Traveling to the National Parks This Year? What to Expect

by Vibrant Management


Mar 11, 2022

As spring starts, it’s the perfect time to plan your trip to one of Utah’s “Mighty 5” national parks. 

Visitors to the national parks this year can expect to see some significant changes, both good and bad. On the plus side, many parks are seeing larger crowds as people look for ways to escape indoor spaces.

However, parks are also facing reductions in services due to pandemic measures and worker shortages.

No matter which park you visit, it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest changes by checking park websites and following their official Twitter and Instagram accounts.

It is also wise to follow CDC travel advice, which includes wearing a mask on planes, trains, buses, and all other public transport.

2022 Travel Forecasts

Increased Crowding and Long Lines

Many of the most popular parks are seeing record numbers of visitors. This can lead to long lines at entrance gates and visitor centers, as well as crowded trails and campgrounds.

The National Parks Service is encouraging visitors to plan their trips ahead of time by requiring Timed Entry Reservations. This means you have to reserve your time in the park at least a day in advance. Learn more about it here.

Fewer Amenities

With the increase in visitors has come a decrease in the availability of park amenities. Campgrounds, picnic areas, and parking lots are often full, and there may be long waits for shuttle buses.

If you know you want a comprehensive visit to Utah’s national parks, Utah Luxury Tours is the perfect option for you. We’ll plan the whole trip for you, hassle-free. You don’t have to worry about reserving amenities months in advance. 

Higher Prices

Park entrance fees have increased in recent years, and camping and lodging rates are also on the rise. The cost of a National Park Annual Pass has gone up as well so, be prepared to pay more for your park visit this year.

Here are the Current Prices for Utah National Parks:

  • Arches: $30 for a private vehicle, $25 for a motorcycle, $15 for one person
  • Bryce Canyon: $35 for a private vehicle, $30 for a motorcycle, $20 for one person
  • Canyonlands: $30 for a private vehicle, $25 for a motorcycle, $15 for one person
  • Capitol Reef: $20 for a private vehicle, $15 for a motorcycle, $10 for one person
  • Zion: $35 for a private vehicle, $30 for a motorcycle, $20 for one person

Tips for Getting into National Parks With Crowds

By knowing what to expect, you can make the most of your visit and avoid the worst of the crowds.

Zion National Park, which is the most visited national park in Utah, had 5 million visitors in 2021, up from a previous high of 4.5 million in 2017 and 2019.

  • Get to the park early: The earlier you arrive, the smaller the crowds will be. Make sure to budget for the entrance fee ahead of time and reserve your spot.
  • Pack snacks and water: You’ll likely be doing a lot of walking, so it’s important to stay hydrated. There are usually food vendors within the parks, but their prices can be high. Pack some snacks and water instead to save money.
  • Be prepared for weather changes: The weather in the National Parks can be unpredictable, so pack a variety of clothes depending on the forecast. Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are also essential items to bring with you.
  • Have someone else plan it for you: With all the new guidelines and restrictions, planning a trip to Utah’s national parks has never been harder. That’s where Utah Luxury Tours comes in! We plan and execute your trip for you.

National Parks are a great place to visit year-round, but with the summer crowds coming in full force, it’s more important than ever to be prepared. By following these tips, you’ll be able to make the most of your trip and avoid the hassle of large crowds.

Possible COVID Restrictions

In light of the COVID pandemic, some National Parks have restricted access to specific areas or imposed other restrictions. Be sure to check the park’s website before your visit to see if any changes have been made. It’s always a good idea to bring a mask and hand sanitizer with you. You may need it!

The Best Solution

Utah Luxury Tours has full access to Utah Parks and can help you get the most out of your Utah national park experience. Our luxury vehicles provide comfortable and private transportation to and from the parks, as well as complimentary snacks and drinks. We also offer guided hikes, bike rides, and ATV tours in some of the most beautiful areas around Utah’s parks.

For more information on how to plan your trip, contact us!

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