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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Government Shutdown Impact on Travelers

    Roadtrippers who will be on the road at the start of October should be aware that it appears the US Government is about to go into shutdown mode, as Congress and the President have not agreed to a budget deal, and it does not appear they will reach an agreement by 11:59 pm tonight, Sept. 30, 2013.

    During a shutdown, all non-essential services will be closed, including National Parks. The parks will be closed to all day-use visitors, and those who are already camping within the parks will have 2 days to pack up and leave. These closures also impact other federal areas, like the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, most Presidential Libraries, and National Historic sites and memorials.

    If you will be traveling in the coming days, I'd be ready to make alternate plans and find other things to do, if you were planning to spend time at National Parks or other such attractions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Your Federal Government is Closed

    Unfortunately, Congress has not yet reached a deal, and that means the Government is Shutdown.

    Effective today, Oct. 1st, All National Parks and similar sites run by the Federal Government, including places like Alcatraz, the Smithsonian Museums, and the Statue of Liberty are closed until further notice.

    It should be noted however, there are still lots of great sites that will not be impacted by this. State Parks are not affected, nor are places on Indian Tribal lands like Monument Valley. There are also plenty of great museums and natural sites that are run by private foundations and organizations.

    The last time this happened, in the mid-90's, it took 3 weeks for a deal to be reached. There is no way to know at this point when things will be resolved, but if you have plans to visit National Parks during the first half of this month, I'd start looking at alternative options, ASAP.

  3. #3

    Default National Heritage Areas and Trails

    Even though the 401 NPS sites, plus those administered by the BLM and USFS are closed many of the affiliated sites associated with the National Heritage Areas and Trails are open. A lot of these are at sites that are administered by local and state governments and non-profits. Many of them participate in the Eastern National Passport stamp program.
    Let's hope for a quick resolution!

  4. Default

    We where flying out to Spokane Thursday and working our way down to Yellowstone. It looks like I may not be able to see it now. So we are just going and playing it by ear. I hope it's resolved in the next couple days. However I am still prepared to do something else.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default A call to action

    Press Release from the National Parks Conservation Association:

    October 1, 2013

    Statement by: Theresa Pierno, Acting President, National Parks Conservation Association

    Government Shutdown Closes National Parks Nationwide
    Hurts Local Economies, Planned Family Vacations & America’s National Heritage

    “The National Parks Conservation Association is deeply disappointed that Congress and the President have failed to reach agreement on a budget deal that consequently has forced the federal government and our 401 national parks to shut down indefinitely. The closure of America’s crown jewels threatens the livelihood of park businesses and gateway communities; the more than 21,000 National Park Service staff we expect to be furloughed; and countless American families and international visitors who rely on national parks being open for business to enjoy our national heritage.

    “The government shutdown has forced the National Park Service to close park entrances, visitor centers, campgrounds, bathrooms, concession stands, and other park facilities. Education programs and special events have been canceled, permits issued for special activities rescinded, hotels and campgrounds emptied and entrances secured. Many national parks have also been forced to close during peak visitation season, including places such as Acadia and the Great Smoky Mountains where people visit to enjoy the fall foliage or Civil War sites that attract school groups. Many people also visit places like the Grand Canyon and Death Valley this time of year to enjoy cooler weather. The loss of more than 750,000 daily visitors from around the world who typically visit national parks in October may cost local communities as much as $30 million each day the national parks are closed.

    “Whether it’s a senseless government shutdown or a damaging set of budget cuts, national parks and the people who enjoy and depend on them continue to suffer from a failed budget process. After hundreds of millions of dollars in budget cuts to the parks the last few years, we have two questions for Washington—when are you going to reopen the parks, and what will you do to repair the damage this budget process has already done? Our national parks should be open, and funding should be restored to provide visitors with safe and inspiring experiences.

    “As we approach the centennial of our national parks in 2016, on behalf of our 800,000 members and supporters, and families and businesses throughout the nation, we call on Congress and the President to swiftly re-open our national parks to visitors, and to agree to a budget that ends these indiscriminate cuts to the National Park Service.”

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    In San Diego County, Cabrillo National Monument IS closed, according to all local news reports. I have mixed emotions about this whole thing, but I do feel badly for the folks who had planned vacations and have to replan sections of them.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    There is some talk in Washington that there might be a bill to fund the National Parks through the shutdown. Since the closed parks and monuments are the most visible aspect of the shutdown, it's a pretty naked PR move and that's why it's getting some resistance, but there is at least some hope for travelers hoping to enjoy the parks in the coming weeks.

  8. Default

    I posted this earlier under another topic and thought it should be repeated here. Highway 120 is a major east-west route across the California Sierras and may remain open (see below).

    Sept 30th Posting on Mono-Logue --

    With the possibility of the first Federal Government shutdown in 17 years, one of the first questions in Lee Vining is, “Will Tioga Pass stay open?” Fortunately, the answer is “yes.” Yosemite National Park staff in Yosemite Valley indicate that Highway 120 through the Park will remain open. Stopping, visiting the park, and all recreation will be prohibited. Only staff related to emergency assistance and law enforcement will remain working within the park boundaries.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The NPS.GOV website is also shut down. In my opinion this is unnecessary, it doesn't cost any more to leave the site "as is" as it does to put up a placeholder page.

  10. Default

    Yes unfortunately National Park "websites" are shut down. One source of information for Yosemite is

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