SALT LAKE CITY — The last of Utah’s Mighty Five National Parks announced it is closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with no visitors allowed to camp or recreate at Capitol Reef.
The Cathedral Valley Road, Hartnet Road, state Route 24, Notom-Bullfrog Road, and Burr Trail will remain open to pass-through traffic only.
”We have been working closely with Wayne and Garfield County and the state of Utah to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the state’s ‘stay home, stay safe’ order,” park superintendent Sue Fritzke said.
“Continued recreational activities in Capitol Reef National Park made it hard to maintain the thresholds needed to ensure a safe visit, which is why this temporary closure is so important,” she added.
As coronavirus cases mount and spring weather drives people outdoors, more and more recreational hot spots in Utah are closing to help ensure safe, social distancing practices.
Canyonlands, Arches, Bryce and Zion national parks are closed, the boat ramps are shuttered as well at Lake Powell and camping at state parks is limited to residents of the county where the park is located.
Ashley National Forest officials announced the State Line Cove Area at the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area will be closed for two weeks effective Thursday.
“This increased recreational use is posing a challenge for COVID-19 response and the health and safety of not only the public, but Forest Service and local law enforcement personnel,” said District Ranger Curt Booher.
The closure area includes State Line Cove, Linwood Bay dispersed camping area and the Swim Beach day use site located on the west side of Flaming Gorge Reservoir near Lucerne Marina and Manila.
While these areas are temporarily closed, the majority of the Ashley National Forest remains open and offers opportunities for dispersed recreation, the agency said.