicles must be equipped to legally operate on interstate highways. 36 CFR 1.5
Use of off highway vehicles (OHV); all-terrain vehicles (ATV); or other motorized conveyance traveling on three or more tires and designed for or capable of recreational non-highway, off road, or all terrain travel is prohibited. 36 CFR 1.5
Definition: The term “e-bike” means a two- or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.).
E-bikes are allowed in Arches National Park where traditional bicycles are allowed. E- bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited. Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor to move an e-bike without pedaling is prohibited.
A person operating an e-bike is subject to the following sections of 36 CFR part 4 that apply to the use of traditional bicycles: sections 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.30(h)(2)-(5).
Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within Arches National Park is governed by State law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.
Artificial Light Sources
The use of artificial light sources for purposes other than personal route-finding or minimum impact camping—that is, to light up landscapes, rock formations, or other park features—is prohibited.
Engine Idling and Generators
Operators are prohibited from running generators in the park, with the following exceptions:
Drivers of motor vehicles are prohibited from idling their engines, with the following exceptions:
Swimming and bathing
The following restrictions apply to all park lands:
The use of fixed lines (any line made from any material which is stretched between two points) is prohibited except for tie downs used in conjunction with tarps or tents affixed to ground stakes. This includes but is not limited to clothes lines, dog runs, hammocks or slack lines and prohibits attachment to vegetation, natural features, or government property. This regulation does not apply to recreational climbing.
(c) The following permits are required within Arches National Park:
Permits will be specific in nature to the activity being permitted. In those cases where permit use is frequent, a specific permit form has been designed, i.e. backcountry permit, entrance and campground fee permits, canyoneering, rock climbing, and commercial filming permits. In most other cases a special use permit or letter of authorization will be prepared which will articulate the specific conditions under which the permitted activity is authorized. In all cases a permit or letter of authorization must be in the permittee's possession at all times and must be presented to any authorized person upon request.
Recreational Fee Permits for overnight stays in Devils Garden Campground will be issued as posted. The receipt must be inserted in the box located at the appropriate campsite within 30 minutes of occupying a campsite.
(e) Terms and conditions of the Fiery Furnace permit system are as follows:
2.1 Preservation of natural, cultural and archaeological resources
(b) Leaving a trail or walkway to shortcut between portions of the same trail or walkway or to shortcut to an adjacent trail or walkway is prohibited.
2.2 Wildlife Protection
Wildlife lawfully taken outside of Arches National Park may be transported non-stop through the Park using the following roads and in the following directions. (Outbound from the park only):
Vehicles transporting lawfully taken wildlife being transported as outlined above will not be allowed to stop at designated pullouts, road shoulders or parking lots except in cases of emergency.
Wildlife carcasses will display a valid state game tag. Animals must be covered or out of sight. Persons transporting will have in their possession a valid state hunting license. Wildlife being transported through the park must meet all State of Utah Big Game Proclamation requirements pertaining to tagging and transporting of big game.
Hunters must possess only weapons that meet the definition of “unloaded” during cross-park transport (36 CFR 1.4 – “Bows, crossbows, spear guns or any implement capable of discharging a missile or similar device by means of a loading or discharging mechanism, when that loading or discharging mechanism is not charged or drawn.”). Firearms are exempt; state laws apply.
(e) The viewing of wildlife or areas frequented by wildlife using a hand-held light, vehicle headlight or any other type of mounted light within the Park is prohibited.
2.4 Weapons, traps and nets
(d)(4) The Superintendent may issue a permit to carry or possess a weapon, trap or net within the Park in order to provide access to otherwise inaccessible lands or waters contiguous to the Park, when other means of access are impractical or impossible.
(h) Notwithstanding any other provision in this Chapter, a person may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national park area in accordance with the laws of the state in which the national park area, or that portion thereof, is located, except as otherwise prohibited by applicable Federal law.
2.10 Camping and Food Storage
(a) All overnight use within the boundaries of Arches National Park requires either a campground campsite permit or a backcountry use permit.
Devils Garden Campground (including the group site) is the only designated campground. Camping in the backcountry is subject to terms established by a backcountry permit.
Devils Garden Campground:
Devils Garden Campground Group Campsite:
(d) In Devil’s Garden Campground, garbage must be disposed of in designated receptacles and may not be left in the campsite in bags or other soft containers. Food must be stored in vehicles or hardened containers (with securing mechanisms in place) except when being transported, prepared, or consumed.
(d) Backpackers/cyclists/motorcyclists must store food and other scented items in such a way as to prevent access by wildlife.
Picnicking shall be allowed in all areas except:
Garbage must be disposed of in designated receptacles and may not be left in bags or other soft containers. Food must be stored in vehicles or hardened containers (with securing mechanisms in place) except when being prepared or consumed.
On-the-ground wood or charcoal fires are prohibited park-wide, except that fires may be kindled in fire pits provided within the Devils Garden campground and the designated picnic areas at Devils Garden and Balanced Rock.
The collection of firewood and tinder (including dead-fall) from the park is prohibited.
The use of the fire pit at the Devils Garden Amphitheater is restricted to NPS personnel only. Any other use of this fire pit must be approved in advance by the superintendent.
The use of portable stoves, including charcoal burners, is permitted in the picnic areas and campground.
Fires may not be kindled in backcountry areas; only portable, self-contained stoves are allowed.
2.14 Sanitation and Refuse
(c) Solid human waste and toilet paper must be carried out of the backcountry by permitted overnight backcountry users. Toilet systems must be of the type that uses dry chemical/enzymes to render solid human waste into nonhazardous products, approved for disposal in landfills. Toilet systems must be disposed of in designated trash receptacles. Disposal of these systems in park toilet facilities is prohibited. Burning toilet paper is prohibited.
(a)(1) Dogs (except certified service dogs), cats, and other pets, are prohibited on any park land or trail (including buildings) except in those locations identified below:
Service dogs that are trained to perform a specific task to support a person with a disability are allowed. Therapy dogs, companion dogs, comfort dogs, and the like, are not Service dogs. Owners of service dogs must comply with pet waste and restraint regulations, unless restraint specifically interferes with the task the dog is trained to perform.
Pets may not be led by leash from a bicycle or vehicle within Arches National Park.
(a)(3) Leaving a pet unattended is prohibited, except by vehicle operators in the following circumstances:
(a)(5) Pet excrement must be immediately collected by the pet handler and disposed of in the nearest trash receptacle.
(e) Pets kept by park residents will be maintained consistent with the provisions of this section and in accordance with provisions established by the Superintendent’s Housing Directive. The Directive is hereby adopted and made part of these orders.
2.16 Horses and Pack Animals
Animals designated as pack animals shall be limited to the following:
(b) IN ROADLESS AREAS:
(g) The following conditions are established for use of horses or pack animals:
(a) Smoking and the use of electronic smoking devices is prohibited in all public use and administrative buildings and facilities, and in all government-owned or leased vehicles.
(a)(2) Park visitors may leave their vehicles unattended in excess of 24 hours for the period of time specified on their backcountry camping permit.
Traditional geocaches are prohibited. Geocaching is defined as the placement of a cache within the park boundaries and distributing the coordinates, or other clues to the coordinates, for the purpose of locating the cache at a later date.
Virtual caches or waymarks are permitted in areas open to the public.
2.35 Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances
(a)(3)(i) All public use buildings of the park are closed to the consumption of alcoholic beverages except during officially sanctioned activities when the building is closed to the general public.
2.51 Public assemblies, meetings
Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades and other public expressions of views:
Note: Gathering for the purpose of expressing views and making statements such as is protected under the First Amendment does not require a permit as long as the activity takes place in one of the designated "First Amendment" areas indicated in this document and the involved group is less than 25 people. Groups larger than 25 people need a special use permit. Printed matter, used as part of a "First Amendment" activity may be allowed in the "First Amendment" area (see Appendix C) without a permit for groups less than 25 people.
2.52 Sale or distribution of printed matter
Printed matter is limited to message-bearing textual printed material such as books, pamphlets, magazines, and leaflets, provided that it is not solely commercial advertising.
All undeveloped areas are open to the scattering of human ashes from cremation, pursuant to conditions of a special use permit issued by the Superintendent, with the exception of archeological sites and water sources described below
Human ashes may not be scattered in any standing pools of water, potholes, or side streams and creeks.
4.21 Speed Limits
(b) The speed limit on backcountry roads within the park is 15 miles per hour unless otherwise posted.
(c) The use of bicycles is permitted on all public roadways within the park. The possession of a bicycle off a public roadway is prohibited.
Appendix E: Area Closures for Wildlife Protection
AREA PROTECTION - Wildlife
April 12, 2019 – Prepared by Matthew Van Scoyoc, Ecologist
Closures to climbing routes will remain in effect through the end of the termination date specified below, or until surveys determine the associated habitats to be unoccupied by nesting raptors and/or lambing bighorn sheep.
Last updated: October 15, 2020