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An undated photo of the Hite Ranger Station located in San Juan County. The ranger station will remain open but other amenities in the Hite area will close on Friday “until further notice,” the National Park Service announced. (National Park Service)
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HITE, San Juan County — If you’re looking for gas at the northern tip of the Glen Canyon Recreation Area, you will have to travel farther to get it.
Hite mostly serves as a refuel, recreation and camping area today. Located along state Route 95, a 126-mile highway between Hanksville in Wayne County and Blanding in San Juan County, the ghost town offers the only refueling area between those towns, as well as the most northern access to Lake Powell.
But National Park Service officials warn that fuel service and most other visitor services in the area of Hite will be out of service starting this Friday as the agency searches for a new concessioner.
The contract of the current concessioner, listed as Hite Adventure Outpost, expires at the end of Thursday, according to a spokeswoman for the Glen Canyon Recreation Area. Gas, retail, a visitor comfort station and designated camping areas will then remain closed “until further notice,” officials said. Per the Glen Powell Recreation Area website, the concession area also offers recreation rentals.
“We are working on getting a new contract out for bids so we can issue the contract again for business services at Hite,” the agency wrote, in an email to KSL.com Monday.
Until service returns, motorists will have to either fuel up in Hanksville, a little over 50 miles to the west, or Blanding, which is nearly 80 miles to the east.
The Hite ramp is also one of many Lake Powell ramps closed as a result of its record-low water levels. The park service states that the ramp is inoperable for both houseboats and small water vessels because the lake has dried up around the ramp.
Lake Powell is currently listed at 3,523.5 feet elevation, or just below one-fourth full, according to the Bureau of Reclamation. Despite the low levels, the National Park Service reported that over 3.1 million people visited the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area last year.
There is some good news for people recreating at Lake Powell or the national parks in and around southeast Utah. The Hite Ranger Station will remain open throughout the service closure, providing public restrooms, a fresh drinking water spigot, and an RV sewer dump station service in the area.