ST. GEORGE — National Park Week will begin Saturday, and all visitors to national parks that day will be admitted free of charge. The festivities will continue through April 25, with daily themes honoring volunteers and military service members in addition to days focused on park history and conservation.
Individuals and families can participate in the events in-person or virtually, with activities and information available through the National Park Service website. The events and activities extend beyond national parks, including memorials, national monuments and other historical landmarks overseen by the federal government. Each daily theme is detailed at the end of the St. George News article.
Parks in Southern Utah, including Zion and Bryce Canyon, will be participating in the national celebration. Situated in the desert landscapes of the Southwest, both Zion and Bryce Canyon boast world-famous vistas that attract millions of visitors each year. In 2020, Zion was the third most visited national park, hosting 3.6 million travelers last year.
There is still a federal mask mandate in effect. ... We're definitely still not at what we call normal operations but somewhere between that and where we were last year.
–Peter Densmore, Bryce Canyon National Park
For Peter Densmore, visual information specialist at Bryce Canyon National Park, the anticipated increase in visitation for National Park Week – and in general, as temperatures continue to warm up – means keeping visitors safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"There is still a federal mask mandate in effect," Densmore said. "This includes places like our visitor center, outdoor plaza and the park shuttle. We're definitely still not at what we call normal operations but somewhere between that and where we were last year."