National parks across the country have been experiencing record visitor numbers in recent years. Utah’s Mighty 5 national parks are no exception.
Zion National Park tops the list of most-visited national parks in Utah, with more than 5 million people making their way into the park in 2021 alone. Bryce Canyon came in second, welcoming 2.1 million visitors that year, followed closely by Arches with 1.8 million visitors. Capitol Reef saw 1.4 million visitors, while Canyonlands welcomed just under 1 million guests.
With the number of visitors increasing with every passing year, many national parks have taken measures to reduce crowding. In Zion, for instance, the Angels Landing Pilot Permit Program was launched in 2022. Now, guests hoping to hike this famous trail must try for a permit in one of two lotteries.
But even bigger changes are coming to another popular Utah national park. Unfortunately, many guests are unaware of the change and are arriving at the park only to discover that they can’t get in. Keep reading as we dive into the new Arches reservations, what you need to know, and how Desert Solitude can help you get into the park without one.
Do You Need a Reservation for Arches National Park?
For most of the year, you will need Arches reservations to enter this popular park. In 2022, Arches National Park announced a pilot timed-entry system. Under this system, guests have to make a reservation in order to enter the park. That reservation outlines not only the day that you can visit but also the time that you can enter the park.
The timed-entry Arches reservations have returned in 2023. Starting on April 1, 2023, and running through October 31, guests will be required to show their timed-entry reservation to enter the park between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. You can enter the park before 7 a.m. and after 4 p.m. without a reservation.
How to Get Arches Reservations
Arches reservations cost $2. Permits open up three months in advance, in monthly blocks. For instance, reservations for the month of April opened up on January 10, 2023. Reservations for the month of May opened on February 1, and reservations for the month of June will open on March 1. A limited number of reservations are available. A small number of additional reservations are also released daily for visits the following day.
The $2 fee is only for the permit. You’ll still need to pay the park’s entry fee or present your valid national park annual pass.
What Happens if You Don’t Have a Reservation?
If you arrive at Arches National Park and don’t have a reservation, odds are that you won’t be able to get in. Arches reservations often sell out weeks or months ahead of time, particularly during the busy summer season.
You can return to the park after 4 p.m., or return the next day and enter before 7 a.m. However, you won’t be able to enter or reenter the park between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you were hoping to hike some of the park’s most popular trails, your plans will likely be derailed.
How to Get Into Arches National Park Without a Reservation
There is one way to get into Arches National Park any day of the year without a reservation; with Utah tour packages from Desert Solitude!
Desert Solitude has a special permit with Arches National Park. This allows us to enter the park any day, at any time, with our guides and guests. Whether you want to skip the hassle of getting a permit, or you’ve already booked flights and accommodations and weren’t able to get a permit, we can help ensure that you still get to enjoy this incredible national park!
Do You Need a Reservation for Canyonlands National Park?
Most visitors to Arches National Park and Moab also want to experience Canyonlands National Park. You won’t need a reservation to visit Canyonlands. However, booking a tour with Desert Solitude to include both Arches and Canyonlands is a great way to experience both parks without having to schedule your visit around when you can get Arches reservations.
Planning Your Visit to Arches and Canyonlands
Dreaming of visiting Arches, Canyonlands, and beautiful Moab in 2023? The new Arches reservations can make doing so a little more complicated. This can limit when you are able to visit the park and make planning a last-minute, spontaneous visit almost impossible. But Desert Solitude can help!
Thanks to our special permit, we can help you visit this unique national park any day and any time! In addition to helping you get into the park, our experienced guides can also help you explore like a local. From finding the best trails and overlooks to avoiding the parking hassles on the busiest days, our tours are the best way to experience any national park. Click here to learn more about our Utah tour packages to start planning your next trip!