Contact: Sabrina Henry or Mary Wilson, 435-719-2100
The National Park Service is seeking public comment on a proposal to raise entrance, campground, and Fiery Furnace fees at Arches and Canyonlands national parks, and input regarding strategies to manage vehicle congestion.
With the exception of the annual pass, all entrance passes are valid for up to seven days only at the park where they were purchased. The Southeast Utah Group (SEUG) Annual Pass allows the pass holder and those traveling with him/her in a single, private, non-commercial vehicle entrance to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges National Monuments.
Entrance Fees are not charged to persons under 16 years of age or to holders of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior, Access or Military Passes.
In addition, in order to encourage visitors to enter the park during less crowded times Arches National Park is proposing a trial, reduced (off-peak) entrance fee for private vehicles:
Proposed Campground Fee Rates
Under the NPS initiative to standardize fees, nightly campsite fees would increase while group campsite fees would be determined based on a tiered/flat rate fee structure rather than the current minimum and/or reservation fee in addition to per person fees.
Examples of projects recently completed at Arches that were made possible by fee money include repair of three and one-half miles of front country trails and the addition of vault toilets at Devils Garden trailhead. Parking at the popular Wolfe Ranch/Delicate Arch trailhead will be expanded this summer using fee funds.And, additional revenue raised by this fee increase would be used to create picnic facilities at overlooks and construct a bike path to connect the existing Moab Canyon bike path to Arches Visitor Center.
Projects completed at Canyonlands using fee revenues include replacement of the photovoltaic system at the Hans Flat ranger station and enhancement of backcountry river campsites, including the reduction of fire risk around them, by removal of exotic invasive tamarisk. Increased revenue would fund new exhibits at the Island in the Sky Visitor Center, rehabilitate the Gooseberry Trail, and repair road shoulders along the Needles main road.
Proposed Fiery Furnace Fees
An analysis has determined that the costs of providing ranger-led Fiery Furnace tours and issuing permits for Fiery Furnace at Arches National Park have exceeded fee revenues.
The park is proposing an increase to ranger-led Fiery Furnace tours from $10 for adults (13 years and older) and $5 for children (5 to 12 years of age) to $16 for adults and $8 for children. In addition, the park is proposing an increase to the cost of private permits for Fiery Furnace from $4 for adults (13 years and older), $2 for children (5 to 12 years of age), and $10 for the annual permit to $6 for adults, $3 for children, and $15 for the annual permit.
Both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks are strong economic engines for the surrounding area. In 2013, more than 1.5 million park visitors contributed $146 million dollars to the local economy, and supported over 2,100 jobs related to tourism. Comments should be submitted electronically on the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at:
If comments are not able to be made via the PEPC website they may be sent to: National Park Service, Southeast Utah Group, Attn: Planning and Compliance Coordinator, 2282 S. West Resource Blvd, Moab, Utah 84532. Faxed comments may be sent to (435) 719-2300.
Also, the park will host an Open House on January 29, 2015 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Grand Center located at 82 N. 500 W. in Moab, Utah. The public is invited to stop by any time between these hours to gather information, ask questions, and submit comments. Feedback from these comments will determine how, or if, fee increases will be implemented.
Deadline for comments on the proposed fee increase is February 13, 2015.
In conjunction with the public meeting for proposed fee increases, staff at Arches National Park is seeking public feedback on vehicle congestion management planning for the park. Since 1989, the number of parking spaces at Arches National Park has increased 93 percent. Wolfe Ranch trailhead parking will increase by 110 percent this summer. However, visitation has increased more quickly than the number of available parking spaces.Arches staff is considering or has considered ideas for alleviating vehicle congestion such as:
•Construction of additional parking spaces and/or lots
•Creation of a reservation system for parking spaces
•Placement of parking lot attendants to help visitors park safely and appropriately
•Implementation of a shuttle system
•Encouraging visitors to enter the park during less crowded times by
•offering a reduced entrance fee during off-peak hours
Staff would like to talk with members of the public about these ideas, and is seeking other ideas that might help address parking problems.
Park staff will be available at the January 29 Open House to answer questions on both the fee increase proposal and congestion management issues.
Those interested in learning more about the congestion issues and possible management strategies should contact Superintendent Cannon at 435-719-2101 or via email at email@example.com.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 NPS employees care for America's 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter at www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube at www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.
Last updated: February 24, 2015