After just over a month of the partial government shutdown—the longest government shutdown in history—President Trump signed a continuing resolution on Friday that provided necessary funding to the partially-shuttered agencies to resume operations, including the National Parks Service. Employees who can now resume their work at national parks have a lot to come back to. Reports of of illegal camping and fires, overflowing trash, and human waste have plagued the national parks throughout the shutdown, and now returning staff face these damages and other natural issues in an attempt to resume services.
In a statement from the National Park Service’s Deputy Director, P. Daniel Smith, the reopening and resuming of services in the parks “may vary depending on staff size and complexity of operations . . . some parks which have been closed throughout the lapse in appropriations may not reopen immediately, but we will work to open all parks as quickly as possible.”
As of today, there have been more than ten announcements of reopening and resumption timelines for national parks, monuments and preserves across the country, and many more are expected to be released as park employees return to work. As these parks reopen, it is important to allow time for full services to resume, and it’s recommended to avoid visiting the parks until many of the necessary repairs are made and services can resume operation.
We’ve collected the reopening dates for national parks announced so far, and will update this list as more information is available.
Reopening Timeline for National Parks:
White Sands National Monument – January 26
The monument resumed operations on Saturday (1/26), and will be open daily from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. Visitor attractions including the information desk, museum exhibits, park store, and White Sands Trading Company opened along with the monument. More information here.
Valles Caldera National Preserve – January 27
Reopening of the preserve’s main gate and entrance station occurred on Sunday (1/27), and trails in the preserve will open throughout the week as snow is plowed by returning employees. More information here.
Boston National Historical Parks – January 26-28th
Staff returned over the weekend (1/26 and 1/27) to Boston’s National Historical Parks. The Boston National Historical Park, Boston African American National Historic Site, and the Boston Harbor Islands Parks will resume limited operations on January 26 and 27, 2019. It is expected that the parks will be running on their regular winter schedule the week of 1/28. More information here.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial – January 28
“We are happy to welcome our visitors with full winter services,” stated Superintendent Cheryl Schreier. Mount Rushmore has resumed normal operations. More information here.
Blue Ridge Parkway – January 28
The Blue Ridge Parkway has resumed regular winter operations, but road conditions are still being assessed—park officials ask that visitors remain patient as staff catches up with maintenance. More information here. For regular winter-related closures, visitors can check road and trail statuses here.
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area – January 28
Staff have returned and regular operations resume at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area for portions of the park including Paramount Ranch, Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa, Cheeseboro/Palo Comado Canyons, and the Santa Monica Mountains Visitor Center. The areas that have yet to reopen are those that sustained damage from the Woolsey Fire. More information here.
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park – January 28
Chain of Craters Road, most backcountry campsites, Mauna Ulu and other park features are now open at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. The collection of entrance fees has resumed. More information here.
Grand Canyon National Park – January 28
Service resumption will roll out during the week of 1/28, and will open visitor centers, open permit offices, and collect fees at entrance stations. Ranger programs will return throughout the following month. More information here.
Yellowstone National Park – January 28
Furloughed employees will return Monday (1/28), along with services including permit offices, visitor centers and entrance fees. The park asks for patience as employees work to reopen facilities and remove snow from buildings. More information here.
Crater Lake National Park – January 28
Staff will return on Monday (1/28), and Highway 62 (closed during the shutdown due to maintenance requirements) has reopened to visitors. Throughout the month of February, damages sustained by the park will be repaired and more visitor services will resume. More information here.
Mount Rainier National Park – January 28
Employees are set to return Monday (1/28) and park access will resume the week of 1/28, with the reopening of the Nisqually Entrance in Longmire. Park services will resume to winter operations, while two-way access to Paradise from Longmire is expected to take many days of snow clearing. More information here.
Lassen Volcanic National Park – January 28
Operations and visitor access are expected to be restored Monday (1/28), with winter activities available the week of 1/28, including the weekly ranger-led snowshoe walk. Visitors can winter camp at Southwest Campground, however winter road conditions are expected for the remainder of the winter. More information here.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area – January 28
While the area remained as accessible as possible throughout the shutdown, furloughed employees return on Monday (1/28) and full services are expected to resume throughout the month of February. More information here.
Capulin Volcano National Monument – January 28
Due to a staffing shortage as a result of the shutdown, the park will reopen on Monday (1/28) with adjusted hours; the park will be closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays until positions can be filled. While the park is open to visitors, guests are reminded to be vigilant as weeks of snow and ice buildup has resulted in dangerous road conditions. More information here.
Olympic National Park – January 28-Feb 1
Winter operations will resume in Olympic National Park beginning on Monday (1/28), with the return of furloughed employees, although setbacks may occur due to downed trees and other storm damage. Winter operations on Hurricane Ridge Road will resume on Friday (2/1) at the earliest. More information here.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area – January 29
A press conference took place on Tuesday, January 29 at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area to welcome visitors back to the park. More information here.
Joshua Tree National Park – January 29
Joshua Tree National Park, which has been hit hard by waste and damage during the shutdown, has resumed full operations, including commencing tours and interpretive programs. The park shuttle service is set to reopen on Friday (2/1). More information here.
Grand Teton National Park – January 29
Winter operations will resume on January 29, 2019. Specific programs will be slow to come back as maintenance issues, lack of staffing and massive snowfall blocks roadways and buildings. Backcountry reservations will open on February 4. More information here.
Acadia National Park – January 31
Operations and visitor access are expected to be restored this week, including the reopening of restrooms closed due to excess human waste, the resumption of hiring processes for up to 150 seasonal jobs, and returning of maintenance requirements for the winter season. Permitting for visitors looking to winter camp at Blackwoods Campground are available. More information here.
Rocky Mountain National Park – January 31
A majority of park employees and volunteers have returned after the partial government shutdown, and have begun to reinstate maintenance fixes for the damage caused during the shutdown. The park celebrates its 104-year anniversary this week. More information here.
Updated 1/31. We will continue to update as new information becomes available. You can also check the National Park websites for updated information on re-openings.