Arches and Canyonlands national parks are preparing for a busy Memorial Day weekend, and are advising visitors to expect heavy traffic, crowded trails and limited parking.

Memorial Day weekend often brings record visitation, overflowing parking lots, and long lines and wait times at park entrance stations.

Changes in traffic flow to enter Arches National Park from U.S. Highway 191 will occur.

There will be no left turn lane into Arches for southbound traffic on Highway 191. Vehicles traveling south will need to pass the Arches entrance road and follow signs that show where drivers can turn around. Only northbound vehicles may enter the park.

Park officials strongly recommend visitors avoid entering the parks between 9 a.m. and noon, when wait times may exceed one hour. If the parks reach capacity, vehicles may be prohibited from entering until space becomes available.

To help minimize wait time at the parks’ entrance stations, park rangers ask that vehicles keep pace with traffic in the line. Current pass holders and returning visitors should have passes and identification ready. Credit cards are preferred for paying entrance fees or purchasing annual or lifetime passes.

Parking lots in both parks will be crowded or full much of the weekend. If parking lots are full, visitors will need to continue on and return at a later time.

There will be no nightly construction closures during Memorial Day weekend from 7 a.m. on Friday, May 26, until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30.

Park rangers remind visitors to pack water, snacks, sunscreen and cameras – and a good amount of patience – in order to have a safe and enjoyable weekend.

Arches plans traffic lane changes, encourages visitors to avoid peak hours

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