Changes Ahead For Delicate Arch Trailhead

Mar 11, 2014

The last time you visited Arches National Park you may have noticed that things seemed a little crowded, at least in the parking area for the Delicate Arch trailhead.

The parking area for Delicate Arch trailhead will undergo renovations to accommodate the ever-increasing number of guests to the site.
Credit National Park Service

Well, the park service has noticed too, and they are currently developing parking management strategies to deal with the crowds.  As the National Park Service’s Sabrina Henry explained, the current parking lot was developed decades ago, when visitation rates were far lower than the 2,000 people Delicate Arch sees on peak days now.

"The daily visitation to the site has increased dramatically throughout the entire park, and so this is a way for the park to start looking at some congestion management strategies for visitors for safety and resource protection," said Henry. 

The current lot holds 73 vehicles, forcing many visitors to park on the side of the road—something that is dangerous for both park guests and the environment.

Public comment is being gathered through the first week in April. Proposals include expanding the lot, constructing hard barriers along the road to prevent illegal parking, and requiring permits for lot parking.

Henry expects the implementation of the new plan to begin in October.