Frequently Asked Questions on the Timed Entry System

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Arches has experienced a dramatic rise in visitation in the last decade, with over one million visitors entering the park each year. This time lapse video captures the bustling park entrance, roads, parking lots, and trails over Memorial Day Weekend 2021.

 
Cars line the roadway at the Devils Garden Parking lot in Arches National Park on a clear, sunny day. In the background, orange and beige sandstone fins are visible.

NPS/Veronica Verdin

Why is Arches National Park piloting a temporary timed entry system in 2022?

During 2009 to 2019, visitation to Arches grew over 66 percent, from 996,312 to 1,659,702 visitors per year. As a result, the park has experienced issues of roadway congestion, facility overuse, and associated safety hazards; reduced quality and predictability of visitor access to the park; overcrowding at sites and along trails that diminishes visitor experience; competition for parking and visitor conflicts; and impacts to natural and cultural resources.

Timed entry reservations may better distribute vehicles and visitors throughout the day and should provide visitors with more reliable and enjoyable access to the park and improved experiences during their park visit.

Data collected over the duration of the temporary pilot program will help determine timed entry’s viability as a longer-term traffic and congestion solution. If the pilot is a success, timed entry may be implemented in the future as a component of a larger visitor use plan.

 

More Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you may enter the park before 6 am or after 5 pm. Because entrance lines into the park may vary, we suggest arriving at 5:30 am or earlier.

It’s easy! Go to Recreation.gov and click on “Sign Up” in the top right corner. From there, follow the prompts to create an account. You must have an account to make a reservation, and we recommend creating your account well in advance of applying for your ticket. 

Once you set up an account, search for “Arches National Park Timed Entry Ticket,” select the day you plan to visit the park, add it to your cart, and complete payment. 

Visit the article on the Recreation.gov Help Center for detailed information on purchasing a reservation. 

After payment, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with an attached Timed Entry Ticket.  

Visitors must save the Timed Entry Ticket (e.g., print, download, or screenshot) and present the ticket along with photo ID at the park entrance booth. 

Reservations will be released three months in advance in monthly blocks. On January 3, reservations will open for April 3 through April 30. On February 1, reservations will open for the month of May and any remaining reservations that have not been booked for April. On March 1, reservations will be available for the month of June and any remaining reservations that have not been booked for May. Additional months will continue the same pattern according to following schedule:  

  • April reservations (April 3–30) open January 3. 

  • May reservations (May 1–31) open February 1. 

  • June reservations (June 1–30) open March 1. 

  • July reservations (July 1–31) open April 1. 

  • August reservations (August 1–31) open May 1. 

  • September reservations (September 1–30) open June 1. 

  • October reservations (October 1–3) open July 1. 

A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase one day prior to entry at 6 pm MDT through Recreation.gov. These are expected to sell out quickly and visitors are encouraged to plan ahead. 

The reservation fee is $2 per day.  

If you hold a valid Interagency Annual Pass, Southeast Utah Parks Pass, Senior Pass, or other valid annual or lifetime passes, you will only pay the $2 reservation fee. 

If you do not have a pass, you also will pay the Arches National Park entrance fee. 

Timed entry reservations will not be required for those with camping permits, backcountry permits, Fiery Furnace permits, special use permits, concessions contracts, or commercial use authorizations. Entrance fees still apply. 

The timed entry pilot is designed to provide the same level of visitor access and opportunities as a typically busy day in 2019, or around 2,700 vehicles per day. Conditions in the park will be monitored and necessary adjustments made to the timed entry system throughout the duration of the pilot. 

The timed entry system will run from 6 am to 5 pm daily. Reservations will allow visitors to enter the park during a one-hour window. For example, a 7 am ticket will allow entry between 7:00 and 7:59 am. 

On average, entrance lines at Arches may extend from 15 to 45 minutes long. Wait times may be more or less depending on the day and season.

You can enter the park any time within the reserved time period. However, you should expect to wait 15 to 45 minutes in line.

You will need to bring three things for your visit: 1) timed entry ticket, 2) photo ID, and 3) park entrance fee OR valid park pass.

There is no length-of-stay requirement and you may stay in the park for the remainder of the day once you have entered. The only restriction is on the time of entry. You must enter and have your ticket validated within your reserved one-hour window. 

Yes. Ticket holders will be able to exit and re-enter the park on the same day if their Timed Entry Ticket is validated at the correct entry time. 

No, but if you know you won’t use your reservation, please cancel your reservation on Recreation.gov so it may be made available for others. 

Any new reservations (including changes) will require an additional reservation fee of $2. There is no fee to cancel.

You may cancel your timed entry reservation prior to your visit, but you will not receive a refund for the $2 reservation fee. 

No. Timed Entry Tickets are non-transferable. Resale or auction of reservations is prohibited. Photo ID will be required at the time of entry. 

Yes, you will need to make a separate reservation for each day of your visit. 

A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase one day prior to entry at 6 pm MDT through Recreation.gov. These are expected to sell out quickly and visitors are encouraged to plan ahead. 

All timed entry reservations must be made in advance through Recreation.gov, either online, over the phone (by calling 877-444-6777), or through the recreation.gov mobile app. There are no same-day sales at the park or through park offices. The Moab Library may have free computer access available. 

Your timed entry reservation allows you access to the park, including trails. 

No. Your timed entry reservation guarantees access to the park on a specific day during a specific time window. The reservation only applies to entering the park; it does not guarantee access to all locations within the park at your preferred time. Visitors may need to remain flexible on their destination: if a particular parking lot is full, you can visit another area of the park and return to that parking lot at a later time. 

Yes. A timed entry reservation is required to enter the park even if you have an existing pass. Annual passes cover the payment of entrance fees, so annual or senior pass holders only need to pay the $2 reservation fee. 

Timed entry reservations will not be required for those with camping, backcountry, or Fiery Furnace permits. 

You must show your campground reservation or other permit for entry into the park.  

Entrance fees still apply. 

Timed entry reservations will not be required for those with camping, backcountry, or Fiery Furnace permits. 

You must show your campground reservation or other permit for entry into the park.  

Entrance fees still apply. 

Timed entry reservations will not be required for those with special use permits, concessions contracts, or commercial use authorizations.  

You must show your CUA or SUP permit for entry into the park. 

Entrance fees still apply. 

No. Tribal members may access the park at any time without a timed entry reservation. 

If you are entering the park via bicycle you will not need a timed entry reservation. However, you will need to pay the appropriate park entrance fees at the entrance station. 

If you are walking or hiking into the park, you will not need a timed entry reservation. However, you will need to pay the appropriate park entrance fees at the entrance station. 

Walking into the park and visiting any areas other than the visitor center is extremely strenuous. 

No. Arches National Park is open 24/7.
 
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Make Your Reservation

Information about when and how to make your reservation on Recreation.gov.

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Purchase Your Park Pass or Entrance Fee

Find a full list of qualifying passes and entrance fees here.

Last updated: May 23, 2022

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