SPRINGDALE, Utah (ABC4) – Parking is overflowing throughout Springdale and visitors say they’ve waited two hours just to hike Angel’s Landing.
A group of friends visiting Zion National Park from California were surprised to see just how many people arrived early this morning for Labor Day.
“We woke up at 5:30 a.m. to beat the rush and when we walked up it was a line of many, many people,” says Danielle Kayne-O’Gilvie of California.
They saw several people hiking Angel’s Landing and say the wait was about two hours.
“Up was okay, but once you got to the chain section on the way down, there were lines of people kind of meeting each other trying to figure that out,” says Kayne-O’Gilvie.
Despite COVID-19 on their minds, they say social distancing wasn’t an option. Zion National Park officials are asking recreators to wear masks in crowded outdoor spaces, but visitors say that hasn’t been enforced.
“In the line, we were thinking about that. I know a couple of my friends were wearing masks, but at that point you’re trying not to fall, so you kind of have to throw that out the window,” she says.
Since arriving at the park a few days ago, they’ve seen congestion all over the park. Officials say both campgrounds in Zion Canyon are fully reserved.
“Two days when we were at the narrows, it was a long wait to get out of here,” says Kayne-O’Gilvie.
But they say it’s worth the wait.
“I know a lot of people have been itching to get outside — why not? It’s a great time to get out and this is the weekend we have to do these things,” says Garrett Ward of California.
And as park officials encourage travelers to plan ahead, so do these visitors.
“It’s hotter than heck out here, so get your hat, get your wrap-around, get your sunscreen, get that sauce on,” says Ward.
“I’ve never done anything like that, and I won’t do it again, but I’m really glad I did it,” says Kayne-O’Gilvie.
Park officials say they will be keeping a watchful eye for impaired drivers and will be setting up DUI checkpoints all over the park.