Monday, March 9, 2015

Parking will be Significantly Limited at Delicate Arch in Arches National Park During Construction

People from all over the world come to visit Arches National Park each year, and visiting Delicate Arch is on the top of most visitors' to-do lists. With an increase in visitation in recent years, parking spaces are at a premium.

To address this issue, the park has announced plans to expand the parking lot this year.

In March 2015, construction crews will begin the first phase of expanding parking at the Delicate Arch / Wolfe Ranch trailhead parking area. This project is part of the planned congestion management strategies outlined in the Delicate Arch / Wolfe Ranch Site Plan. During this construction project, parking will be significantly limited. On most days, parking at the Delicate Arch trailhead will be full by 9 am.

RVs, trailers and buses will not be able to park at the trailhead. Large-vehicle parking may be available at the Delicate Arch Viewpoint, 1 mile down the road. Buses will need to unload passengers at the trailhead, then drive to the viewpoint to park. Instead of trying to park at the viewpoint, you can save yourself time by leaving larger vehicles at the visitor center or outside the park.

Phase one of the construction project will will begin March 23, 2015 and last through May. Phase two of the project will take place in June or July over approximately one week, and will focus on paving and striping of the expanded parking area.

The trailhead will remain open with limited parking Monday through Thursday, and be fully open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Visitors should consider that they may not be able to hike to Delicate Arch this year, as there simply will not be enough parking at the Delicate Arch trailhead. Parking lots will be full most of the day. You can still see the arch from the Delicate Arch Viewpoint. The park suggests that you may want visiting on another day, or hiking somewhere else in the park, such as Park Avenue.

If you still want to hike to Delicate Arch remember:

* Sunrise is just as beautiful as sunset, and always less busy. You might find several hundred people at Delicate Arch for sunset, but just a handful for sunrise. Try to enter the park before 8 am. Get an early start, and beat the crowds. 

* If parking at the trailhead is full, there may be parking available at the viewpoint parking lot. You may hike from the viewpoint, but you will have to hike 1 mile along the road to the trailhead. The total roundtrip hike distance increases to 5 miles.


No comments: