Proposed Rule Change for Private Horse Use
Contact: Bryce Canyon NP, 435 834-5322
Bryce Canyon National Park Seeks Public Input on Proposed Change in Rules for Private Horseback Riding
Bryce Canyon National Park is proposing changes for users of privately-owned stock on designated horse trails within the park. The proposed changes are intended to ensure the safety of all visitors and to protect park resources. The public will be able to comment on the proposed changes for 30 days beginning March 26, 2014.
The changes include a requirement that all horseback riding must be coordinated with the park’s authorized trail-ride concessioner, prior to entering the park. Also the park’s concessioner would be required to provide a guide to accompany all privately-owned stock riding groups for the duration of their trip over any portion of the eight miles of available park stock trails.
Private stock riders would be required to make arrangements for the guide service a minimum of 48 hours in advance of coming to the park. A fee would be charged by the concessioner for this service and would be based on the number of riders, up to eight riders per guide. The proposed fee schedule is as follows:
1 Rider 2 Riders 3 Riders 4 Riders 5 Riders 6 Riders 7 Riders 8 Riders
$100 $165 $200 $235 $265 $295 $320 $345
The changes in private horseback riding at the park are being proposed in order to avoid trail conflicts and ensure the safety of all users on the park’s steep, narrow trails. Those trails offer limited space for stock groups to pass. When unfamiliar groups of stock pass each other they can spook. This poses a safety risks to guests on concessioner-guided trail-rides who might be unfamiliar with equestrian techniques and unable to manage their mounts under these situations. Additionally, the park’s natural resources have also been damaged by users traveling off-trail and trail treads have been damaged by cutting across switchbacks.
As a reminder, the following existing rules remain in effect to assist private stock riders in enjoying their park experience safely:
1. Parking, loading, and unloading must take place in the horse corral/mixing circle area.
2. Stock must never be left unattended.
3. Backcountry trails and campsites are not developed to accommodate stock, therefore, backcountry overnight camping or pack trips on horseback are not available.
4. Horseback riding is limited to designated horse trails only.
5. Horses must stay on designated trails at all times; shortcutting of trails is not permitted; and riding parallel to the trail is not permitted.
6. The park requires the use of certified weed-free feed. Stock must be fed certified weed-free feed a minimum of 48 hours prior to stock coming into the park.
7. All stock must have current Coggins Certification. Rangers will check this certification prior to stock being allowed in the park.
Liveries are not available in the immediate area, however visitors may be able to make livery service arrangements by visiting the Garfield County Travel website at www.brycecanyoncountry.com and the Kane County Travel website at www.visitsouthernutah.com Camping with your stock is available on nearby National Forest land. Contact the Dixie National Forest at 435-676-9300 for further information.
A 30-day period to submit your comments to the park will run from March 26 to April 24, 2014.
Please e-mail your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail them to: Program Analyst, Bryce Canyon National Park, P.O. Box 640201, Bryce, Utah 84764
"We appreciate receiving input from the public on these proposed changes and welcome their suggestions. Our motivation is to provide a safe experience and assist all of our visitors as they plan and enjoy their horseback trip in Bryce Canyon", says Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh.
For questions or further information on park activities, please call the park at 435-834-5322 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/brca.
Click here to download a printable PDF version of this release.