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Public Safety and Free Park Entrance

Public Safety and Free Park Entrance

Posted in: Lodge Announcements on March 23, 2020.

Changes to the Parks

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States, people are experiencing all sorts of new stresses. In response, the National Park Service has made some changes to the park policies. The parks are huge, and in a time when people are encouraged to keep a safe social distance, they can be a good place to go outside and still follow guidelines. So, the NPS has stopped collecting fees at all manned-collection booths. Making the parks essentially free. This is both to reduce human-to-human contact, and to help give people a safe space to be outside. (Some self-serve fee collection boxes may still be in use.)

However, as we mentioned in our last post, there are some trade-offs here. Any and all, high-traffic areas – visitor centers, bookstores, public shuttles, even certain very popular or logistically restrictive places – are all closed.

Of course, at the time of this writing, certain states and cities have restrictions on movement in place. This may make it unfortunately impossible for a portion of the population to get to the parks. Still for those who are able, and who want to get outside, then the national parks are welcoming visitors. For free.

A trail sign in a national park

Trails can be good place to keep isolated while outside. Photo by Camille Couvez via unsplash.com

How to Protect Yourself and Others

Here in Southern Utah, the parks are following the guidelines of the CDC, the Utah Department of Health, and the Southwest Utah Public Health Department. They are also asking people who visit the parks to follow the following safety precautions. Please do so, for your safety and the safety of others.

  • Travel with groups of 10 or less and stay 6 feet apart from other people. Do not crowd together.
  • If trailhead parking is full, please enjoy the Scenic Drives in the park instead.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

As we at the Lodge at Red River Ranch learn more, we’ll continue to post updates about the national parks and your health and safety.

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