Implement Day Use Permits on White Rim Road and Elephant Hill
The Canyonlands National Park Backcountry Management Plan provides for protection and preservation of the one of the last relatively undisturbed areas of the Colorado Plateau, providing visitors with an outstanding experience of solitude. Its development was necessary to address significant increase in visitation to the area. While the plan addresses overnight use in the backcountry, day use was reserved for future management. With continued significant increasing visitation to southeast Utah, including the national parks, it is crucial that the NPS is proactive in preserving this experience for all visitors to the park's backcountry. The day use permits are simply a means by which to ensure this fundamental experience is protected and preserved for future generations. In addition, the Foundation Document for Canyonlands National Park provides significance statements which describe the distinctive nature of the park and inform management decisions, focusing efforts on preserving and protecting the most important resources and values of the park. The assemblage of roads which provide access to the backcountry of Canyonlands National Park and the exceptional recreational experience they provide are highlighted in these statements. The park is identified as primarily a backcountry park with limited accessibility. The remote wildness and solitude of the backcountry is a fundamental resource that warrants primary consideration; it is critical to achieving the park's purpose and maintaining its significance. This exceptional recreational experience is exemplified by the enhanced opportunities to experience remoteness in solitude; a special and unique experience which must be protected and preserved for current and future visitors.
Unfortunately, these values and visitors opportunities for experiencing these values are being diminished by increasing levels of day use visitation of the back-country road system. To address this management issue, the park will implement a day-use permit system as a tool for (1) modifying the growth in day-use visitation on selected back-country roads, and for (2) enhancing visitors opportunities to experience remote wildness and solitude along and in proximity to back-country roads.
Effectiveness will be determined on the basis of monitoring that evaluates (1) visitor compliance with the permit system, (2) levels of back-country road use, and (3) indicators that reflect the condition of park resource values (wildness and solitude).
Permits will be available online through the park website beginning 24 hours in advance of the trip date. An allotted number of permits for each day will also be available at the district visitor centers.
Planning and Compliance
2282 South West Resource Blvd.
Moab, UT 84532