Hey everyone, the National Park Service is now deciding which parks remain open on a case-by-case basis. And while Arches and Canyonlands have been temporarily closed, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon and Zion remain open, or partially open.
Which means that for some visitors there is still a chance to hit the trails in some of Southern Utah’s national parks. And for the time being, you should be aware of new guidelines and rules of etiquette when you’re hiking in any of the parks.
If there are too many people at a particular trailhead, find another trail that you’d like to hike. Luckily, there are always lots to choose from. The point is that you don’t want to crowd in close, confined spaces right now. So skip the busy trailheads and travel further afield.
Hiking in Groups
Stay with your original group, i.e. your own household, or the people you traveled with. But don’t mingle with other groups, or get too close to other hikers. It’s important that you keep a safe distance, which out of an abundance of caution, is now 20-feet away. You can wave hi, of course, but do it from a safe social distance.
Respectful of Staff and Parks
At this time, things are a little bit tricky for the park rangers. They’re trying to limit their exposure to park visitors, and maintain some limited park services. So don’t do anything to make their life harder. Which means that if you make a mess, or generate some trash, you’ll need to take care of it yourself. The parks has always emphasized “Pack It In, Pack It Out,” but now it’s even more important. So make it your mantra too.
We’re All Together
If you can visit any of the national parks, get on the trails and stretch your legs. Just do it safely. And watch out for your fellow hikers and rangers. We all need to take care of each other right now.