Can You Fly A Drone In Utah State Parks? Get The Facts

can you fly a drone in utah state parks

Utah is in the western region of the United States, with Salt Lake City as its capital. This state has the best ski slopes in the United States. Utah has spectacular landscapes thanks to its vast and stunning mountainous extensions. It is home to one of the most impressive natural park systems in the United States. It is because of its majesty that Utah is the ideal place for drone flying. However, due to locations prohibiting or limiting access to this type of electronic equipment, is it a real possibility to fly a drone in Utah State Parks?

Yes, it is possible to fly in some Utah State Parks as long as you accomplish the established regulations. Each park is different; they have its rules about when and where you can fly. You also must pay the fee set by each park and have current registrations and permits authorizing drone flight.

It is vital that before attempting to fly a drone in Utah, you research the national and state laws in place. There are rules and regulations regarding drone operations that have reached all 50 states of the United States. During this article, we will give you a lot of exciting information about drone flying in Utah State Parks.

Why Is Utah Such An Attractive State For Drone Flying?

Let’s start by understanding why Utah is such an attractive state for drone use. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Utah has many state parks, where if we follow the regulations, we can fly our drones.
  • The aerial views, videos, and photographs are unique.
  • Utah is a fantastic place to develop and test unmanned aerial systems, in other words, drones. Soon, these devices will be helpful for many more activities, from delivering packages of all kinds to monitoring and fighting wildfires. In addition, scientists are developing autonomous drones that fly thanks to artificial intelligence software.
  • Utah’s vast landscapes allow drone developers to test new prototypes more reliably and safely.
  • The U.S. military also uses Utah as an excellent testing ground for drone technology.
  • Utah has very spacious areas ideal for exploration and almost limitless flight on the recreational and cinematographic side.

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Is The Regulation The Same If I Fly A Drone For Commercial Purposes As For Recreational Purposes?

We can say that there is one factor that has been crucial for drones not to have a massive use today: the extensive regulations that govern their use. For example, in the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has different rules that do not make it easy for the drone market to grow.

One of the most complicated restrictions to comply with is the so-called “line-of-sight rule.” This rule forces drone operators to keep the equipment in flight, always in sight. Under this rule, it is complicated to think about drones in the goods delivery market.

There is also the fact that the FAA has different rules for the commercial and recreational use of drones. Usually, the laws for recreational use are a bit more flexible than the commercial ones, but the “line of sight rule” is mandatory in both types of laws.

The (FAA) makes updates to its rules from time to time. For this reason, it is critical to regularly review their bulletins before flying in the state of Utah as a recreational or commercial pilot.

Is It Possible To Fly A Drone In Utah State Parks?

As we established at the beginning of this article, it is possible to fly drones in some state parks in Utah, but we must comply with the strict rules that each one has. Utah is a state where state parks abound. They are true miracles of nature, so the institutions responsible for their preservation are very strict.

Due to the many state parks, each has its autonomy when establishing the rules for flying drones. Below we will see some of the general statutes; however, to know the specific regulations of each park, you should consult with the agency in charge.

  • State parks that allow drone flights establish a specific time of the year to do this activity. Depending on the park, you may find that drone flying is only allowed from December to February or from September to February. The rest of the year, you cannot fly drones in these parks.
  • All parks set their flight fee that you must pay to use the drone.
  • Before you can fly to any state park, you must apply for a special permit through each park. You can apply online or directly at the park offices.
  • It is possible that in the busiest areas of the park, drone flight may not be allowed. Therefore, you should consult with the park office before flying.
  • The park staff has full authority to ensure that the drone operator is complying with the rules. This officer may ask you at any time for permits, drone registration documents, and any other support that confirms that you are the owner of the equipment.

Where Can I Fly A Drone In Utah?

If you have researched all the law requirements and the parks, you are ready to take flight. Below you will find some of the parks that can offer you incredible scenery through the eyes of your drone.

Antelope Island State Park

Antelope Island State Park

Antelope Island State Park is a unique and appealing place for drone pilots. In this park there are several animals, such as bison and bighorn sheep. Antelope Island is in Syracuse. Drone operators will have a tough time picking the most beautiful landscape.

Kessler Peak

It is 10,403 feet from Big Cottonwood Canyon. Getting to the peak requires a 5.5-mile hike, but it’s worth it. Experts recommend taking the north route, as it is the easiest. The panoramic views from the summit of Kessler Peak are extraordinary. From there, the drone will be able to capture iconic images of Utah’s natural monuments.

Wahweap Hoodoos

Visiting this park will never be a disappointment. The Wahweap Hoodoos are an atypical series of sunburned pinnacles of balanced rocks. Taking photos and videos of the Wahweap Hoodoos is a must that every drone operator should reach for at some point.

Little Mountain Summit

Little Mountain Summit is a place one could not miss. It is located east of Salt Lake City in Emigration Canyon. Here you can see the blue waters of the green mountains. It is impossible to avoid this place if you are a professional photographer or just a recreational drone flyer.

Liberty Park

The mythical Liberty Park is 80 acres in size; it has a perfect setting from the first moment you look at it. Liberty Park has beautiful flowers, large spaces with green grass, lush trees. It is ideal for flying drones, walking with the family, having picnics, playing sports, and much more.

Is It Necessary To Have A License To Fly A Drone In Utah?

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Drone use in Utah is under the jurisdiction of the Park City Police Department and the Summit County Sheriff. Drones are allowed in the city, county, and surrounding areas.

But you should take into consideration that there are private places where drone flying is not allowed. Such as Park City Mountain, Deer Valley Resort, and Utah Olympic Park. In addition to other locations or state parks that have specific restrictions.

In Utah, you do not have to get a license to operate a drone. However, it is mandatory to have the FAA’s documentation to use a drone. Most importantly, you should know:

  • The recommendation is to register your drone with the FAA before your first flight.
  • You must mark the outside of the drone with the registration number and carry the registration certificate with you every time you make a flight. This type of registration is for recreational purposes only.
  • The drone flight must be less than 400 feet above the place where this type of flight is allowed.
  • Although the flight identification card is not a flight license, you must obtain it through the FAA. This card contains your FAA Certificate of Registration information and your photograph.

A Final Thought On Flying Drones In Utah State Parks

Drones have a myriad of applications in our lives. One of the most exciting is perhaps wildlife monitoring. For this reason, flying drones in Utah’s state parks is an activity that is gaining more and more followers every day.

The legislature of each park demands the exact fulfillment of each one of the requirements to achieve this coveted activity. Perhaps it is a fair price to be able to contemplate the beauty that the breathtaking natural landscapes of Utah’s state parks offer us.

By Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.