Gateway Arch National Park
Gateway National Arch plans to increase recreational access on July 8, 2020. Credit: NPS

ST. LOUIS — Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Gateway Arch National Park is increasing recreational access to the Tram Ride to the Top and documentary movie experiences. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service-wide with federal, state and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning Wednesday, July 8 at 9 a.m., Gateway Arch National Park will reopen access to:  

  • Tram Ride to the Top
  • Documentary movie
  • Outdoor National Park Service programming

Outdoor spaces at Gateway Arch National Park remain accessible to the public in accordance with the latest federal, state and local health guidance. In addition, the following spaces that reopened in Phase I continue to be available:    

  • Arch Visitor Center
  • Museum at the Gateway Arch
  • The Arch Store
  • The Arch Cafe 

With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:

  • Old Courthouse

“The Tram Ride to the Top is one of the most unique experiences in the world,” said Pam Sanfilippo, chief, museum services and interpretation, Gateway Arch National Park. “We are keeping the health and safety of our visitors and employees our highest priority as we reopen visitor access to it and the documentary movie safely and responsibly. With those precautions in mind, we look forward to welcoming the public back to experience all Gateway Arch National Park has to offer.

“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Gateway Arch National Park, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance, and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.”   

While certain areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.   

Tram, documentary movie and outdoor programming modifications

In addition to previously-announced health and safety protocols that have been implemented throughout the Arch facility (which are outlined at nps.gov/jeff) Gateway Arch National Park has made the following modifications to the Tram Ride to the Top, documentary movie and outdoor programming. These modifications are subject to updates in later phases.

Tram Ride to the Top

• Bi-State Development, which operates the tram, requires face coverings for tram riders ages 9 and up. 

  • Disposable face coverings can be purchased for $1 at The Arch Store.
  • Guests with preexisting health conditions unable to wear a mask/face covering for medical reasons are exempt.
  • Significantly reduced capacity throughout tram ride experience.
  • Floor markers and signage to encourage social distancing.
  • Tram cars and observation deck windows assigned by family/group. 
    • Solo visitors will be assigned their own tram car and windows.
  • In order to maintain directional flow and ensure one way in/one way out of the observation deck, one tram will transport visitors to the top, while the other tram will transport visitors to the ground level.
  • Time limit in Arch observation deck (no more than 10 minutes).
  • Plastic coverings below observation deck windows.
  • Plexiglas barriers between grouped observation windows.
  • Periodic disinfecting and sanitization of tram car surfaces, seats and handrails as well as surfaces and windows in the observation desk.

Documentary movie

  • Significantly reduced capacity in the theater.
  • Rows closed to ensure social distancing.
  • Reminders to follow health and safety guidelines.
  • Increased disinfecting and sanitizing of surfaces and handrails.

Outdoor programming

  • Free, 30-minute ranger-led walking tours offered daily at 10:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m., starting at the Arch west entrance plaza (weather permitting).
    • Tour reservations are strongly encouraged by calling 877-982-1410.
    • Park rangers will use a portable audio system to allow social distancing.
  • Information on other programs, including ranger-led riverboat cruises and park grounds runs, can be found online at nps.gov/jeff.

Tickets

Free timed ticket reservations are required to enter the Arch facility. Ticketing for Arch entry is a temporary measure until the park becomes fully operational. Reservations should be made at gatewayarch.com or by calling 877-982-1410. 

Tickets for the Tram Ride to the Top and Documentary Movie are also required and can be purchased online or by phone beginning Monday, July 6 at noon.

For individuals needing assistance with making reservations, contact the call center at 877-982-1410 or staff members will be able to assist in the west entrance plaza in front of the Arch Visitor Center during facility hours of operation.

Please note: Tickets are subject to availability, based on reduced facility capacity. It is strongly recommended to reserve your tickets in advance online or by phone to secure entry to the Arch.

Visitor reminders

Visitors to the Arch must enter the monument at the new glass west entrance, which faces the Old Courthouse. The Arch legs are exits only, providing great opportunities for photo ops with the Arch structure and direct access to the park grounds.

The Arch Visitor Center and Museum at the Gateway Arch are free to visit.

Gateway Arch National Park does not have designated on-site visitor parking. A list of parking locations near the park can be found at getaroundstl.com. Metered street parking is also available around the park.

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