Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Utah's Mighty 5 National Parks and Fee Free Days up Ahead

free fees on the horizon


Two fine companions Utah’s Mighty 5 and Veteran's Day Weekend.  Veterans' Day Weekend has been designated as Fee Free Days during November 9 - 11, 2013. This applies to entrance fees only. Fees for camping and tour reservations will still be charged. Utah’s Mighty 5 is a focus of the Utah Office of Tourism to feature southern Utah’s five National Parks: Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

Sequester cuts shall not be readily apparent to the public visiting the Mighty 5’s Arches and Canyonlands National Parks of Moab, Utah, superintendent Kate Cannon assures. The Southeastern Park Service Unit has been conscientious of budget for a number of years. The Superintendent of this region has run a trim program. The practice to redistribute duties to cover the Southeastern Unit of Bridges National Monument, Hovenweep National Monument, Arches National Park and the three districts of Canyonlands, rather than immediately refilling positions has been one strategy to cut the required 5% mandated by Washington D.C.  

For more value in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, join the 2013 Artist in the Park, Sarah Hamingson, from April through November as she mingles with visitors at view points, sharing her love of pastels. Don’t be surprised if she hands out paper and colors to share the inspiration of a park view. Most of April Artist in the Park dates are organized to meet in Arches National Park.

The Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park is the most convenient to visit from the Moab area and in conjunction with an Arches National Park visit. Daily Geology presentations are provided at the Grand View Point at 10:30 and 11:30 AM. A short Ranger lead talk is offered at the visitor center daily too.

Horseshoe Canyon ranger lead hikes on Saturdays only in cooler fall months. Departures are scheduled from the West side trailhead at 9:00 AM to hike to the Great Gallery. It is a seven mile round-trip requiring five or more hours to hike. Be aware there is also 750 feet to descend in the beginning, which has to be climbed out of at the end. This ranger trip is limited to 20 people. Hikers must bring ample amounts of water. No water is available at Horseshoe Canyon, part of the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park.

Can't make it in November? Stop by August 25th for Park Service's Birthday or National Public Lands Day September 28th. In fact, help clean up the graffiti on some of the trails in Arches National Park! Meet at 9 am at the Arches National Park Visitor Center. Bring a lunch, sunscreen, water bottle and gloves. Breakfast, snacks, water and supplies will be provided. Plan to volunteer through 4 PM and give back to the park in this generous contribution of your time. 

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