Travelers take note: the government shutdown may seriously impact your vacation plans. These are the major national park sites that will be open and closed during the shutdown.
The Grand Canyon will be open. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey pledged to keep the state’s largest attraction running using state dollars.
“The Grand Canyon will not close on our watch. Period. If Washington, D.C., won’t function, Arizona will,” Ducey said in a statement.
In New York City, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island will reopen to tourists Monday despite after having been closed this weekend, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday. He similarly vowed to use state funds to operate the major urban attractions.
In Philadelphia, however, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall will remain closed.
The National Parks Conservation Association estimated that approximately a third of the country’s 417 national park sites were completely closed, others — including Yellowstone and Joshua Tree, remained at least partially accessible.
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The partially open sites are mostly unstaffed, meaning visitors centers, park rangers and other facilities — including bathrooms — will be unavailable to those who choose to enter. Services like road maintenance and trash collection will also be left undone, according to the National Parks Service website.
This may create an unsafe environment at more dangerous natural sites. “Gates would be open and people could enter, but there would be virtually no staff on hand to protect them or the parks’ resources. It’s an irresponsible way to run parks,” Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for National Parks Conservation Association, said in a statement.
She added, “There is no substitute for National Park Service staff and their expertise, and it is not wise to put the public or our park resources at risk by allowing for half-measures to keep them open.”
Sites that include historic buildings or structures that require special access or guides are more likely to be closed.
The NPS website is directing potential park visitors to the DOI site for more information about closures.
State parks and trails already remain open regardless of the shutdown.