A barrage of tourists has descended on the National Parks, particularly Utah’s Zion and Arches National Parks. The pandemic confinement has fueled the need to travel to top tourist destinations in a big way. Along with crowded campgrounds, the National Parks are experiencing crowding like never before. If you’re visiting during the park’s busiest times, summer afternoons, be prepared! You may want to take a rain check if looking for serenity and peace to experience these amazing natural wonders.
The parks are closing their gates when capacity numbers have been reached and not opening again until enough people have exited, sometimes not even until the next day. Arches often reaches their limit by 9:00 a.m. Waiting to get in can be several hours in a hot car.
Zion had over 80,000 more visitors in May of this year compared to May 2019. Arches had over 25,000 more.
Some people are calling for a reservation system. That begs the question, “Do we really want recreation.gov handling this crowding too?”