Here in Southern Utah, we’ve been fortunate that the pandemic has largely passed us by. State health and national park officials continue to monitor the situation, but for the most part, it seems like Utah’s national parks will be back to normal fairly soon. Some are already opening back up to the public – albeit with some restrictions. Which means that there’s a much-needed chance for people to get out there and explore some nature! So here’s a quick update on what’s open now, and what will be open again soon –
Arches National Park
Arches is completely closed for now. But it will begin phased reopening on May 29th. We don’t know what that will look like yet, but expect limited day-use in certain areas and on specific trails. The campgrounds and visitor centers will likely be the last to reopen.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon is almost completely reopened. Even the Visitor Center is accessible, although with reduced hours. You still can’t camp overnight in the park, and food services have yet to resume, but for the most part you can spend a pretty normal day in the park hiking almost any trail. Heck, Bryce might still host its Summer Geology Festival in July.
Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands is also completely closed, but will begin phased reopening along with Arches on the 29th. The two parks will be working in conjunction with each other during the reopening. (Which makes sense, since they’re neighbors.)
Capitol Reef National Park
Here in Capitol Reef, the South District (Waterpocket Fold) and the North District (Cathedral Valley) are both open for day use. Overnight use is also allowed at the primitive campgrounds in each section – Cedar Mesa campground and Cathedral Valley campground respectively. Some trails are open near Fruita, but the Visitor Center, the Scenic Drive, the Gifford House, and the main campground remain closed.
Zion National Park
Zion has opened up some of its trails and roads, but is maintaining a strict quota of how many people it allows in the various sections of the park. Kolob Canyon is completely closed, as is the Visitor Center. Also the shuttles are not currently running. But there is still plenty that is open, and the park has this handy brochure that has all the specifics for you to check out.