Visitor centers at Arches, Canyonlands open longer

As the spring season rolls on, visitor centers at Arches and Canyonlands national parks began extended hours of operation earlier this week, according to a statement from the Southeast Utah Group of National Parks.

Arches Visitor Center will be open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily ranger-led Fiery Furnace tours are available for reservation at www.recreation.gov. Self-guided Fiery Furnace permits are also available and can be obtained at the visitor center. Devils Garden Campground is open and reservations can be made at www.recreation.gov. During the busy season, the campground is usually full each night.

The Needles Visitor Center at Canyonlands National Park is open daily. Visitor center hours changed to 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Camping is available at The Needles Campground. Twelve campsites in Loop B are available for reservation through the end of June. Fourteen campsites in Loop A are first-come, first-served. Sites fill quickly, particularly in spring and fall. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance online at www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

Island in the Sky Visitor Center at Canyonlands National Park will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Camping is available at the Willow Flat campground. Its 12 sites are first-come, first-served. Sites fill quickly during the busy season.

Permits are required for all overnight backcountry use. Visitors wishing to stay overnight in the backcountry can make advance reservations (and receive their permit two days or more before their trip) online at: go.nps.gov/canybackcountry.

Visitors can also get permits at Island in the Sky Visitor Center or The Needles Visitor Center during its business hours or at the Backcountry Reservation Office weekdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except federal holidays. The backcountry office is located at 2282 Resource Blvd. just south of Moab.

Day-use permits are required for vehicle and bicycle travel on Elephant Hill Road at The Needles and White Rim Road at Island in the Sky. Day-use permits can be reserved online or at the district visitor center up to 24 hours before the day of travel. Roads may be closed at any time due to poor conditions. Other backcountry roads in Canyonlands that require permits are Peekaboo/Horse Canyon and Lavender Canyon, however these roads are currently impassable.

For information about backcountry use, call the backcountry office at 435-259-4351.