News Release

Arches and Canyonlands National Parks Prepare for a Busy Memorial Day Weekend

sign saying "parking lots full; try again in 30 minutes" next to row of parked cars

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
News Release Date: May 17, 2021

Contact: Arches Information Line, 435-719-2299

Contact: Canyonlands Information Line, 435-719-2313

MOAB, UT— 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. Visitors should plan ahead and have a back-up plan if they are not able to enter the parks during the busiest hours of the morning and early afternoon.

“Memorial Day weekend is typically our busiest weekend of the year,” said Superintendent Patty Trap. “We recommend planning ahead and having alternative activities and places to visit in the Moab area for visitors to have an enjoyable holiday weekend.”

Visitors arriving at the parks between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm should expect long lines at park entrance gates that could last up to an hour or longer. Parking lots and trails inside the parks will be very crowded. If the parks become full, staff will delay vehicles from entering until space opens to accommodate more people and vehicles. When this happens at Arches many visitors travel up to the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands, where they might experience up to two-hour waits to enter that part of the park.

“To avoid being caught in an entrance delay at Arches, we recommend people come to the parks early in the morning or late in the afternoon,” Trap said. “There are many great hikes along the river corridor in Bureau of Land Management areas, as well as local museums like Moab Giants or the Moab Museum. These are good alternative activities while waiting to enter the parks.”

Park rangers ask that vehicles waiting in line at the entrance gate keep pace with traffic in the line and have payment ready. Credit cards are preferred. Current pass holders and returning visitors should have passes and identification ready. There are no toilet facilities or drinking water along park entrance roads. Please only park vehicles in designated spaces and not unsafely or anywhere that damages park plants or soils.

Visitors should plan for their safety by packing water and snacks and wearing sturdy shoes and sun protection. People who are not fully vaccinated (less than two weeks past your final dose) must continue to wear masks inside all park buildings and in crowded outdoor spaces, such as narrow/busy trails, overlooks, visitor center patios, & other congested areas.

Visitors are encouraged to check the parks’ websites or Twitter accounts for current entrance gate information and road conditions prior to driving to the park.

Since 2019, the NPS has been involved in a variety of data collection efforts and workshops to better define visitor use and travel patterns, desired conditions, and to study solutions to improve access and ease traffic and congestion within Arches National Park. Once we move forward with solutions, we hope the actions can be more broadly applied. Later this summer, the NPS plans to share updates with the public for their feedback and to help inform how we develop and implement long-term solutions to reduce congestion in our parks.

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, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Last updated: May 17, 2021

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

2282 Resource Blvd.
Moab, UT 84532



Contact Us