Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the 3R Project?
A: The 3R project (resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation) will reconstruct all paved roads and pullouts in Arches National Park. It will take place from March through November 2017.
Q: Why is the park doing this construction during the busy season?
A: This project will take about nine months to complete, and since temperatures must be warm in order to lay asphalt, the work must be done during the warmest months of the year.
Q: Why is the road construction project impacting so much of the park?
A: The existing park roads were built from 1957 to 1962 and designed for approximately 75,000 visitors per year. Arches National Park’s visitation exceeded 1.5 million in 2016, so the roads and pullouts are in need of upgrades to accommodate this dramatic increase in use.
Q: When can I visit the park?
A: At this time, the park will be open during the day from 7 am to 7 pm, seven days a week. Currently, the park will also remain open weekends from 7 am Friday until 7 pm Sunday.
Q: What happens if I don’t get out of the park by 7 pm?
A: Due to very large construction vehicles traveling the narrow park road, visitors need to be out of the park by 7 pm to maximize visitor and contractor safety. Park rangers will be reminding visitors of this requirement throughout the day at the park entrance station and visitor center, through signage, social media, the park's website, and the park radio channel (1610 AM). Unattended vehicles in parking areas or along roadsides after 7 pm may be impounded and towed out of the park at the owner's expense. Vehicles still traveling through the park after 7 pm may be issued violation notices.
Q: Why do you have to close the park at night?
A: Night time closure of the park road will minimize negative impacts to your enjoyment of the park during the day, and maximize the safety of visitors and construction workers.
Q: Can I walk, run or bike into the park after 7 pm?
A: No, the road will be closed to all use including by vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles at 7 pm.
Q: Will all roads in the park be open during the day?
A: No, you may encounter limited daytime road closures in addition to night time work. When partial, daytime road closures are in effect, crews will limit traffic delays to 30 minutes or less per work zone.
Q: What areas of the park might be closed during the day?
A: Some areas of the park may require full road and area closures, such as at Devils Garden, Fiery Furnace and The Windows. Area closures may be up to four weeks long for each area. The park may also close trails in those areas in order to maximize staff and visitor safety.
Q: When will park roads and trails reopen?
A: The park will reopen roads and trails once area construction work is completed.
Q: Will construction equipment be left on the roadway during the day and impact park vistas?
A: Construction equipment will be visible depending upon your location in the park.
Q: When can I get into the park at night to look at the stars?
A: The information we have at this time indicates the park will be open Friday and Saturday nights.
Q: Where else can I go to hike, stargaze, watch sunrise/sunset, etc.?
A: You can find a wide variety of spectacular scenery, hikes, and dark night skies on other public lands around the region. Rangers at the visitor center can provide suggestions, or you can visit the Moab Information Center in downtown Moab.
Q: Are Willow Springs Road, Salt Valley Road, and the Four-Wheel-Drive Road still open during the construction period?
A: These roads are not part of the road construction project. However, they will be closed at the main park road from 7 pm until 7 am but open at all other times from their opposite ends.
Q: Can I camp in the park?
A: No, the Devils Garden Campground will be closed from March 1 through November 30, 2017.
Q: Can I go backpacking in the park?
A: We plan to have a limited number of backcountry sites/permits available this spring season after we have more information about the road project schedule. You will only be able to reach these sites from outside the park or by being dropped off at trailheads so vehicles are not left overnight in the park during the night time closure. We will provide more information when it is available.
Q: Can I go to the Fiery Furnace? Will you offer ranger-led hikes this summer?
A: A limited number of permits are available for the Fiery Furnace. However, construction will close the area for up to a month. We will offer ranger-led hikes when the area is open and as staffing allows. We will sell all Fiery Furnace permits and tickets in person at Arches Visitor Center, first-come, first-served. You may purchase tickets up to seven days in advance.
Q: What if I’m late for my ranger-guided Fiery Furnace hike due to traffic delays?
A: You will need to allow more travel time in order to arrive at the Fiery Furnace trailhead by the advertised hike time. Park rangers must start this hike on time. Any ticket holders who arrive at the Fiery Furnace trailhead after the hiking group has left the parking lot cannot enter the Fiery Furnace on their own. Rangers at the visitor center will do their best to reschedule your hike or refund your ticket.
Q: Do you have a schedule of the road work and when certain areas of the park will be closed?
A: We expect a preliminary construction schedule by mid-March. It will be posted on this webpage. Given the many variables that can impact road projects of this type and scope, the schedule may change.
Q: How is the project being paid for and how much is it costing?
A: The Federal Highways Administration is paying for the project with gas taxes. The estimated cost of the project is around $16 million.
Q: How can I find out more about the road construction project?
A: We will post the latest road construction information and available updates on this webpage and Facebook page as they become available.
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