[National Park Service]

The National Park Service announced that Arches National Park will again require reservations from April through October in 2023, after a timed entry pilot was conducted in 2022. 

“Based on feedback received from the public, stakeholders, and local community members, visitors to Arches in 2023 will have additional flexibilities to enter the park, including the ability to purchase entrance fees or annual passes in advance and to access the park without a reservation during extended hours,” the NPS said in a press release. 

After years of debate over how to reduce congestion in the popular park, the timed entry program ran from April 3 to October 3, 2022, as an experiment to spread visitation throughout the day and for visitors to be able to plan a guaranteed entry time. Similar seasonal timed entry pilots have been launched at parks including Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. 

Arches National Park’s visitation numbers have skyrocketed in recent years, growing from 1 million to over 1.8 million visitors annually, according to the NPS. Without the reservation system, officials temporarily close the park to further entry during peak visitation to prevent overcrowding and overflowing parking lots at popular trailheads and overlooks. 

“During the 2022 pilot at Arches, timed entry tickets helped pace visitation into the park, lessen congestion, and enhance visitor experiences,” said Arches National Park Superintendent Patricia Trap. “This year, Arches will use another timed entry pilot to test operational improvements, which should provide more opportunities for access while protecting Arches’ extraordinary landscape.” 

In 2023, visitors will need to secure a timed entry reservation in advance to enter the park between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Visitors can book reservations on a first-come first-served basis on Recreation.gov beginning on January 10. Reservations will be released in 3-month blocks. The only cost associated with booking a reservation is a $2 processing fee. For those who didn’t book ahead, a limited number of additional tickets will be available the day before entry. 

More information on the 2023 reservation system is available at go.nps.gov/ArchesTicket