A comment period for this project closes Oct 05, 2021:
Days, Hours, Min.
Photo of cars lined up on road with mountain in background and bushes in foreground.

Arches Visitor Use, Access, and Experience

Arches National Park » Arches Visitor Use, Access, and Experience » Document List

The purpose of this planning process is to identify opportunities for visitors to safely use, experience, and enjoy the park and to develop strategies to protect natural and cultural resources. Since 2019, the NPS conducted several internal workshops while undertaking data collection to understand the underlying problems and desired outcomes for the Visitor Use, Access, and Experience planning process.

Since 2019, the park conducted several internal workshops while undertaking data collection to understand the underlying problems and desired outcomes for the Visitor Use, Access, and Experience planning process. As an outcome of these workshops and data collection efforts, the NPS has identified a number of management issues related to visitor use, access, and experience, including:

- Roadway congestion, facility overuse, and associated safety hazards
- Diminished quality and predictability of visitor access to the park
- Overcrowding at extraordinary geologic features and along trails that diminishes visitor experience and contributes to competition for parking and visitor conflicts
- Impacts to sensitive natural and cultural resources along the trails and roadways the park is required to protect
- Need for additional staffing to address increased visitation, combined with limited housing availability and funding for these additional staff

Working collaboratively with stakeholders, the NPS envisions developing ideas to help achieve several important goals related to reducing congestion at the park, including:

- Reduce overcrowding at sites with extraordinary geologic resources to allow freer movement of people on trails and reduce the stresses of congested parking lots contributing to competition for parking and user conflicts
- Provide quality access to key destinations within the park and support a range of visitor experiences
- Provide adequate trip planning and crowding condition information to visitors using traditional mediums and emerging technology - including how to enter the park and what to expect when they arrive
- Incorporate best practices for managing visitor use to protect resources and promote high-quality visitor experiences, while meeting legal requirements