Visit Arches National Park in late winter or early spring, and you just might be treated to the glimmering snow-mantled La Sal Mountains off on the southeastern horizon serving as a perfect backdrop to the park's red rock formations.
Arches National Park
Kate Cannon, superintendent of the National Park Service's Southeast Utah Group of park units, has received the Stephen T. Mather Award from the National Parks Conservation Association.
"UEA," the annual teacher professional day in Utah hosted by the Utah Education Association, is coming this weekend, and officials at at least two of the state's national parks are warning visitors to expect heavy crowds for the weekend.
A move Superintendent Kate Cannon believes will lead to better management of visitation to the Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park has drawn the ire of guiding businesses and a member of Congress, who see the changes as unnecessary and economically crippling to the guides and damaging to the unique geologic niche of the park.
The slide projector whirred on the table next to my desk as Mrs. Sampson, our fourth-grade teacher, worked the balky advancement mechanism. She had purchased the Kodachromes in strips from a gift shop during her summer vacation, and the images on the screen transfixed me: vertical cliffs of white granite, waterfalls misting in midair, pine trees rising from a grassy riverbank.
You might not want to find Arches National Park next year, as major road work is planned for the main park road from the entrance station to Devils Garden Campground, which will be closed for most of 2017.
Outside Magazine, in the daily ritual of feeding social media channels, reached back two years for a cool nighttime photograph from Arches National Park that, unfortunately, inadvertently promoted camping in an area of the park that is off-limits to camping.
In its rush Thursday to take the rest of the summer off, Congress left behind a pile of unfinished work, some of which reaches into the National Park System. There's the Interior appropriations bill, which would roll back some environmental protections, and a controversial Public Lands Initiative for Utah that quickly drew fire. And then there's the draft platform for the Republican Convention, which holds freight aimed at fleecing federal lands and tying presidents' hands.
Nearly four decades have passed since Congress directed the National Park Service to establish visitor carrying capacities for the National Park System, yet few parks have done so, according to a review by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
Due to high summer heat, ongoing drought conditions, and sparse rainfall, fire danger is increasing across many parts of the National Park System in the western United States.