Superintendent's Compendium

SUPERINTENDENT'S COMPENDIUM: or Designations, Closures, Permit Requirements and Other Restrictions Imposed Under Discretionary Authority - 36 CFR 1.7(b)

November 2020

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:
Office of the Superintendent,
Arches National Park,
2282 SW Resource Blvd.,
Moab, Utah 84532-3298.

A copy of this compendium is also available for public review at the following locations:
Arches Visitor Center
Arches National Park

Chief Ranger's Office
2282 SW Resource Blvd; Moab, Utah 84532-3298

The Arches National Park Internet Web Site:

Approved: /s/ Patricia S. Trap, Superintendent, November 12, 2020


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36 CFR 1.5 Closures and Public Use Limits

Road closures and restrictions

  • The following roads and parking areas are closed to all public vehicle traffic except for those on official government business:
    1. HQ administrative roads
    2. Balanced Rock maintenance area access
    3. Devils Garden maintenance area access
  • Invited guests of employees residing in government housing may access administrative roadways in housing areas.
  • Four-wheel drive and clearance of at least 8 inches is required for the unpaved, back country road running north and south between its junction at Salt Valley Road and the junction with Willow Springs Road.
  • All park roads are subject to temporary closures as indicated by signs or other means of notification during periods of adverse weather, natural disaster, emergency, or implementation of management responsibilities.

High Clearance Four-Wheel-Drive (4WD) Vehicles
A Jeep, sport utility vehicle (SUV), or truck type with at least 15-inch tire rims and at least eight inches of clearance from the lowest point of the frame, body, suspension, or differential to the ground. Four wheel drive vehicles have a driveshaft that can directly power each wheel at the same time and a transfer case that can shift between powering two wheels or four wheel in low or high gear. All wheel drive (AWD) vehicles do not meet this definition.

Use limits, conditions, and restrictions

  • Except for Administrative Activities, the areas identified by Feature or Route Name in the attached Appendix entitled Area Protection – Wildlife are closed to all visitor use, as listed or until NPS surveys the associated habitats to be unoccupied by nesting raptors and/or lambing bighorn sheep.
  • The area known as the Fiery Furnace (see map, Appendix A, B) is closed to entry except by those who have secured a permit from a uniformed park employee at the Park Visitor Center.
  • Climbing, scrambling, or walking upon, wrapping webbing or rope around, or rappelling from any arch with an opening greater than 3 feet is prohibited in Arches National Park.

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:


  • Except for Administrative Activities, the areas identified by Feature or Route Name in the attached Appendix entitled Area Protection – Wildlife are closed to all visitor use, as listed or until NPS surveys the associated habitats to be unoccupied by nesting raptors and/or lambing bighorn sheep.
  • Balanced Rock - Closed to climbing year-round
  • The ten (10) acre area near the North Moab Canyon Bike trail and Hwy 191 (which is marked by signs spaced along the park boundary for approximately 1600’) is closed to bouldering, rock climbing, rock scrambling or any like activity.


Climbing and canyoneering within Arches National Park shall be either free climbing or clean aid climbing, and includes the following conditions:

  • Rock climbing groups are limited to five (5) persons per group.
  • Canyoneering groups in the Fiery Furnace and Lost Spring Canyon canyoneering routes will be limited to six (6) persons per group. Elsewhere canyoneering groups will be limited to ten (10) persons per group.
  • Canyoneers are required to complete a self-registration process at the Visitor Center. Canyoneers accessing routes in the Fiery Furnace must also secure a Fiery Furnace permit. If navigating the Undercover/MMI routes, canyoneers must also register at the Lost Springs Trailhead.
  • No new permanent fixed anchors may be installed in any location, except by permit (Special Use Permit). If an existing bolt or other hardware item is unsafe, it may be replaced, without a permit. Anchor hardware must be painted the color of the rock surface before installation. The installation and use of pitons is prohibited. Homemade hardware is prohibited.
  • If an existing software item (sling, runner etc.) is unsafe, it may be replaced. Software (webbing, accessory cords, etc.) that is left in place shall match the rock surface in color.
  • The intentional removal of lichen or plants from rock is prohibited.
  • The physical altering of rock faces including, but not limited to chiseling, glue reinforcement of existing holds, and gluing of new holds is prohibited.
  • The use of motorized power drills is prohibited in areas managed as wilderness. Outside of wilderness, a motorized drill requires a permit (Special Use Permit).
  • The use of white chalk (or chalk substitutes) for climbing is prohibited. Chalk or substitutes must be of a color that blends with the native rock.
  • Fixed ropes may not be left in place for more than 24 hours. Fixed ropes left in place longer than 24 hours shall be considered "abandoned property" and removed.
  • Slacklining or slinglining is prohibited.


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.

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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,

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.

Off-highway Vehicles

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

Motor-assisted Bicycles (e-bikes)

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:

  • in the Devils Garden campground a generator may be operated during the hours of 8:00 am–10:00 am and 4:00 pm–8:00 pm.

Drivers of motor vehicles are prohibited from idling their engines, with the following exceptions:

  1. after long uphill grades, engines may be idled for up to 15 minutes in order to cool,
  2. engines may be left running to provide cooling or heating for disabled passengers who have difficulty in disembarking.
  3. engines may be left running while the driver is actively completing a Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection.

Swimming and bathing

The following restrictions apply to all park lands:

  • Swimming, bathing, and immersing human bodies in water sources are prohibited (except in the Colorado River).
  • Only biodegradable soaps may be used in the backcountry. All soap use must be used at least 100 feet away from water sources, with the following exception:
    • Soap use on the Colorado River is encouraged to take place in the river.
  • Rinsing dishes or other equipment directly in water sources is prohibited (except in the Colorado River).
  • A water source may not be emptied or depleted for human and/or saddle/pack animal use.

Fixed Lines

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.

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1.6 Permits

(c) Permits are required within Arches National Park for the following (36 Code of Federal Regulations) activities:

  • Carry or possess a weapon, With the exception of firearms - 36 cfr 2.4(d)
  • Specimen collection - 36 CFR 2.5
  • Backcountry use permit - 2.10
  • Camping in developed area campgrounds - 2.10
  • Audio disturbance - 36 CFR 2.12
  • Aircraft and air delivery - 36 CFR 2.17
  • Unattended property - 36 CFR 2.22
  • Fee waiver - 36 CFR 2.23
  • Noncommercial soliciting - 36 CFR 2.37
  • Explosives - 36 CFR 2.38
  • Special Events - 36 CFR 2.50
  • Public assemblies, meetings - 36 CFR 2.51
  • Sale or distribution of printed material - 36 CFR 2.52
  • Residing on Federal lands - 36 CFR 2.61
  • Memorialization - 36 CFR 2.62
  • Load, weight and size limits - 36 CFR 4.11
  • Business operations - 36 CFR 5.3
  • Commercial photography - 36 CFR .5.3
  • Commercial vehicles - 36 CFR 5.6
  • Construction of buildings or other facilities - 36 CFR 5.7
  • Fiery Furnace Day Use Permit - 36 CFR 1.6
  • Canyoneering - 36 CFR 1.6
  • Rock climbing permits are optional

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:

  • Walking anywhere except on rocks or in washes is prohibited.
  • Walking (stepping) on vegetation is prohibited.
  • One member from each group must openly display the permit (Form 10-404) while in the Fiery Furnace (i.e., attached to pack or clothing).
  • All members of a group hiking together must be on a single permit. Multiple permitted parties may not join up and hike together.
  • Transfer of the permit is prohibited.
  • The maximum group size is 25 people.
  • The maximum daily limit is 75 people.

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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.

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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):

  • Cache Valley Road from the east boundary to Delicate Arch Road; Delicate Arch Road between Cache Valley Road and the Main Park Road; Main Park Road from Delicate Arch Road to the main park entrance near the visitor center.

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.

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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.

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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.

(b) (9) Conditions:

Devils Garden Campground:

  • General provisions: No person or their equipment shall occupy the campground for more than seven (7) nights (consecutive or non-consecutive) in any thirty (30) day period or a total of fourteen (14) nights per year.
  • Camping fees are to be paid within 30 minutes of occupying a campsite.
  • Sites for which required fees are not paid and/or the registration receipt is not displayed in the campsite receipt box will be considered unoccupied and available for use by other campers.
  • Sites may not be left unattended for more than 24 hours. All motor vehicles (includes all wheeled vehicles, R.V.'s, camp trailers etc.) must be parked within the striped lines at each campsite and on the paved/graveled area of the campsite. Parked vehicles must not extend into the roadway.
  • Occupancy of the Devils Garden Developed Campground is limited to ten (10) persons per campsite for the individual campsites (Children under the age of six years excluded).
  • The 51 individual campsites may be reserved through a national reservation service for nights from March 1 to October 31 inclusive. Any unreserved sites will be available on a first-come, first-served basis each day.
  • Sites may not be held for late arriving parties or individuals.
  • It is prohibited for visitors to go through the campground soliciting campers to allow them to share any campsite.
  • Check-out time for campsites at Devils Garden Campground is 10:00 am.
  • The use of generators in Devils Garden Campground is restricted to the following hours: between 8:00 am and 10:00 am, and between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm.
  • Quiet hours must be adhered to between 10:00 pm and 8:00 am. Quiet hours require that no unreasonable noise be created or sustained.
  • Entry and occupancy of developed campgrounds is limited to registered campers and vehicles only between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am.

Devils Garden Campground Group Campsites:

  • Two group campsites are available by reservation only for a minimum of eleven (11) persons. The Juniper Basin Site will accommodate a maximum of fifty-five (55) persons and ten (10) vehicles. The Canyon Wren Site will accommodate a maximum of thirty-five (35) persons and ten (10) vehicles.
  • Camping in group sites is limited to walk-in (tent) camping only. Camping in motorhomes or other similar recreational vehicles is not allowed in the group campsites. (Exceptions can be made at the discretion of NPS staff in order to accommodate the needs of disabled persons.)
  • Group Campsites may not be reserved more than two times per year by the same user group. For the purposes of this section, a user group is defined as a "department" as found in colleges and universities.

Backcountry Areas

  • A backcountry permit is required for all overnight stays in the park's backcountry.
  • Backcountry permits must be obtained from the Arches National Park Visitor Center.
  • Backcountry permits will not be issued within one hour prior to sunset for the current date.
  • The backcountry permit must be in the camper's possession while in the backcountry and must be presented to any authorized NPS personnel upon request.
  • Overnight stays in the backcountry are restricted to four zones, with a total of seven permits per night distributed among the four zones as indicated below.
    • Courthouse Wash Zone
      • Upper (upstream of park bridge): 2 permits/night, designated campsites
      • Lower (downstream of park bridge): 1 permit/night, designated campsite
    • Devils Garden Zone: 1 permit/night, designated campsite
  • Individual permits are limited to a maximum of seven persons.
  • Individual permits are limited to a maximum of three nights per zone. Total trip duration can be extended by moving to a different zone.
  • Individual permits are limited to a maximum of seven nights.
  • Overnight users must have at least one landfill-safe human waste bag per person when picking up the permit at the visitor center and during their entire trip.
  • Overnight stock use is prohibited.
  • Wood gathering, wood fires, and charcoal fires are prohibited. Gas-fueled stoves are allowed for cooking purposes only.

(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.

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2.11 Picnicking

Picnicking shall be allowed in all areas except:

  • Within the Devils Garden Campground as posted
  • When the activity would interfere with normal agency functions or visitor use activities already in progress

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.

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2.13 Fires

(a)(1) 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.

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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.

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2.15 Pets

(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:

  • FRONTCOUNTRY - All park roads open for public vehicular use, parking areas, established picnic areas, and the Devils Garden Campground.

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:

  • Pet is secured at a location where it will not interfere with wildlife or normal travel by other visitors, and
  • Pet does not bark excessively or exhibit aggressive behavior, and
  • Temperatures or conditions do not pose the risk of endangering the pet’s health, and
  • The pet is not being left unattended overnight, and
  • The pet is secured such that no resource damage occurs

(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.

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2.16 Horses and Pack Animals

(a) Animals designated as pack animals shall be limited to the following:

  • Horses
  • Burros
  • Mules

The use of saddle and pack animals in road-less areas is prohibited except as follows:

  • Salt Wash upstream from the Delicate Arch road, Courthouse Wash and Seven Mile Canyon
  • All travel in road-less areas is confined to the wash bottoms. Leaving wash bottoms to avoid quicksand when it is present is an exception to this regulation.

The use of saddle and pack animals on park roads is prohibited except as follows:

  • Use is permitted on all designated four-wheel roads within the park, which include: The Willow Springs road, the "Four-wheel-drive road" (From Salt Valley to Willow Flats including the Tower Arch loop road) and the Cache Valley road.
  • Use is permitted on the following non-paved roads: Salt Valley road from the Main park road to the park's west boundary, and the Klondike Bluffs road.

(g) The following conditions are established for use of horses or pack animals:

  • Backcountry overnight use with stock is prohibited.
  • Where possible, horses will be watered downstream from the source. Manure must be removed immediately if dropped in or near any spring or non-flowing water source. If not dropped in these areas, manure will be scattered and covered with mineral soil. Soil containing plants matter or cryptobiotic crust will not be used to cover manure.
  • Pack and stock animals may not be left unattended. They must be staked away from water sources (at least 300 feet) and away from vegetation where possible, and may not be unstaked and hobbled. Animals must be picketed in locations which least damage the vegetation. Animals may not be directly tied to trees and other vegetation EXCEPT tamarisk (salt cedar). Animals may be tied directly to this exotic species.
  • Grazing, or loose herding of pack and saddle stock is not allowed in the park; grazing of park vegetation is not permitted. All pack and saddle animals must be fed certified week-free pellets or forage – hay, straw, and mulch - for 48 hours in advance of a trip. Proof of certification tags required. Forage may not be taken beyond trailheads. Use only pelletized fee, hay cubes, and grain products in the backcountry. Feed may not be left on the ground; a feedbag, tarp, or similar must be used. All unused food will be packed out.
  • At trailheads and other loading areas, any manure spilled from the trailering unit, fresh excrement, or feed MUST be picked up prior to departing.
  • Pack and saddle stock may not be ridden or kept overnight in any established roadside campground.
  • Any commercially guided horse or pack stock trip must be provided by an outfitter authorized to operate under the commercial use procedures within Arches National Park.

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2.21 Smoking

(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.

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2.22 Property

(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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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2.62 Memorialization

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.

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4.21 Speed Limits

(b) The speed limit on backcountry roads within the park is 15 miles per hour unless otherwise posted.
Speed limits on paved roads within the park are as posted.

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4.30 Bicycles

(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.

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a topographic map showing a portion of Arches National Park, A red line encompasses an area labeled as Fiery Furnace.

Appendix A: Fiery Furnace

A map of the Fiery Furnace area. View a larger version of this map.

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A satellite image of a red desert landscape. The center of the image contains dozens of rocky fins running parallel to one another. A red line is drawn around the area containing the rocky fins.

Appendix B: Fiery Furnace

A satellite image of the Fiery Furnace area. View a larger version of this image.

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A satellite image showing a building, a parking lot, and a road. Two areas next to the building are outlined in green.

Appendix C: First Amendment Areas

A view of Arches Visitor Center with designated First Amendment areas.
View a larger version of this image.

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Appendix D: Area Closures for Wildlife Protection


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.

Area Feature Name Route Name(s) Termination Date Closure Dates Justification
Arches Entrance The Pickle The Pickle 1 Apr 31 Aug Within bighorn sheep lambing habitat
Arches Switchbacks The Three Penguins All routes on this feature 1 Mar 15 Aug Close proximity to red-tailed hawk nest
Devils Garden Devil Dog Spire Industrial Disease 1 Dec 30 Sep Close proximity to great-horned owl nest
Garden of Eden Ham Rock Harkonnen Castle (Dune) 1 Mar 15 Aug Close proximity to red-tailed hawk nest
Highway 191
N/A Canyonlands by Night

El Secondo

The Coup
1 Mar 31 Aug Within peregrine falcon nesting territory and bighorn sheep lambing habitat
Crohn's Wall Crohn's Odyssey

Left Route

Project One

Project Two
1 Mar 31 Aug Within peregrine falcon nesting territory
Klondike Bluffs
N/A Klondike Bluffs Crack 1 Mar 31 Aug Close proximity to peregrine falcon and golden eagle nests
The Bouquet Route One

Route Two
1 Mar 31 Aug Close proximity to peregrine falcon and golden eagle nests
The Marching Men Cuddle Bunny Tower

False Start

North Marcher

Sand Hearse

Unknown Marching Men
1 Mar 31 Aug Close proximity to peregrine falcon nest
Highway 128
(River Road)
Goose Island Fun Ramp

The Hyena

Trail of the Navajo
1 Mar 31 Aug Within peregrine falcon nesting territory and bighorn sheep lambing habitat
Milano Tower Pop Tarts 1 Mar 31 Aug Within peregrine falcon nesting territory and bighorn sheep lambing habitat
N/A Escape Route 1 Mar 31 Aug Within peregrine falcon nesting territory and bighorn sheep lambing habitat
Windows Tonka Tower Tonka Tower 1 Mar 15 Aug Close proximity to red-tailed hawk nest

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54 U.S.C. Section 10075 l(a) and Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations§ 1.5(a)(2) gives authority to Park Superintendents to impose restrictions on activities within park areas for the maintenance of public health and safety.


Regardless of vaccination status or local community transmission levels, all individuals over the age of two must wear masks, except when actively eating or drinking, in all common areas and shared workspaces in federally owned buildings administered by the National Park Service and in office space leased by the National Park Service.

'Federally owned buildings administered by the National Park Service' include, but are not limited to, visitor centers, administrative offices, maintenance facilities, and shared government quarters; buildings assigned to concessioners or other park partners; and buildings leased for commercial purposes to individuals or entities other than the National Park Service.

To exclude facilities where staff are actively engaged in physical training activities, such as control tactics, or other cardio intensive workouts where a mask could inhibit adequate respirations and lead to cardiac arrest. Gyms are limited to no more than four persons at a time, six feet physical distancing will be maintained, and gym equipment must be wiped down after each use.

All individuals over the age of two, regardless of vaccination status or local community transmission levels, must wear masks in the following outdoor areas when others are present, except when actively eating or drinking, where the superintendent has determined that physical distancing (staying at least six feet apart) cannot reasonably be maintained:

  • Entrance Booths and self-pay stations
  • Commercial passenger vehicles, to include holders of Commercial Use Authorizations, as well as Contracted Concessioners and other partners that provide transportation services
  • Outdoor pavilions, Points of Interest, and other outdoor gathering areas
  • Visitor Center parking areas and complex, to include sidewalks, plazas, and all building entrances
  • Interpretive talks, tours, and demonstrations
  • Public restrooms and vault toilets
  • Amphitheaters
  • Campground common areas, including payment stations
  • Trails, Routes, Overlooks, and backcountry roads

Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.

Regardless of vaccination status, all individuals must comply with all orders regarding masks issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC prevention measures continue to apply to all travelers on public transit, regardless of vaccination status. Masks remain required on all forms of public transit that operate within parks, including busses, trains, and boats/ferries, and in transportation hubs.


The NPS issues this administrative order for the purposes of implementing mask-wearing requirements to maintain public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.

This order is consistent with the following federal public health directives:

  • On January 20, 2021, the President signed Executive Order 13991, Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing. E.O. 13991 directs federal agencies to: …immediately take action, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to require compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines with respect to wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and other public health measures by: on-duty or on-site Federal employees; on-site Federal contractors; and all persons in Federal buildings or on Federal lands.
  • On January 24, 2021, the Office of Management and Budget issued M-21-15, COVID-19 Safe Federal Workplace: Agency Model Safety Principles to provide guidance to federal agencies on implementing E.O. 13991. M-21-15 contains model safety principles that apply CDC guidelines related to mask-wearing and physical distancing to the federal workplace and are designed to be used by federal agencies as a starting point for updating their COVID-19 workplace safety plans.
  • On January 29, 2021, the Acting Secretary of the Interior issued a memorandum entitled Protecting Our Workforce by Requiring Mask-Wearing. This memorandum reaffirmed the Administration’s commitment to an urgent, robust, and professional response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Memorandum requires all onsite employees, contractors, and volunteers to wear a mask or face covering at all times while in Department.
  • UPDATE: On Friday, August 6, [2021,] the [DOI] Secretary implemented a policy stating, “In areas of substantial or high community transmission, all federal employees, onsite contractors, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask inside of Federal buildings unless alone in their closed office space.” While this direction is based on community transmission levels, it does not take into account the reality that most visitors to NPS sites come from locations across the country, if not across the world. In addition, guidance from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force notes that in determining a relevant area for purposes of masking requirements, agencies should consider, among other factors, transmission levels in areas from which visitors travel. Recognizing that the majority of the United States is currently in substantial or high transmission categories, we should consider that the majority of visitors have the potential to come from areas of substantial or high community transmission.

The National Park Service determines publication as rulemaking in the Federal Register is unwarranted under 36 CFR § 1.5, as the nature, magnitude, and duration of this temporary restriction will not:

  • Result in a significant alteration in the public use pattern of this area
  • Adversely affect the park's natural, aesthetic, scenic or cultural values
  • Require a long-term or significant modification in the resource management objectives
  • Furthermore, this closure is not of a highly controversial nature

Public Notice Strategy

Pursuant to 36 CFR § 1.7 notice of this temporary and partial closure and public use limitation will be made through the following means:

  • Signs posted at conspicuous locations along the affected trails.

  • Publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the affected area.

  • Electronic media.

This order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until rescinded or replaced by a more current Mask Mandate Update. The effectiveness of this order will be assessed on an ongoing basis and will be modified or rescinded when conditions warrant.

Approved: /s/ Patricia S. Trap, Superintendent
August 25, 2021

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2021 Amendment: Commercial Filming Management


54 U.S.C. Section 10075 l(a) and Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations§ 1.5 (a)(2) authorizes the Park Superintendent to impose restrictions on activities within park areas.


Commercial Filming

The following types of filming activities may occur in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS:

  • Outdoor filming activities outside of areas managed as wilderness involving five persons or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras.

The organizer of any other type of filming activity must provide written notice to the Superintendent at least 10 days prior to the start of the proposed activity. Based upon the information provided, the Superintendent may require the organizer to apply for and obtain a permit if necessary to:

  • Maintain public health and safety;
  • Protect environmental or scenic values;
  • Protect natural or cultural resources;
  • Allow for equitable allocation and use of facilities; or
  • Avoid conflict among visitor use activities.

If the Superintendent determines that the terms and conditions of a permit could not mitigate the concerns identified above in an acceptable manner, the Superintendent may deny a filming request without issuing a permit. The Superintendent will provide the basis for denial in writing upon request.

The NPS will consider requests and process permit applications in a timely manner. Processing times will vary depending on the complexity of the proposed activity. If the organizer provides the required 10 day advance notice to the NPS and has not received a written response from the NPS that a permit is required prior to the first day of production, the proposed filming activities may occur without a permit.

The following are prohibited:

  • Engaging in a filming activity without providing advance notice to the Superintendent when required.
  • Engaging in a filming activity without a permit if the activity takes place in areas managed as wilderness or if the Superintendent has notified the organizer in writing that a permit is required.
  • Violating a term and condition of a permit issued under this action.

Violating a term or condition of a permit issued under this action may also result in the suspension and revocation of the permit by the Superintendent. The Superintendent may suspend services or remove disorderly persons or groups or permit violators from the park area.


In recent years, the NPS has seen an increase in low impact filming activities within park areas. These activities involve minimal equipment and crews, such as individuals or small groups that film using smartphones or other handheld devices, in many cases with nothing more than a tripod for equipment. These types of productions are highly unlikely to need a permit because the potential for impacts to resources and the visitor experience is no greater than the potential for impacts from visitors engaged in casual filming. This is true whether or not the footage is used for commercial purposes, such as by posting footage online for profit.

The restrictions identified provide objective criteria that will allow these small-scale productions to proceed in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS.

Other filming activities must be proposed to the NPS in advance so that the superintendent can determine whether or not a permit is required.

Applicability of Other Laws and Regulations

All activities in park areas – including filming even if a permit is not required – must comply with all visitor use regulations in 36 C.F.R., including but not limited to those prohibiting resource damage (36 C.F.R. § 2.1), protecting wildlife (36 C.F.R. § 2.2) or mitigating audio disturbances (36 C.F.R. § 2.12), and any restrictions on visitor use in the park’s compendium, such as restrictions on the use of unmanned aircraft systems (i.e., drones). Filming of any kind may not occur in closed areas without written authorization. Filming activities may not violate applicable laws, such as the Endangered Species Act, the Archeological Resources Protection Act, or the Wilderness Act. All filming must comply with laws protecting the NPS’s intellectual property, such as laws and regulations governing the use of the NPS Arrowhead and images of NPS employees.

Public Notice Strategy

Pursuant to 36 CFR § 1.7 notice of this temporary and partial closure and public use limitation will be made through the following means:

  • Electronic media.

Approved: /s/ Patricia S. Trap, Superintendent
April 22, 2021

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Last updated: August 27, 2021

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