from Arches National Park --------------------- Officially starting Friday March 7, free day use permits, required for canyoneering in Arches, will be available outside the visitor center at an information/permit kiosk. With the exception of canyoneering in the Fiery Furnace, all canyoneers must fill out a permit, drop the copy of the permit in the box provided and attach original to their person when canyoneering in the park. Group sizes for canyoneering in the park are a maxium of 10 persons per group, except in Lost Spring Canyon (6 persons or less are required). There are no day use limits on permits. A kiosk will be placed out near Lost Spring Canyon on BLM land for canyoneers to acquire permits for these routes without having to go to the VC in the near future. For those canyoneering in the Fiery Furnace, groups sizes are required to be 6 persons or less, and must obtain their permit for a fee through the front desk and normal Fiery Furnace process. There is no change to the Fiery Furnace process except canyoneers must be in groups of 6 or less. The canyoneering permit for the park is different than the one required for the Fiery Furnace. Rock climbers are not required to obtain permits but we are encouraging these users to stop by the VC at the outside kiosk to check on updates to route closures, read the new regulations and to fill out a permit for safety reasons and to help the park obtain better visitor use data. Rock climbers are now required to be in groups of 5 persons or less. A free online permit system will be up and running by the beginning of summer for both activities. We will let everyone know when this goes live too. The park website has now been updated with both a Canyoneering page and Rock Climbing page, both under "Plan Your Visit/Things to Do". http://www.nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/canyoneer.htm http://www.nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/rock_climbing.htm These pages list the new regulations, group size limits, permit process, established routes and new route establishment, updates on route closures and overall information on conducting these activities safely while practicing Leave No Trace ethics. We are also compiling an email list of interested rock climbers and canyoneers to help the park review new route applications which require fixed gear. If you or someone you know would be interested in this process, please contact 435-719-2220. When the new route application process starts and applications are received by the park, I will post the applications online for your substantive comments. The park will then take these comments into consideration when completing the environmental analysis and approval process. We appreciate your patience as we work through the phases and kinks of implementing these new requirements. If you have any questions please call 435-719-2220.