After years of growing visitation numbers, Arches National Park near Moab will be expanding one of its largest parking lots.
The Devils Garden parking lot will be closed for construction for 10 days in June. Between the 16th and the 26th visitors to the park won’t be able to access one of the most popular trails that features land marks such as Landscape Arch, Double O arch and the Primitive Loop Trail.
John Lewis, the chief of maintenance for the park, says the temporary inconvenience will be worth it for future park goers. He says visitation to the park has increased by 16 percent this year alone, compared to 2013.
“The amount of parking that we’re increasing it by is 40 percent. Also, we’re working on things to make it more efficient,” said Lewis.
Lewis says the park will be switching from parallel to angled parking that can better accommodate RVs.
Without the Devils Garden parking lot, the park is expected to be extra crowded during the construction period.
“Peak hours at the park are around 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., so if they get there earlier or they come later, they could avoid a lot of the congestion that we’re going to see,” said Lewis.
Park officials suggest visiting the park either before or after the construction.