Day-use Reservation System Pilot and Proposed Reservation Ticket Fee at Tuweep
The park's 1995 General Management Plan (GMP) established management objectives for the Tuweep area to include "an uncrowded, rustic, and remote wilderness experience dominated by nature and solitude". The GMP also identified a carrying capacity to maintain the character of Tuweep and outlined a potential entry reservation system for Tuweep to mitigate vehicle congestion, degradation of area features, and impacts to safety and the visitor experience. Visitation has since grown 250%.
Increasing popularity of the area has led to excessive day use for vehicles and visitation, resulting in crowding and congestion along the roads and parking lot, organized groups traveling in vehicle convoys, vehicles exceeding noise limits, and the degradation of natural and cultural resources.
Grand Canyon is proposing to implement an advance day-use reservation system in 2022 that would require visitors to obtain a day-use ticket prior to arriving at the Tuweep area. The pilot day-use ticket reservation system would be available on recreation.gov. Visitors with a valid Tuweep backcountry permit for overnight camping will be able to enter without purchasing a day-use ticket. Visitors must also possess a valid park entrance pass or site pass.
The day-use ticket system would authorize 20 vehicles for daily entrance plus existing backcountry permit holders. Of the 20 vehicles with day-use tickets, 18 tickets would be reserved for private vehicles and two tickets will be reserved for authorized Tuweep Tour commercial use authorization holders. This is a change from the previous daily allotment of up to two vehicles per authorized Tuweep Tour commercial use authorization holders per day. By issuing the designated day-use vehicle tickets, the recommended number of vehicles should reduce congestion on the roads, parking lot, and campground and improve the overall experience while reducing exposure to sensitive resources.
To implement the day-use reservation system, a new park-use fee would be introduced. A $2 fee would be used to cover the administration cost for recreation.gov to build and operate an online, reservation platform. Up to six tickets would be available for private vehicle owners to purchase 120 days in advance, and the remaining 12 will be available for purchase up to two days prior to the reservation date. Commercial use authorization holders can purchase tickets for commercial vehicles up to 120 days prior to the reservation date.
A more formalized system to utilize Tuweep will provide an equitable process that prioritizes visitor safety while ensuring park resources and rustic, uncrowded visitor experiences are protected. The system would be closely monitored and adjusted to allow park managers to learn and improve the application of the day-use reservation system. If successful, the day-use reservation system may be considered on a permanent basis as part of a larger visitor use planning effort. Additional information on the Tuweep reservation system is available on the Grand Canyon website at www.nps.gov/grca.
Public comments on the day-use ticket pilot at Tuweep are being accepted from March 24 through April 6, 2022. To comment, click on "Open for Comment" on the left-hand side of the page, and review the information contained in the "Tuweep Day Use Reservation Pilot Program Fee" News Release document. When ready to comment, click on the "Comment Now" button.
The National Park Service Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website is the preferred method of comment submission. Any comments submitted electronically through other means (for example, e-mail or social media) will not be considered. While comment submission through the PEPC website is the preferred method, comments may also be submitted by mailing (post-marked by the closing date of the public comment period) to:
Grand Canyon National Park
Attn: Tuweep Day-use Pilot
P.O. Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
Joelle Baird, Public Affairs Specialist
Grand Canyon National Park is seeking comments on a new $2 day-use reservation ticket fee that is being proposed for the administration of pilot advance day-use reservation system for the Tuweep Visitor Use Area, including all park areas within Toroweap Valley and the Kanab Plateau. The pilot day-use reservation system is being proposed to manage day-use visitation at the Tuweep Visitor Use Area.