To Improve Visitor Experience, Utah’s Arches National Park Introduces Timed-Entry Program

An enhancement to the park experience will also pose new challenges to the traveling public 

MOAB, UT, Jan. 11, 2022 – The New Year will introduce new admission protocols to benefit visitors to Arches National Park in Moab, Utah.

Experts predict this change will help relieve overcrowding and deliver an improved park experience for visitors. It will also create new challenges for travelers who now need to plan further ahead to be assured entry on the day and time of their choice.

This world-renowned, red rock playground is one of the most popular National Parks in North America. Visitation grew to new heights in the 2021 season, the busiest year on record. Many people had to wait hours in line before being admitted. Others were turned away altogether and asked to come back the next day.

One option for securing a visit to Arches involves making advance reservations through Recreation.gov. Under a timed entry system, each registered visitor (an individual, couple, group or family is covered under a single booking) will be assigned a one-hour time slot between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. local time. They will be able to enter the park anytime during that one-hour window.

The new timed-entry program will run from April 3 to Oct. 3, 2022. Reservations will open three months in advance. For example, visitors who hoped to go to the park in April needed to reserve a slot beginning Jan. 3, 2022. There will also be small numbers of last-minute tickets made available every day for the following day, since not everyone is able to plan their visit so far ahead.

Another good strategy is to leave the car behind and arrange to visit the park under the guidance of a professional tour operator. Moab Adventure Center, the go-to hub for all things adventure in the region, has arranged guided tours throughout the season and is not limited by these new restrictions. This will be a benefit for those who aren’t able to plan their park visit so far in advance.

“Overall, we are very excited about the new system, and the changes it will bring. With the new system,the aim is to reduce the lines to get into the park, further enhancing the experiencefor everyone. The timed-entry system shouldkeep the crowds at a manageable level at each point of interest,as well asparking lotsand trailheads, making parking and access much more available and predictable,” said Cort Wright, Moab Adventure Center Manager.

The timed entry program will not apply to tour operators who have concessions contracts such as Moab Adventure Center. The park will continue to accommodate travelers (even that same day) who book a guided tour through Moab Adventure Center. For details see https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/arches-national-park-tours and https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/arches-national-park.

“If tourists miss getting a reservation or something unexpected comes up, Moab Adventure Centerwill always be able to get them in as long as we have a scheduled tour operating. We are not required to participate in the reservation process and are not limited by the restrictions placed on the public,” Wright added.

Wright recommended the following tours for first-time and repeat visitors to the region:

  • Arches National Park Sunset Discovery -This is a four-hour guided tour in a van with extra wide and tall windows for premium viewing. The rate of $105per person ($85ages 5-13) includes numerous stops, snacks, water and park entrance fees plus the inclusion of short, scenic hikes enroute. https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/arches-natinal-park-tours-sunset

“In addition to not having to worry about advance reservations or having to enter the park at an assigned hour, these guided tours have several other benefits. Our guests love the fact that they can sit back and enjoy the ride, taking in every view out the window vs. having to pay attention to roads and traffic. Guests also appreciate learning about the history and geology of the area from an experienced guide. It’s really a great way to see Arches National Park,” Wright explained.

Moab Adventure Center (https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/) is a division of Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah with operations and offices in Moab and Fredonia, AZ. The company is the largest single tour provider in Moab, Utah. The Moab Adventure Center is located at 225 South Main St., Moab, UT 84532. For information and reservations please call (435) 259-7019 or (866) 904-1163. The center also has a 2,000-square-foot retail space selling adventure related gear, clothing, maps and souvenirs.

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