Julie Jacobson, Associated Press
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK — The National Park Service recently approved a climbing and canyoneering management plan for Arches National Park.
The park service reached the decision last month after review of the environmental impact analysis and consideration of public comments on the environmental assessment released in June 2013.
Canyoneering and rock climbing activities in Arches National Park will be actively managed and monitored to maintain desired resource and visitor experience conditions.
Rock climbers will be encouraged to complete a free online self-registration process, and groups will be limited to five people.
Canyoneers will be required to complete the free online self-registration process for all routes except for those in the Fiery Furnace. Permits for the Fiery Furnace will still need to be obtained at the park’s visitors center. Canyoneering groups on the Fiery Furnace and Lost Spring Canyon routes will be limited to six people, while group size elsewhere will be limited to 10 people.
While establishment of new routes will be allowed, installation of new fixed gear on new and existing routes will require a free special use permit. In order to minimize resource impacts, the park will actively seek input and assistance from the climbing and canyoneering community in assessing the suitability and quality of new fixed gear placement proposals, and replacement of existing fixed gear.
Climbing, scrambling or walking upon, wrapping webbing or rope around, or rappelling off any named and unnamed arch with an opening greater than 3 feet will be prohibited in the park.
Climbing and canyoneering regulations and route information will be posted on the park’s official website. Permits will be available online by early spring.
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