As parks make more areas available to the public, the NPS encourages you to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and follow Leave No Trace principles when you visit. Many land- and water-based activities are available however operations are being phased in and services are limited.
To enjoy a safe and enjoyable visit during the Memorial Day Holiday weekend and the remainder of the summer season, visitors are encouraged to know and follow guidelines for desert and boating safety, including always wearing lifejackets when on the water and taking safeguards to prevent heat related illness. Life threatening dangers to avoid include swimming at marinas, flash floods, cliff jumping and carbon monoxide emitted by generators or engines that are running. For more information: https://www.nps.gov/glca/planyourvisit/safety.htm
Springtime often brings high afternoon winds and anyone recreating on the water is advised to wear life jackets, including users of kayaks, canoes and paddle boards. Utah Law requires all boats to have at least one wearable U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket for each person on board. All boat passengers who are 12 years old and younger must wear a properly-sized Coast Guard approved life jacket whenever a boat is in operation. For more information: Ten Things You Need To Know Before You Boat
Due to increased visitation expected for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, visitors to any Lake Powell beaches are advised to take standard precautions for possible water quality issues. This includes properly disposing of human and pet waste, practicing safe sanitation, washing their hands often and showering after swimming. For more information: Lake Powell Recreational Water Advisory
The NPS conducts thousands of search and rescues servicewide each year, many of which could be avoided with visitors planning and making responsible decisions. During the ongoing health crisis, it’s critical that we make wise choices to keep our national park rangers and first responders out of harm’s way. Please follow these Recreate Responsibly tips to safely spend time outside:
- Know before you go. Visit park websites for current park conditions and availability of restrooms and other facilities. Make a plan, follow the 10 Essentials, and if you are sick, stay home.
- Keep it close. Follow the state and county orders governing the open status of the area you’re considering visiting. The National Park Service is working closely with governors and state and local health departments as we increase access and services across the National Park System.
- Keep your distance. Recreate with the people in your household. Give others plenty of room whether you are on a trail, at a boat launch, or in a parking lot. Follow the CDC social distancing guidelines for staying six feet away from others. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth if you’re near others.
- Know your limits. Postpone challenging hikes or trying new activities while first responders, parks, and communities continue to concentrate on responding to the pandemic.
- Keep it with you. If you brought it, take it with you. Trash pickup and restroom facilities will continue to be limited in many park areas. Follow Leave No Trace principles.
The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health. Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on our website https://www.nps.gov/glca/planyourvisit/conditions.htm and social media channels.