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June Bug

Moab is Shut

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Posted (edited)

Update: Canyonlands and Arches National Parks are closing down tomorrow, Saturday, March 38. 

Moab and Carbon, Emory and Grand counties are shut; all lodging can be rented only to locals and essential visitors.  These three counties cover a lot of area.  Non locals are also banned from camping on public or private property (see below).  That said, current visitors will be allowed to stay until the end of their reservation and then have to leave.  They cannot extend a reservation. This will be a massive hit to their tourism-based economy & is coming in the middle of Spring Break week for a lot of people. 

All Moab hotels, lodgings ordered to close to non local visitors.

You can link to a pdf clarifying the nature and extent of the closures here.  The part specifying that there is to be no camping on public or private lands, unless you are a primary resident (live there) or an essential visitor, is on page 4, section 3. 

Moab is an isolated place with a small hospital (17 beds).   They can't do critical care and have no resources to respond to serious COVID-19 cases.  Grand Junction would be the closest major hospital and that's almost two hours away. 

The locals may love it because they aren't dealing with the tourist crush.  

 

Edited by June Bug
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2 hours ago, June Bug said:

Moab and Carbon, Emory and Grand counties are shut; all lodging can be rented only to locals and essential visitors.  These three counties cover a lot of area.  Non locals are also banned from camping on public or private property (see below).  That said, current visitors will be allowed to stay until the end of their reservation and then have to leave.  They cannot extend a reservation. This will be a massive hit to their tourism-based economy & is coming in the middle of Spring Break week for a lot of people. 

All Moab hotels, lodgings ordered to close to non local visitors.

You can link to a pdf clarifying the nature and extent of the closures here.  The part specifying that there is to be no camping on public or private lands, unless you are a primary resident (live there) or an essential visitor, is on page 4, section 3. 

Moab is an isolated place with a small hospital (17 beds).   They can't do critical care and have no resources to respond to serious COVID-19 cases.  Grand Junction would be the closest major hospital and that's almost two hours away. 

The locals may love it because they aren't dealing with the tourist crush.

Editing to clarify that I don't know if this ban extends to camping on Federal lands.  

 

Seems like everyone is taking it in the shorts!

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On 3/17/2020 at 8:00 PM, 4fun said:

Seems like everyone is taking it in the shorts!

Yes, I truly fear our entire economy will be in tatters by the time this is over and it's devastating for the tourism economy in places like Moab.  We drove through Moab a few years ago,  it was an absolute crush of traffic  with more motels being built at the north end of town.  I'd guess the economy of Moab is probably 98% tourism these days and it's somewhat seasonal.  It can get pretty damn cold there in the winter. 

I had the experience of driving through Moab more than once before it was "discovered," which more or less coincided with Raiders of the Lost Ark and the explosion of the climbing scene.  It was a dusty little nothing of a cattle ranching town in the middle of nowhere, with a little boom during the long past uranium mining years.  Hope it doesn't go back to that.  However, if the COVID-19 crisis resolves a bit by summer and people are back to travelling, places like Moab will revive, but at a reduced level. 

Western Spirit Cycling Adventures, based out of Moab, still has active trip departures after April 18, with the caveat that things could change on short notice. 

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I've done a bunch of trips with Western Spirir. They do a fantastic job.

Did a Colorado Trail trip with them last summer.

Sadly, not many people take guided trips anymore and their business is dwindling. 

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18 hours ago, Hugh said:

I've done a bunch of trips with Western Spirit. They do a fantastic job...Sadly, not many people take guided trips anymore and their business is dwindling. 

Good to know!  I've never heard a bad word about them.  A family member gifted us a trip and the area where we're going (south central Utah) is definitely remote.  I wanted to check it out without worrying about logistics on a first trip, then subsequent trips will be easier.  There are also various moves afoot to start paving roads out there; I wanted to see it by bike before that happens.  I do hope their business survives. 

I just checked the website for Arches National Park, on the outskirts of Moab.  It's still open to the public but no one is collecting fees,  the campgrounds, bookstore, visitor centers, are closed; no back country camping permits are being issued and there are no ranger-led activities. Fiery Furnace is closed.  I guess you just drive around and look at stuff and hike, observing appropriate social distance.   All visitor accommodations in Moab and Grand County are closed; I don't understand why they'd keep Arches open. 

The Moab BLM field office is closed, and BLM campgrounds are accepting no new reservations or new visitors.  No word on dispersed camping.  The very large Sand Flats camping area, by the Slickrock Trail trailhead, is managed in partnership with Grand County and BLM, as is the Sand Flats Recreation Area (Slickrock Trail).  I can't find information on status.  The BLM website for the Sand Flats Recreation Area (Slickrock Trail) shows no closure.  However, because Grand County is closed to camping on state and private land, and BLM is closing their campsites to new visitation, I'd say it's likely closed or closed to new visitors. 

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Posted (edited)

Friday, March 27 update: Canyonlands and Arches National Parks and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges National Monuments are closing effective tomorrow, Saturday, March 28

Moab Hospital, health agencies, elected leaders plead for park closures

They are asking for closure of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges National Monuments. 

The article linked above notes that there were over 700 cars at Arches National Park this past weekend, and 90% were from out of state.  I cannot fathom why any national park is still open to visitors at any level of access.  Also an indicator of people not understanding the nature of contagious disease. 

Random info: Although Moab has a permanent population of around 5,000 people, visitation in a typical year is around 1 million. 

 

Edited by June Bug

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