Winter hours in effect at national parks, monuments

Winter hours are in place at visitor centers at Arches and Canyonlands national parks and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges national monuments, according to the Southeast Utah Group of National Parks.

sipapu bridge
Sipapu bridge at Natural Bridges National Monument. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Arches Visitor Center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily except for Christmas Day. Island in the Sky Visitor Center at Canyonlands is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas days and will otherwise be open daily through the end of the year. The hours as of Jan. 1 are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Tuesday, closed Wednesday and Thursday. These hours are in effect until daily operations resume March 1.

The Needles Visitor Center is open from 8 a.m. to noon on Thanksgiving Day and closes for the winter at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 30. It will reopen March 1.

Law enforcement staff work through the winter and permits are required for all overnight backcountry use.

Visitors wishing to stay overnight in the Island in the Sky backcountry can make advance reservations (and receive their permit two days or more before their trip) online at: Visitors can also get permits at Island in the Sky Visitor Center during its business hours or at the Backcountry Reservation Office weekdays 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., except federal holidays. The backcountry office is located at 2282 Resource Blvd. just south of Moab, Utah.

Visitors wishing to stay overnight in The Needles district backcountry must obtain a permit from the self-registration station located on the front porch of The Needles Visitor Center.

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. Permits for Elephant Hill Road may be obtained at the self-registration station at The Needles Visitor Center. Permits for White Rim Road are available online or at Island in the Sky Visitor Center up to 24 hours before the day of travel. Roads may be closed at any time due to poor conditions.

For information about Canyonlands’ backcountry use, call the backcountry office at 435-259-4351 or email [email protected].

Visitor services (lodging, food, gasoline, etc.) are not available in the parks, so visitors need to be well equipped with all necessities upon arrival.