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Contact: Kate Cannon, 435-719-2101
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.
Memorial Day weekend 2015 saw record visitation, overflowing parking lots, and long waits at entrance stations. The entrance to Arches National Park was closed for a period of time last year when traffic backed up onto U.S. 191, creating a serious safety hazard. In addition, vehicles in the entrance line at the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park experienced long wait times.
Park officials recommend visitors avoid entering the parks between 9:00 a.m. and noon, when wait times may exceed one hour.
To help minimize wait time at the parks' entrance stations, park officials ask that vehicles keep pace with traffic in the line. Current pass holders and returning visitors should have passes and identification ready. Credit cards are preferred for buying new passes.
If the parks reach capacity, vehicles may be restricted from entering until space becomes available.
There will be no left turn lane into Arches National Park for southbound traffic on U.S. 191. Vehicles travelling south will need to pass the Arches entrance road and follow signs showing where to turn around. Only northbound vehicles may enter the park.
For additional information about the Southeast Utah Group of national parks visit our websites at:
Arches National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Hovenweep National Monument
Natural Bridges National Monument