Last year over 1 million people visited Arches National Park, putting unprecedented strain on parking lots and 18 miles of park roads. At some spots, long lines of RVs blocked a good part of the scenery. But the Park Service is adamant that, unlike Zion or Bryce Canyon National Parks, traffic at Arches should not be restricted.
The plan just unveiled calls instead for a free bus system to compete with private cars.
Consultants say the park needs 11 new bus stops. From the park entrance to Devil's Garden, 40-foot busses will ply different routes for different kinds of visitors: a 2-hour express route to Balanced Rock and Windows, an all-day ride with onboard interpretive elements, a morning express for day hikers with ample room for packs, and a night sky shuttle.
The busses will run every 15 minutes, the maximum wait deemed tolerable in blistering summer temperatures. The Park Service hopes to get a pilot program up and running by 2015.