Southern Utah National Parks make changes for visitor experience

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SPRINGDALE, Utah (ABC4) – If you want to visit Arches National Park in Moab and Zion National Park in Springdale, you’re going to want to plan ahead.

“April 1 of 2022, everyone who hikes Angel’s Landing is going to need a permit,” says Jonathan Shafer, a Public Affairs Specialist for Zion National Park.

Arches National Park is implementing a timed entry reservation system early next year for 6 months.

“Over the last 10 years, Arches National Park has seen a 66% increase in visitation, so we’re talking about 900,000 to over 1.6 million over that period in time,” says Kaitlyn Thomas, a Public Affairs Specialist for Arches National Park.

More than 4.4 million people visited Zion National Park in 2019 and it’s only gaining more popularity.

“If you’re planning on making a hike, in Zion National Park and part of your trip involved Angel’s Landing between April 1 and May 31, the time you would apply would be between January 3 and January 20,” says Shafer.

National Park Service officials asked for public input on the issue and found this is the best way to alleviate congestion and crowding.

“Folks visiting Arches National Park from April 3, to October 3, 2022, would need to hop online, or call Recreation.Gov in advance to get times entry tickets,” says Thomas.

Officials say this is a pilot and data will be collected to find a long-term strategy for visitors. Both parks will also offer a limited number of reservations the day before entry.

For more information on Zion National Park’s changes click here. For Arches National Park information, click here.

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