Need a reason to jump for joy? How about this: As of today, Arches National Park and the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park are both officially open thanks to a generous donation from the Canyonlands Natural History Association! The visitor centers at both parks will be open daily from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and will be staffed by NPS rangers, although they will be operating on a skeleton crew. As an added bonus, it snowed again last night so there’ll be a fresh dusting on those beautiful red rocks!
According to a post on the official Facebook page of Arches National Park, “Efforts are underway at both parks to clear roads and sidewalks. Status of roads may be weather dependent. Park visitors should expect winter conditions throughout both parks. Roads and trails may be covered with snow and ice. Hikers should bring traction devices for snowy and icy trails.
Emergency information may be shared on our Twitter or Facebook accounts, but we will not monitor the accounts or respond to questions. Call 911 for emergencies.”
While this is amazing news, both parks will be operating with minimal staff, and it is imperative that you do everything possible to minimize your impact. Please, PLEASE respect the privilege to enter and recreate in these parks. Plan to pack out your own trash and pick up whatever trash you do find lying around. My family and I are headed into Arches this weekend with several empty trash bags and we plan to pick up as much as we can haul. Stay on the trails to minimize resource damage, don’t take pets where they don’t belong and please be safe - you don’t want to the subject of a SAR, especially when park staff is already so thin.
To say “thank you” to CNHA for such a wonderful gift, I will donate to them 30% of the proceeds from all eFotoGuide sales made on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this weekend. That’s $4.50 for each ebook sold or $12 if you pick up all three in the Ultimate Bundle. I hope you will help me make this a substantial donation.
If you’d rather make a donation directly to CNHA, please visit the donations page on their website.
If you’re headed into either park with camera in hand, be sure to check out the winter photography guide that I recently published on this blog. Lots of great tips and ideas sure to help you make some fantastic photographs during your visit!
Thanks for reading, everyone. Now get into the parks and have some fun!