Tuweep Day-use Reservation System Q&A

Coming July 2022 to recreation.gov.

What is the pilot Tuweep day-use reservation system?

The pilot reservation system is an online one-stop shop reservation tool, housed on Recreation.gov, to
plan your next trip, figure out the location specific details, and reserve an advance $2 day-use ticket for
the Tuweep area.

 

Why is the park implementing the reservation system?

Based on previous public comment processes and the Grand Canyon National 1995 Park General
Management Plan, park leadership has determined that the reservation system is the best way to
maintain the Tuweep area as an uncrowded, rustic, and remote environment that is dominated by
nature and solitude. Housing the reservation system on Recreation.gov will enable visitors to easily
secure their entry reservation on line and plan a safe visit to this remote location by reading the
preparation material.

 

What are the benefits?

Issuing designated day-use vehicle tickets will help to reduce vehicle congestion, alleviate long waits,
and protect sensitive natural and cultural resources at Tuweep. In addition to improving the overall
visitor experience, the reservation system will enable visitors to plan a safe trip and integrate their
guaranteed Tuweep reservation into a more comprehensive itinerary. Booking online is quick, easy, and
convenient.

Why is the park charging an extra ticket fee?

When a visitor makes a reservation on Recreation.gov, they secure a recreational opportunity through
the reservation platform at an expense to the government. To recuperate these costs, a reservation or
service fee is applied.

 

What impacts does increased visitation have on Tuweep?

On busy, high visitation days, especially Friday-Monday, up to 50+ vehicles often travel into Tuweep
around the same time of day, causing road congestion, long waits to access the Toroweap overlook,
overcrowding in popular locations, impacts to property, and excessive noise. As a result, the overall
visitor experience has deteriorated and sensitive natural and cultural resources have been damaged.

 

Why can’t the park increase the number of vehicles allowed to enter Tuweep?

To ensure an uncrowded, rustic, and remote experience, park regulations authorize a maximum of 30
vehicles in the Tuweep area at a time, including 12 vehicles in the overlook parking lot. The park’s 1995
General Management Plan provides the option to construct a new, 25-space parking lot adjacent to the
existing road, between the campground and the established parking lot. The proposed parking would
require closing the road between the campground and overlook, requiring visitors to walk 1.6 miles to
view the overlook. To maintain accessibility for all visitors, this proposal is not being implemented.

 

How does this apply to commercial vehicles/companies?

Tuweep Tour commercial use authorization (CUA) holders will be required to make a day-use
reservation. Previously, each approved commercial use authorization holder was allotted up to 2 vehicle
entries per day. The pilot reservation system will authorize a total of2 vehicles per day for all Tuweep
Tour CUA holders. Commercial trip reporting indicates that this use limit currently is not being
exceeded. The reservation system will provide commercial users with two dedicated day-use
reservations, 10% of total vehicle allocations, while benefitting local communities as visitors plan extra
days in the area to accommodate their reservations.

 

What happens if there are extra commercial vehicle tickets still available? Will the allotment of those
tickets be made available for private vehicles?

The park has the capability to release those tickets through Recreation.gov. The visitor-use patterns
during this pilot period will be used to guide park leadership with visitor use management decisions to
enhance the overall visitor experience.

 

Is the reservation system year-round, or only during high visitation times?

The proposed reservation system will be a three-year pilot, and it will operate year-round.

 

What do you expect to learn from the pilot program and how will that data be used to make
decisions?

Data on visitor use patterns for the Tuweep area will be used to refine high visitation and commercial
transportation patterns, enhance the overall visitor experience, and improve public information
resources.

 

Do you have any tips for securing a reservation?

Plan ahead and check the Recreation.gov location page to determine the on-sale date and time. Most
inventory goes on sale at 7 a.m. Pacific Time/10 a.m. Eastern Time. For private vehicles, up to 6 tickets
will be available for purchase 120 days in advance of the reservation date. Visitors will have a second
opportunity to secure a ticket when the remaining 12 tickets become available, two days prior to the
reservation date. Accurate weather forecasts are more likely during this second window. If you have
flexibility in your schedule, try mid-week. Tuweep’s peak visitation seasons are spring and fall.
Commercial use authorization holders can purchase tickets for commercial vehicles up to 120 days prior
to the reservation date.

 

What are options if visitors are unable to secure a reservation?

Southern Utah and the Arizona Strip offer a wealth of outdoor experiences. Visitors who have a tighter
time line or limited number of days to visit can find alternative, nearby, recreational opportunities on
Recreation.gov. Visitors with more flexibility in their trip itinerary could plan a “circle tour” of multiple
parks or public land areas in the area and attempt to book an alternate Tuweep reservation during the
middle of the week. Visitors can also reserve a trip to Tuweep with one of the commercial companies to
fit their itinerary.

 

How will the reservation system impact local users?

By helping to maintain the Tuweep area as an uncrowded, rustic, and remote environment dominated
by nature and solitude, the reservation system will ensure that regional visitors continue to be able to
experience the Tuweep area as they value it. Although some flexibility in reservation dates may be
required, the designated vehicle entries are designed to accommodate local demand.

How will the reservation system impact local communities?

The reservation system will benefit local communities by bringing a variety of visitors to the Tuweep
area. Non-local visitors are likely to build a more comprehensive trip itinerary around their Tuweep
reservation, supporting the regional area.

 

Why are groups limited to4 vehicles?

Because park regulations authorize a maximum of 30 vehicles in the Tuweep area at a time, limiting
groups to four vehicles is necessary to ensure that entry reservations are equitably allocated.

 

What are the conditions like at Tuweep?

The Tuweep area is reached by one of three challenging and unmaintained single-lane dirt roads, which
can take approximately three hours each way to navigate. The roads require visitors to travel in high
clearance vehicles with license plates, insurance, reduced tire pressure, adequate fuel, and repair items
like tire plugs and a bike pump. Seasonal weather conditions of summer monsoons and winter snow can
make the roads hazardous and potentially impassable, which is why driving in muddy conditions is
prohibited. After departing developed highways to the dirt roads, there’s no cellular or Wi-Fi service
available, so towing or mechanical services may not be available. At Tuweep, there’s no water, gas,
food, or lodging, and all trash must be packed out.
The Tuweep Campground consists of backcountry campsites available for reservation only by applying
for a backcountry permit in advance. The backcountry permit provides certainty in securing a campsite
prior to arriving to the remote area. Amenities at the Tuweep Campground include picnic tables and
composting toilets. Water, electricity, showers, and trash cans are not available, and wood and charcoal
fires are not authorized.

 

Why did we wait for 27 years to implement this system?

The park’s 1995 General Management Plan set a carrying capacity to maintain the character of Tuweep.
Public comments and participation helped to develop the plan and envision the future of Grand Canyon
National Park. As part of that plan, the NPS outlined a potential entry reservation system for Tuweep to
implement to maintain the character if, and when, it became needed. It took many years for the
visitation to increase to the level that requires management. The Recreation.gov platform provides a
compatible web-based reservation solution for the remoteness of Tuweep and is inexpensive and user friendly for
visitors.

 

Why does Tuweep limit vehicle noise?

Park regulations establish a noise threshold of 60 DBA (A-weighted decibels) at SO feet, which is the
equivalent of a normal conversation. Informal sound measurements taken over the course of spring-fall
2021, revealed that some passenger vehicles and most off highway vehicles (OHVs) exceeded this limit,
decreasing the overall visitor experience and impacting wildlife.

 

What does my entrance fee go towards?

Out of more than 400 national parks, just over 100 charge an entrance fee. The Federal Lands
Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) allows the N PS to collect and retain revenue and requires that fee
revenue be used to enhance the visitor experience. At least BO percent of the money stays in the park
where it is collected, and the other 20 percent is used to benefit parks that do not collect fees. More
information and FAQs are available on N PS.gov.

 

I pay taxes, why do I have to pay to get into a national park?

The day-use ticket fee of $2 secures visitors a recreational opportunity on Recreation.gov, and that is a
service fee to maintain the reservation platform. Park entrance fees have become an important source
of revenue used to protect natural resources and improve the visitor experience, including recreational
opportunities, in national parks. All the money from entrance fees remains in the National Park Service,
and at least 80 percent stays in the park where it was collected.