There are upcoming changes within the area’s national parks.
Some climbing routes are temporarily closed within Arches National Park and the backcountry reservation process have changed in Canyonlands National Park.
The Arches National Park climbing route closures are in effect as surveys are being done to determine habitats associated with nesting raptor and/or lambing bighorn sheep.
“We already know from surveys that have been conducted that raptors are exhibiting breeding behaviors near climbing routes,” said Mark Miller, chief of resource stewardship and science for Arches National Park.
However, for the sheep, they will be conducting surveys over the next few weeks.
“We’re looking at known lambing habitat to see if it is being occupied by sheep,” Miller said.
Most of the routes will be reopened by the end of August, unless surveys have not been completed.
Routes include: The Pickle near the Arches entrance; Ham Rock within the Garden of Eden; Klondike Bluffs Crack, Route One and Route Two, Cuddle Bunny Tower, False Start, North Marcher, Sand Hearse and Unknown Marching Men in the Klondike Bluffs area; and Tonka Tower in the Windows District.
Other areas that will be closed until August include Canyonlands by Night, El Second, The Coup, Cohn’s Odyssey, Left Route, Project One, and Project Two near Hwy 191; and Fun Ramp, The Hyena, Trail of the Navajo, Pop Tarts and Escape Route near State Route 128.
Industrial Disease at Devil Dog Spire in Devil’s Garden may be closed until Sept. 30.
If surveys determine habitats to be unoccupied by sensitive wildlife, further notice will be given to update the list of temporarily closed climbing routes.
Canyonlands National Park is also changing the reservation process for all of its backcountry permits including: four-wheel drive and mountain biking camping, four-wheel drive day use in the Needles District, group sites in the Needles District, river trips and multi-element trips, such as hiking and rafting combined.
Reservations for the 2014 season will be available no more than 120 days and no less than two days prior to the permit start date.
For example, reservations for trips beginning on Jan. 1, 2014 will be available as of Sept. 2, 2013.
Permits and/ or sites no reserved at least two days in advance of the permit start date will be available in person at the park’s visitor centers or headquarters reservation office on a first-come, first-served basis during normal hours and seasons of operation.
Due to high demand for these permits, reservations are highly recommended.