A popular national park in the US is to implement a timed entry ticketing system in order to prevent overcrowding.

The National Park Service has announced it will be introducing a temporary, timed entry session to reduce traffic and overcrowding at Arches National Park in Utah.

During the decade between 2009 and 2019, visits to Arches grew over 66% from 996,312 visitors during this time to 1.7 million. The pandemic has exacerbated overcrowding as during 2020 and 2021 people decided to holiday closer to home.

The system will first run as a pilot between April 3 and October 3 next year. Visitors are able to book reservations on a first-come, first-served basis. The park will release reservation slots three months in advance, in monthly blocks.

Arches National Park Superintendent, Patricia Trap, said: “By implementing a temporary, timed entry reservation system, our goal is to better spread visitation throughout the day to reduce traffic congestion and visitor crowding. We believe this will create a higher-quality experience while maximising access for our visitors.

“Additionally, we will use data gathered from this pilot to adapt and improve this system throughout the season, as well as to inform our future responses going forward.”

After booking a reservation, visitors will receive a timed entry ticket which will be required to enter the park from 6am to 5pm daily. It allows the ticket holders to enter the park during a one-hour specified window and visitors are able to stay for as long as they like.

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