Outdoor Recreation Resources
Enjoying the Outdoors Safely and Responsibly
The agencies that manage Utah’s outdoor recreation are committed to keeping parks and areas open while protecting visitors and staff. With warm weather upon us, venturing outdoors is a great way to relieve stress and get fresh air. We encourage Utahns to visit parks and recreation areas that are close to home, or lesser-known hidden gems. Please continue your efforts to practice safe social distancing when recreating outside.
In addition to following the guidelines and healthy hygiene practices outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and the Utah Department of Health, please follow these responsible recreation messages:
- Visit parks and recreation areas during a weekday, or during non-peak hours.
- Support social distancing by giving others at least six-feet of separation on trails, golf courses, fishing docks, overlooks, and other gathering areas.
- Avoid congregating at trailheads and other common areas. Maintain small group sizes.
- Stay home if you’re sick or have symptoms of the coronavirus.
- Keep recreation areas clean. Pack out what you pack in, and be respectful of closed areas.
- Avoid unnecessary risk that could leave you injured and in need of medical care.
- Help prevent human-caused wildfires. Completely extinguish campfires, and make sure chains connected to your tow hitch are not dragging.
Before heading out, learn more about traveling responsibly and check the status of the recreation area you plan to visit by contacting staff, or visiting its website or social media channels. Also follow the recommendations of your local health department. The sections below provide details from each Utah land managing agency on how to stay up-to-date with current conditions.
Social Distancing, Not Social Isolation
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox shares some of the things we CAN do as we work to overcome coronavirus. Social distancing means staying apart from each other, but we need to stay connected. Be sure to exercise and enjoy the beautiful outdoors we have in Utah.Take control of things you can.
Utah Division of Parks & Recreation
All Utah State Parks are open to all visitors and operating with minimal disruptions. The health and well-being of our staff and patrons is most important. To keep state parks operating efficiently while continuing to promote adequate social distancing and responsible recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have implemented some temporary operational changes. You can learn more about those changes here.
Conditions may change as we receive guidance and recommendations from Utah’s COVID-19 Task Force and our public health partners. Please contact the park you’re interested in visiting directly to confirm the current status.
- Utah State Parks takes the health and safety of its visitors and employees seriously. Our employees have been directed to sanitize high-traffic areas and materials regularly and to stay home if there are concerns about their health.
- Fees for state parks and recreation areas managed by the Division are still in effect. We encourage the public to pay online, by card if possible, or to come prepared with exact change for our self-pay systems.
- We all play a role in providing a safe recreational experience for everyone in our parks. Please distance yourself from others at the park and respect the social distancing of others.
- Refrain from coming to a state park if you’re sick or experiencing symptoms.
- Online reservations, park pass purchasesand non-resident OHV permits are still available online. These purchases can also be made by calling 800-322-3770.
- Do you currently have an overnight reservation scheduled at one of Utah’s 44 state parks and need to cancel as a result of the coronavirus? Please call 800-322-3770 or visit the website of our reservation partner, Reserve America.
A few state park facilities, like visitor centers, remain closed. Such closures vary park-to-park. We recommend visitors consult our easy to view COVID-19 table for the most updated park information, or contact parks staff directly.
Bureau of Land Management
The public health and safety of visitors and employees are BLM Utah’s priority as we implement our multiple use mission. BLM Utah updates the status of facilities and sites on our website, and we encourage visitors to call local BLM offices for the most current and real time information. (Phone numbers are listed on the BLM website.)
- Visitors may continue to enjoy BLM managed public lands.
- We recommend visiting areas close to home while avoiding very popular or crowded locations where social distancing may be difficult and limiting group activities to members of your household.
- We encourage visitors to plan ahead and prepare for changing circumstances and emergencies.
- Please note that fees for overnight camping, cabin rentals, group day use and use of special areas remain in effect.
- We encourage visitors to seek out any new local and state orders and guidance in advance of traveling.
- We encourage visitors to “pack it in and pack it out” as future trash pick-up and maintenance may be limited due to staff availability in some areas.
- Visitors should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases when visiting public lands.
National Park Service
National Park Service
The health and safety of visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners are the number one priority of the National Park Service. NPS is working to gradually increase access and our services across all units of the National Park System. The NPS will continue to work alongside state and local officials as these changes are implemented. Park rangers remain on duty protecting the parks, and normal rules and regulations continue to apply.
- Current alerts regarding changes to access in Utah’s national parks can be found here. This information regarding current operations is being updated in real time as we monitor and follow the latest CDC guidance.
- Visit our Utah National Parks page for quick links to general information about each of Utah’s 13 National Parks units.
- Please continue to visit Recreation.Gov for current site-specific information and availability.
- The NPS urges visitors to practice Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy.
- Visitors can be assured that we continue to monitor facilities and services in national parks and maintain high standards related to the health and wellness of staff and visitors. The NPS Office of Public Health along with park and concession staff are working to maintain clean and healthy facilities in parks in accordance with CDC guidance.
Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.
U.S. Forest Service
The Forest Service is making every effort to expand access to recreation sites within the context of CDC guidance and state and local government orders for residents, while prioritizing employee and public health and safety. Please visit the forest web page or call the local office for up-to-date information regarding closures.
We ask that all individuals comply with the guidance in every way possible to protect our employees, their families and community members. Follow the same guidelines for social distancing and personal hygiene while recreating as you do at home and in your communities. Adhere to group size restrictions for the local area and continue frequent hand washing and other sanitary measures.
You also should follow the rules of outdoor recreation and safety as you always have. Check out Know Before You Go information.
- We are witnessing troubling crowding conditions and failure of visitors to stand at least 6 feet apart on a widespread scale at trailheads, in parking lots and at popular visitor destinations. If the area you visit is overcrowded, have a back-up plan of areas to visit or consider visiting another time.
- Safe and responsible use of national forests has never been more important in reducing impacts to local communities who may be at risk from the virus. When visiting your public lands, it is important to be aware of current forest limitations.
- Law enforcement and/or search and rescue operations may be limited due to COVID-19 response. High risk or backcountry activities that may increase your chance of injury or distress should be avoided.
- Visitors should be prepared for limited services (such as unavailable restroom facilities and garbage collection) and need to be prepared to pack out all trash and human waste.
- While you are enjoying your public lands, take care to stay within your limits. Be mindful of the route you take, stay on well-established trails, tell someone your plan for the day and stick to it–and don’t go out alone.