SALT LAKE CITY– Thousands of Utahns are expected to visit a State Park this Memorial Day weekend.
That means you’ll want to check to see how busy a park is before you head out. Most camping registrations are done up to four months in advance, but State Parks spokesman Devan Chavez says you can look at stateparks.utah.gov the day of and see what you can find with the “camping this weekend” section.
Chavez says people can also look at each individual park’s website to see how busy they are, and then pick a nearby or less busy park instead.
More visitors at Utah State Parks
From 2019 into 2020, Utah parks saw a 33% increase in visitors.
“That’s 2.6 million more people that visited state parks, even during COVID,” said Chavez.
That’s been great for their budget, and the user fees have gone back into improvements and new amenities. But it also means a lot of new recreators.
Chavez says they expect that upward trend to continue into this year, and they want to encourage responsible recreation for all the new and returning visitors.
“That means pack out what you pack in, know the rules and things like that, but it also means being safe,” he said. Like knowing OHV safety, helmet laws and life jacket laws. Many state parks have bodies of water, or hiking paths or riding trails where people could get hurt if they are not being responsible.
Chavez advised checking Utahfireinfo.gov before you head out to make sure you have the latest fire restrictions in the area you’re visiting. It’s exceptionally important this year due to the state’s drought and fire danger.
There are 44 state parks right now, but soon to be 46 after the legislature gave authorization and funding to create two new parks this year.
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