Last updated: November 23, 2022
The Superintendent's Compendium of designations, closures, permit requirements, and other restrictions imposed under discretionary authority
In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (“36 CFR”), Chapter 1, Parts 1-7, authorized by Title 16 United States Code, Section 3, the following provisions apply to all lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, within the boundaries of Natural Bridges National Monument. Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.
Approved by: /s/ Vernon Cody, Superintendent, Natural Bridges and Hovenweep national monuments, August 12, 2022
I. 36 CFR §1.5 – VISITING HOURS, PUBLIC USE LIMITS, CLOSURES, AND AREA DESIGNATIONS FOR SPECIFIC USE OR ACTIVITIES
AREA DESIGNATIONS FOR SPECIFIC USE OR ACTIVITIES
This restriction has been implemented in order to protect park resources from unregulated overnight camping. Overnight parking with a vehicle is defined as camping which is accompanied by human waste, dark night sky, pets, and other potential impacts. In addition, there is no backcountry camping allowed in the monument hence no need for overnight parking.
This restriction serves to protect hikers whose risk of injury is greater due to the narrow width of the bridges. This restriction also serves to preserve the aesthetic enjoyment of the bridges for all while respecting Native Americans’ perspectives of the bridges’ significance.
Hang Gliders, Unmanned Aircraft, All Terrain Vehicles, and Off Road Vehicles:
These restrictions are intended to protect fragile soil crusts, native vegetation, and sensitive wildlife from disturbance; to preserve the natural soundscape from human-caused sounds; to allow visitors opportunities to experience quiet and solitude amid a natural setting; to preserve natural viewsheds and expansive vistas without human intrusion; and to maintain visitor safety.
These restrictions are intended to protect visitors from the inherent dangers associated with hang gliding, paragliding, parachutes and BASE jumping. These restrictions also serve to protect other park visitors as well as park resources.
Technical Rock Climbing:
These restrictions serve to protect the natural appearance of the rock which is compromised by the installation of permanent climbing hardware. They also serve to protect the aesthetic appearance of natural resources within the Monument. .
Passenger Carrying Buses:
This restriction serves to protect visitors and park resources from unnecessary exhaust fumes in the air and to prevent the diminished enjoyment of the peace and tranquility of the Monument.
II. 36 CFR §1.6 – ACTIVITIES THAT REQUIRE A PERMIT
The following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit from the superintendent is required:
This restriction is intended to protect natural resources that should be available for the enjoyment of future generations.
NOTE: Gathering for the purpose of expressing views and making statements such as is protected under the First Amendment does not require a permit as long as the activity takes place in the designated “First Amendment” area indicated in this document and the involved group is less than 25 people. Groups larger than 25 people need a special use permit. Printed matter, used as part of a “First Amendment” activity may be allowed in the “First Amendment” area (See Appendix A) without a permit for groups less than 25 people.
These restrictions serve to maintain a natural, peaceful and enjoyable atmosphere for visitors.
This restriction is intended to protect fragile natural resources found within the boundaries of the Monument.
(a) Commercial filming of motion pictures or television involving the use of professional casts, settings or crews, other than bona fide newsreel or news television
(b) Still photography of vehicles, or other articles of commerce or models for the purpose of commercial advertising.
These restrictions are intended to ensure a natural, tranquil and uninhibited experience for visitors to the Monument.
III. GENERAL REGULATIONS
36 CFR §2.1 – PRESERVATION OF NATURAL, CULTURAL, AND ARCHEOLOGICAL RESOURCES
(a)(4) It is unlawful to gather or cut firewood anywhere within the Monument.
This restriction serves to protect the desert ecosystem within the Monument. Dead and downed wood is part of the natural and scenic landscape and an essential survival component for many species.
(a)(5 & 6) No archeological sites in Natural Bridges National Monument may be entered, walked on or otherwise disturbed. Stepping over a chain, rope, or other barrier delineating a site is considered entering that site.
This restriction is intended to protect the irreplaceable cultural resources within the Monument that give valued insight into other past cultures.
(c)(1), (c)(2) Reasonable small quantities of fruits, berries and nuts may be gathered for immediate personal consumption. The use of bush rakes or other harvesting devices is prohibited.
This provision serves to protect natural ecological processes within the Monument as harvesting fruits, berries and nuts depletes food supplies for wildlife habitat.
36 CFR §2.2 - WILDLIFE PROTECTION
(e) All lands within the boundary of the monument are closed to viewing wildlife with an artificial light.
This restriction serves to protect the natural and peaceful habitat of wildlife.
36 CFR §2.10 – CAMPING and FOOD STORAGE
(a) Camping in the monument has the following restrictions:
(b)(9) The length of stay is limited to seven (7) consecutive days from March through October, and fourteen (14) consecutive days the remainder of the year.
(b)(10) All food must be kept out of the reach of wildlife at all times. Food and other camping supplies must be kept in a vehicle or otherwise contained when the campsite is not occupied.
These restrictions serve to protect natural resources in the Monument by limiting group size and prescribing a camping location. The restrictions also protect the recreational experience of all visitors by limiting the time and manner of use by any one group occupying a site. They also serve to ensure the proper disposal of human waste to protect water quality, natural habitat and visitor safety.
36 CFR 2.12 – AUDIO DISTURBANCES
(a)(1)(ii) Any noise level from a speaker, musical instrument, or noise maker which is more audible than conversational voice is prohibited.
This restriction is intended to ensure the natural and peaceful enjoyment of the Monument for its visitors.
36 CFR 2.13 – FIRES
(a)(1) The lighting or maintaining of fires is permitted only under the following conditions:
These requirements are intended to ensure that the visual and environmental impacts of campfires and cooking fires are limited in high use areas. Fire rings attract trash and food residue from campers attempting to burn trash before leaving an area. High temperatures from ground fires negatively impact soils and impair plant growth. These restrictions also serve to minimize the risks of forest fires during extreme weather conditions.
36 CFR 2.14 – SANITATION AND REFUSE
(2.14) In non-developed areas, toilet paper must be carried out. Burning or burying toilet paper is prohibited.
This restriction serves to protect public health, natural resources and water quality.
36 CFR §2.15 – PETS
(a)(1) Dogs (except service dogs), cats, and other pets must be on leash (max. 6 feet) at all times and are prohibited on any Monument land, trails or public buildings, except for those locations identified below:
FRONTCOUNTRY – Pets on a leash ( max. 6’) are allowed on all park roads open for public vehicular use, parking areas, established picnic areas, campground, paved trails to overlooks and the trail from the campground to the Visitor Center.
BACKCOUNTRY – Pets are prohibited in all backcountry areas. Backcountry areas are all areas below the canyon rims and the Mesa Top Trail system. Pets are prohibited on all non-paved trails.
(a)(3) Pets may be left unattended if they are secured in a location where they will not interfere with wildlife or normal travel by visitors and they cannot cause resource damage. Pets may not be left unattended overnight, or when weather or other conditions could endanger the pet’s health.
(a)(5) Pet excrement must be immediately collected by the pet handler and disposed of in the nearest trash receptacle. Bagged pet excrement may not be placed in the pit toilets. If there is not a trash receptacle in the area, the excrement shall be transported to the nearest receptacle or transported out of the park.
(e) Monument residents may keep pets in compliance with the pet policy in the current Natural Bridges Housing Management Plan.
These restrictions serve to protect park natural/cultural resources, wildlife, and visitors from the negative impacts of domestic animals.
36 CFR §2.16 – HORSES and PACK ANIMALS
(a) Horses, burros, mules, lamas, and other animals used as pack animals are not permitted within the boundaries of Natural Bridges National Monument with the following exceptions and with the authorization of the superintendent:
These restrictions serve to protect soil crust and other natural resources. Hiking trails and routes are not compatible with stock.
36 CFR §2.20 – SKATING, SKATEBOARDS and SIMILAR DEVICES
The use of roller skates, rollerblades, roller skis, skateboards, coasting vehicles, or similar devices are allowed on paved roads only. Use of these devices must comply with the same traffic regulations that apply to bicycles.
This restriction serves to provide for visitor safety and to protect biological soil crusts and other natural resources.
36 CFR §2.21 – SMOKING
Smoking and the use of e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) are prohibited in all government buildings and around the fuel and flammable materials storage area.
Smoking and the use of e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) are not permitted in government vehicles.
During periods of extreme fire danger, as established by fire weather data, all smoking within the Monument will be prohibited.
These restrictions are intended to protect public/employee health and government property from the effects of smoking and minimize the risk of fire/explosions in fuel storage areas. They also serve to minimize the risks of wildland fires during extreme weather conditions.
36 CFR §2.22 – PROPERTY
(a)(2) Geocaching is prohibited. Geocaching is defined as placing a concealed cache within Monument boundaries and then disseminating the coordinates/location, or clues to the coordinates/location, for the purpose of enticing third parties to search for the cache at a later date.
This restriction serves to protect cultural resources and soil crust and other natural resources in both front and backcountry areas within the Monument.
36 CFR §2.23 – RECREATION FEES
(b) Recreation fees, and/or a permit, in accordance with 36 CFR part 71, are established for the following entrance fee areas, and/or for the use of the following specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or for participation in the following group activity, recreation events, or specialized recreation uses:
Entrance Fee Area:
Campground Fee Area:
36 CFR §2.35 –ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES and CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
(a)(3)(i) The possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all public use buildings when the building is open to the general public with the exception of officially sanctioned activities.
This restriction serves to protect visitors in public buildings from the effects of alcoholic beverage consumption.
36 CFR §2.38 – FIREWORKS
(b) The possession or use of fireworks/explosives is not permitted in the Monument.
This restriction serves to eliminate unnecessary fire danger and to ensure peaceful and safe enjoyment of the Monument by visitors.
36 CFR §2.4 –WEAPONS, TRAPS, AND NETS
(a)(2)(i) The carrying and transport of firearms must comply with state law. Traps, nets, and weapons may be possessed within a temporary lodging or mechanical mode of conveyance when such implements are rendered temporarily inoperable or are packed, cased, or stored in a manner that will prevent their ready use.
This restriction serves to eliminate tools used in hunting practices from the Monument.
36 CFR §2.62 – MEMORIALIZATION
(a) A Special Use Permit is required for the erection of monuments (requires approval from Regional Director).
(b) A Special Use Permit is required for the scattering of ashes from cremated human remains in accordance with the terms and conditions of the permit.
These restrictions serve to protect natural resources as well as the visitor experience.
36 CFR §3.21 – SWIMMING AND BATHING
(a)(1) All springs, seeps, and other natural water sources are closed to swimming, bathing, wading, or immersion of humans or domestic animals.
This restriction serves to protect water quality within the Monument.
36 CFR §4.30 – BICYCLES
(i)(1) Bicycles and electric bicycles are allowed on park roads and in parking areas that are open to motor vehicle use by the public.
This restriction serves to protect fragile soil crusts as well as other natural resources within the Monument.
Appendix A: Designated Area for First Amendment Activities
Natural Bridges Visitor Center Parking Lot
54 U.S.C. Section 10075 l(a) and Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations§ 1.5(a)(2) gives authority to Park Superintendents to impose restrictions on activities within park areas for the maintenance of public health and safety.
When the COVID-19 Community Level is LOW or MEDIUM in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals are not required to wear masks.
Public Notice Strategy
Pursuant to 36 CFR § 1.7 notice of this temporary and partial closure and public use limitation will be made through the following means:
This order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until rescinded. The effectiveness of this order will be assessed on an ongoing basis and will be modified or rescinded when conditions warrant.
Last updated: November 23, 2022