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Contact: Kaitlyn Thomas, 435-719-2107
MOAB, Utah. — The National Park Service today scheduled meetings to hear from the public as it works to address vehicular congestion and explores ways of providing efficient visitor access to Arches National Park.
Since 2019, the National Park Service has led several data collection efforts to inform management of congestion and crowding within the park. These public meetings will be an opportunity to share findings from those efforts as well as discuss ongoing studies. Park leadership will also share possible regionally-driven, collaborative approaches to addressing traffic congestion and crowding at the park including a timed-entry pilot program for spring 2022.
“Arches National Park is part of the Moab community, not separate from it. I am committed to working with the community collaboratively to find solutions that promote quality visitor experiences and address congestion in a thoughtful way,” said Arches National Park Superintendent Patricia Trap. “We want the local community and our stakeholders to have a seat at the table throughout the planning process - especially should we pilot a reservation system for the park.”
The public meetings will be held virtually at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/ARCHvisitoruse from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. MDT on Wednesday September 8, 2021 and from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. MDT on Friday September 10, 2021.
The National Park Service invites the public to participate by joining the public meeting and by providing their comments via the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website. Those interested in commenting may access the park’s information page on this project here: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/ARCHvisitoruse and provide comments online. The comment period will run from September 6 to October 5, 2021.
From 2009 to 2019, visitation to Arches National Park grew over 66%, from 996,312 to 1,659,702. Visitation is expected to remain high throughout the summer and fall, and continue an upward trend in future years. Overcrowding has required the park’s entrance to shut over 120 times this summer as parking lots reach capacity. Long lines to enter the park lead to congestion at the highway intersection, which can be a serious traffic hazard. Separately, access for Emergency Medical Services and road maintenance services are also impacted by high visitation. The NPS is also concerned about the possibility of damage to sensitive resources along trails, such as wildlife, plants and other living things the park was created to protect.
For more information, please visit the Arches National Park website at: www.nps.gov/arch.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Last updated: January 19, 2022