National Parks During the Federal Government Shutdown
This is a great link from the Utah Office of Tourism for more information on opening the Utah National Parks, Monuments, etc. Below is some of the information. Information may change, so please check out the website for updates.
All Utah State Parks will accept National Park Passes for entry. The Utah Division of State Parks has agreed to honor National Parks Passes – Access, Annual, Senior, and Volunteer – for free admission to all of Utah’s 43 state parks during the Federal Government Shutdown. Camping is not included and requires a fee.
Zion National Park: Zion National Park tunnels and South Campground expected to open at NOON FRIDAY. Zions expected to be fully operational by Saturday.
Bryce Canyon National Park: Bryce Canyon National Park is scheduled to re-open Friday October 11th at 3:00 p.m. The main gate of the park will be open as well as viewpoints of the top plateau. Some of the concessions will re-open as needed. The remainder of the park is scheduled to Saturday, October 12th at 8:00 a.m. This includes the Mossy Cave trailhead. There will be some visitor restriction on October 11th. Most hotel properties in the area are operating now in “shoulder season” mode and discounts may be available to visitors, there is a lot of value in National Park visitation right now.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument: The parks trails and roads are open-there are no gates to close. Visitor centers and permit offices will be closed, though law-enforcement officers will be patrolling the park. Visitors in need of assistance should ask park law enforcement for assistance. Visitors are encouraged to request local information at State Park offices and county travel offices. Guides and outfitters with permits will be allowed to continue operations within the park.
Glen Canyon/Lake Powell National Recreation Area: Glen Canyon NRA is expected to open at 1pm Friday, 10/11.
Rainbow Bridge National Monument: presumed open.
Kolob Canyon (Zion National Park): The gate at the bottom of the hill will be closed and locked. Instead of heading east off exit 40 to Kolob Canyon, go west to take in the long wide views of Kolob Canyon from nearby New Harmony. A favorite spot for photographers, the long, distant, sweeping views will not disappoint.
Kolob Reservoir Road: This backway travels through a thick aspen to Kolob Reservoir, through grassy meadows to the red and white backcountry and Zion National Park. The route begins five miles east of Cedar City off SR-14 and ends at SR-9. The road is 45 miles long, is closed in winter, and is not suitable for travel in wet conditions. This is a favorite recommended scenic drive for fall colors.
Cedar Breaks National Monument: Update 10/8: The roadways leading into Cedar Breaks connecting Hwy 14 to Hwy 143, Utah’s Patchwork Parkway, will remain open to thru traffic. The park, visitor center, fee booth and viewpoints will be closed. Visitors are asked not to pull off to the sides of the roads to keep traffic safely flowing. Alternative views: Bear Flat turnoff (just south of Brian Head Ski Resort) offers dramatic views of Sugar Loaf Mountain and Cedar Breaks National Monument. Just outside of Brian Head, take your 4X4 vehicle, an ATV or side by side ride to “High Mountain”. The view from “High Mountain” offers stunning views of red rock amphitheater Cedar Breaks from a vantage point opposite the visitor center. Double Diamond Rentals (will deliver) (435) 200-5258 www.DoubleDiamondRentals.com Utah Rhino Rental Cedar CitDescending Angel’s Landing, Zion National Parky (888) 744-6608 www.UtahRhinoRentals.com
Dinosaur National Monument: no information available at this time.
Hovenweep National Monument: no information available at this time.
Natural Bridges National Monument: presumed open.
Timpanogos Cave National Monument: Timpanogos cave has already closed for the season.
National Recreation Areas & Historic Sites
Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area: No information available at this time.
Golden Spike National Historic Site: From Golden Spike Nat. Historic Site: 10/1/13 ” All visitor facilities including Visitor Center, Park trails, and tour roads – except Golden Spike Drive, a county thru way – are closed. The park will remain closed until the government reopens.”
From U.S. Forest Service: Due to the lapse in government funding, we are in the process of closing our offices. Our campgrounds have already been closed for the season. Visitors can still access national forest trails and scenic drives. Our websites will not be updated.
Bureau of Land Management and Other Federal Sites
From KSL.com 10/2/13: “Inaction in Congress also shuttered 60 Bureau of Land Management recreation sites in Utah, including Little Sahara Recreation Area, and campgrounds in the Moab area, Westwater Canyon on the Colorado River, Desolation Canyon on the Green River, and the San Juan River.”
San Juan River: If already have a permit to raft the San Juan, you are still allowed to do so.
Little Sahara Recreation Area: From Juab County Tourism: 10/3/13 “The Little Sahara Recreation Area gate is open for people to enjoy the sand dunes at their own risk. The visitor center is closed, there are no services being provided, and restrooms are locked with water turned off. The County Sheriff is patrolling the area occasionally.”
Sand Flats Recreation Area: Sand Flats recreation area in Moab is open to visitors.
Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge: The refuge is closed for the duration of the federal government shutdown.
Navajo Tribal Parks
Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department Manager Martin L. Begaye announced today that all Navajo Nation tribal parks are currently open. “We are pleased to announce that all Navajo Nation tribal parks are fully operating and open to the public. We are not affected by the federal shut down like many national parks throughout the country.” Navajo Tribal Parks include: Little Colorado River Navajo Tribal Park, Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Four Corners Monument, Bowl Canyon Recreation Area and Window Rock Navajo Tribal Park.