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Contact: Andy Fisher, 520 820 2567
Arches and Canyonlands national parks are preparing for a busy Memorial Day weekend, and are advising visitors to expect heavy traffic, crowded trails, and limited parking.
“Traditionally, Memorial Day weekend is the busiest weekend of the year for both Arches and Canyonlands national parks,” according to Kate Cannon, Superintendent. “We strongly recommend visitors arrive early ahead of the crowd, or wait until late afternoon to enter the park and enjoy the glow of the red rocks at sunset”.
Park officials warn that visitors arriving mid-morning should expect to wait over an hour in the entrance line and be prepared for very crowded parking lots inside the parks. If the parking lots fill over capacity, it is likely that visitors may be turned around at the entrance gate and asked to come back later in the day when space is available.
The entrance to Arches National Park will have a change in traffic control off of US.191 for the weekend. Starting Friday, May 25th, only northbound vehicles will be permitted to turn onto the park entrance road. There will be no left turn lane into Arches National Park for southbound traffic. Vehicles travelling south will pass the Arches entrance road, follow signs indicating where to turn around, and approach the park from the south.
Visitors are encouraged to check the parks’ websites for current information and road conditions prior to leaving for their visit and plan accordingly.
To help minimize wait time at entrance stations, park rangers ask that vehicles keep pace with traffic in the line and have payment ready. Credit Cards are preferred. Current pass holders and returning visitors should have passes and identification ready.
There are no toilet facilities or drinking water along park entrance roads; visitors should bring water and use the bathroom before leaving town.
Superintendent Cannon continued, “Please remember to pack water, snacks, sunscreen, cameras, and a good amount of patience, in order to have a safe and enjoyable weekend.”
For additional information about traffic in Arches National Park, including a real-time view of the waiting entrance line, visit go.nps.gov/ARCHtraffic.
Follow @Archesnps on Twitter for weekend updates on traffic restrictions due to road and parking lot congestion.