UPDATE: National Parks are OPEN
After a 16-day government shutdown, the Congressional budget stalemate has been solved, and Yellowstone National Park has reopened. Both the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center and the temporary Visitor Center in Mammoth Hot Springs opened today. The Mammoth Hot Springs and Lewis Lake Campgrounds have also reopened.
All entrances are open, as are all roads into the park except for the section linking Tower Junction and Canyon over Dunraven Pass. Start planning your Yellowstone vacation now!
Government Shutdown Closes Yellowstone National Park
Will Yellowstone close?
Update: October 1, 2013
Yes, Yellowstone National Park, and all other National Parks have been closed indefinitely in the wake of the federal government shutdown.
The government shutdown - as the House and Senate battle over budgetary issues - will have a wide reaching impact on the U.S.'s national parks.
Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park (which was just reopened after being battered by the Colorado flood), and so many more, are all closed, indefinitely.
What happens now that Yellowstone has shut down?
This means day hikers will be ushered out of the parks, roads will be closed, visitor centers shuttered, and campgrounds off limits.
This is obviously terrible news for park lovers and those with vacations planned, but historical precedence shows that these kind of shutdowns are temporary (5 days in 1995 and 22 days in 1996), and thankfully the wildlife and natural beauty of these parks is highly self sufficient.
Visitors with immediate travel plans for Yellowstone National Park region can call (307) 344-7381 for more information regarding reservations in the park. Travel in the Yellowstone region outside of the park will not be affected. Learn more about the amazing areas surrounding the park and what they offer on our Featured Regions page.
What Can You Do?
The National Parks Conservation Association has put together a form at the link above where you can send a note directly to your senators and representatives. Tell them why you love the parks and want them to reopen!
How many national parks are closed?
All 401 national parks are closed due to the government shutdown. This means your favorite parks, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, Zion and others are all closed.
What happens to park staff when the government shuts down?
Over 21,000 people employed by the National Park Service have been furloughed, including essential park staff.
What do I do if I already have a national park vacation planned?
The best thing to do if you already have a national park vacation planned is to contact your hotel or lodge directly regarding your reservation. Reservation lines will remain open. Vacations to the regions surrounding the national parks are still encouraged.
What else is there to do in the Yellowstone region?
The Yellowstone region is rich with history, culture, and beautiful scenery. From Montana's rolling hills and breathtaking trails, to South Dakota's Wild West history, Utah's natural beauty,Wyoming's adventure, and Idaho's wide-open vistas, the possibilites are endless.
The following pages contain helpful information and trip planning ideas for the areas surrounding Yellowstone:
We will continue to update this page with the latest from Washington.
What are your thoughts on the government shutdown resulting in the closure of all 401 national parks?