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National parks across the country are preparing for record numbers this weekend. Memorial Day often brings record visitation, overflowing parking lots, and long lines and wait times at park entrance stations. Arches and Canyonlands national parks, in particular, are advising visitors to expect heavy traffic, crowded trails, and limited parking.
At Arches, there will be no left turn lane into the park for southbound traffic on U.S. 191. Vehicles traveling south will need to pass the Arches entrance road and follow signs showing where to turn around. Only northbound vehicles may enter the park. Park officials strongly recommend visitors avoid entering the parks between 9:00 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.
Park rangers remind visitors to pack water, snacks, sunscreen, cameras…and a good amount of patience…in order to have a safe and enjoyable weekend.