By LINDSAY WHITEHURST, Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Zion National Park will soon require reservations to hike a famous southern Utah trail perched on the edge of a red rock bluff, officials said Friday.
From April 1, anyone wishing to hike the narrow Angels Landing hike will need to obtain a permit through a lottery system.
The lottery will be fairer to visitors and reduce congestion on the trail, said Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh. Overcrowding is worrying on the trail where people regularly fall and die from the steep cliff-lined trail, park officials said.
The number of people visiting Zion has grown rapidly in recent years, from around 2.8 million visits in 2011 to almost 4.5 million visits in 2019. Angels Landing is one of the top destinations. More than 300,000 people made the trip in 2019, according to park officials.
There will be two lotteries, one seasonal and one for a day before a planned hike. Each will cost $ 6 to participate and those chosen will also pay a fee of $ 3 per person.
The idea was first announced in August and the new plan reflects feedback from more than 1,000 people, officials said.
The new system is considered a pilot project and could be adjusted as needed. Zion is located approximately 160 miles (250 kilometers) northeast of Las Vegas and 300 miles (483 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.