With the Federal Government shutdown, some of you are asking about what National Parks around Las Vegas are open? Well, I have good news for you, pretty much all of them are. The gates are open at least. But not much more. Call it a National Park Free Day/week.
The Christmas Government Shutdown of 2018. What’s Open?
Grand Canyon National Park
The North Rim closed already for the winter. The South Rim is still open. The state of Arizona will make a $64,000 donation that will keep the Grand Canyon National Park open and essential functions like trash collection, restrooms and ranger services going for a week. If it goes longer, the state is ready to add more money to keep it going.
The visitor center will be closed, but the trails, lodges, and restaurants will be open. Camping and other facilities at the bottom of the canyon at Phantom Ranch will remain open. (See News Link)
National Parks in Utah
The state of Utah has given the National Park Services an $80,000 grant to go toward staffing visitor centers and providing janitorial services to maintain the restrooms.
Zion National Park is open and running the shuttle. Bryce Canyon National Park is open as well with limited services. (See News Link)
No information currently available, So expect the main drive to be open. Expect visitor center to be closed as well as public restrooms. As with the others, don’t look for rangers or ranger-led talks. Visitor Center is probably closed as well. Good news is that Xanterra has said concessions, (hotel and restaurants) will be open.
Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge will be open as scheduled this weekend, the visitor center will close down starting Dec. 26, if the shutdown lasts that long. Visitors will still be allowed to access the refuges but no services will be available.
Parks Closer to Las Vegas
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
People sometimes call it a National Park, but in reality, it is a National Recreation Area governed by the National Park. Details! The gates are open. No entry fee collected. The roads, trails, lookouts and launch ramps will be accessible, but there will be no visitor services including information, trash collection and facilities maintenance such as cleaning.
No one will be asked to leave any of the park’s campgrounds unless safety issues require the action, but the Park Service will not provide any services such as cleaning bathrooms and picking up trash.
As with the others: All park programs have been canceled and Park Service websites and social media are not being monitored or updated and may not reflect current conditions. Emergency and rescue services will be limited. ( See News Link)
Valley of Fire is a State Park, so they are open as usual with full staff and separate entry fee required
Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock is a National Conservation Area /Multi-Governmental jurisdiction.
The Visitor Center would be closed during the shutdown. The Scenic Drive will remain accessible. ( See News Link)
Basically, all the National Parks are open and from what is posted, nobody working the entrance gates. So this would be a free day at the park! Expect to enter the parks free, just don’t plan for any of the usual services to be available except where notes. Visitor centers and Ranger talks canceled. And for most of the parks, the bathrooms will be open, just not clean or stocked. Bring wet wipes, sanitizers and your own water to be safe!!
Hope This Helps!
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