News Release

Arches and Canyonlands National Parks Will Begin to Increase Recreational Access

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Date: May 11, 2020
Contact: Arches Information Line, (435) 719-2299
Contact: Canyonlands Information Line, (435) 719-2313

MOAB, UT— Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Arches and Canyonlands national parks will be increasing recreational access starting May 29, 2020. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and we are using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
Beginning May 29th, Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park will resume allowing access to:

  • All park roads, trails, and restrooms,
  • Commercial operations as previously permitted.

Backcountry permits for Canyonlands and climbing/canyoneering permits for Arches will be available for use starting May 30th.

With public health in mind, the following facilities and services remain closed at this time:

  • Visitor centers and park stores,
  • The Fiery Furnace and backcountry camping at Arches,
  • Devils Garden Campground at Arches,
  • Willow Flat Campground at Island in the Sky district and Needles Campground in The Needles district of Canyonlands.

Fee collection continues to be suspended at both parks until further notice.

We encourage our visitors to prepare ahead of time before they arrive at the park. Please consult our park webpages and social media outlets for basic orientation and hiking information. Check us out at: Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Arches and Canyonlands our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and are regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public areas and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers. While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and some services may be limited. In the event that visitation levels exceed parking capacity, traffic control measures may be taken. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders from the Southeast Utah Health Department, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding, and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on park websites and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on Lastly, visitor center stores offer a wide selection of items online through Canyonlands Natural History Association.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Last updated: May 12, 2020

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PO Box 907
Moab, UT 84532


435 719-2299

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