In order to preserve the unforgettable experience provided to visitors at Corona Arch and Gemini Bridges, BLM is proposing a temporary restriction on “roped activities” in these areas. The recent adrenaline-driven fad of rope swinging, rappelling, slacklining, and highlining is negatively affecting the experience sought by the majority of visitors – families, hikers, sightseers and photographers – to these two very popular destinations near Moab.
Both Corona Arch and Gemini Bridges are impressive and unforgettable geologic formations, each located in a spectacularly scenic setting. According to the BLM, these two geological features are the most popular such features on public lands near Moab. An estimated 40,000 people hike to Corona Arch and 50,000 people hike to Gemini Bridges each year to savor the view and enjoy the quiet reverence of the areas “as they grasp the enormity of the views.” As a recent New York Times article put it, the antics of a few have turned “Moab’s unique collection of ancient stone arches into death-defying swing sets . . . filling a once-solitary canyon with whooping screams and long lines of adventurers.”
In an effort to protect the integrity of the arches and to continue to provide a quality experience to the majority of the visitors, BLM is proposing to restrict roped activities in the Corona Arch and Gemini Bridges areas. There are many other locations on public lands in the Moab area that are available for roped activities, and the proposed temporary restrictions are in keeping with BLM’s current management plan, which directs the agency to enhance hiking opportunities at the Corona Arch and Gemini Bridges areas.