Arches National Park Update • 01/27/15

I am writing you because either myself, LE Ranger Nathan Plants, or Supervisory LE Ranger Mike Henry has communicated with you in regards to canyoneering in Arches, the CCMP, safety, or resource protection information over the past year(s).

As you know, part of the CCMP action items are to increase messaging to better educate and inform canyoneers of resource impacts and mitigations.

The CCMP states “Access routes will be delineated and maintained as necessary to minimize impacts on park resources and values. Results of resource assessments and monitoring will be used to determine management strategies for access routes. Short sections of routes may be maintained to prevent erosion or other resource degradation. In some instances signs may be placed to direct climbers and canyoneers away from problem or sensitive areas in order to protect resources. Signs or cairns will only be erected to protect resources or for safety concerns. Access trails to the bases of well-known and heavily used climbing routes and access trails to canyoneering routes may be identified on a map, delineated and maintained in order to prevent further erosion and loss of vegetation. No more than one access route up/down a slope to the base of a climb, area, or canyon will be allowed. Social trails that are used infrequently or that traverse sensitive soils will be rehabilitated or blocked to discourage future use.”

Good news is we have begun delineating some trails with cairns and signs and have worked hard to mitigate social trails. Dragonfly is now cairned from the parking pullout to the top of the canyon. Although the route is somewhat circuitous it has the least impact to soils and can be done on 99.9% rock! The egress for Tierdrop, U-turn, Bighorn and Lost Spring have all been marked with either cairns and/or carsonite posts and as most of you already know an informational kiosk has been put up at the parking area of Winter Camp road.

Please see the park’s new webpage regarding Lost Spring. This is the park’s first “test” piece. Eventually the park will have this link for every route describing the resource concerns in hopes of better protecting the resources. Let me clarify that this is not route ‘beta’. It is not the park’s intention to replace what is available on-line. If you feel there is something that can be explained better please do not hesitate to provide feedback.

Also, Arches has made the new Fiery Furnace video available on-line. It is not a substitute for coming in and watching the video but it is there as a resource that is applicable to all other areas outside the Fiery Furnace.

Please feel free to disseminate these webpage links to your on-line communities. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your on-going communications with the park. Please feel free to contact the park if any questions arise regarding the regulations or resource concerns.

Best regards,

Patricia Ortiz
Biological Science Technician
Arches National Park
PO Box 907
Moab, Utah 84532