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Alternatives if Parks are Shut Down by Congress

Arlington, Virginia
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Alternatives if Parks are Shut Down by Congress

We are planning on a 12 day trip visiting a number of National Parks arriving in Phoenix on October 6th. We planned to rent a car (not a SUV) and stop at the Petrified Forest, stay in Mexican Hat, then Monument Valley, and then to Capitol Reef where we plan to stay for two nights. Then drive on to Zion and then to Death Valley, etc. If the idiots in Congress decide to shut down the government we can still see Monument Valley and maybe find an alternative in Arizona. It looks like the only thing closed at Capitol Reef besides the visitor Center would be the scenic drive so we could take a couple of hikes where we don't have to go through the gate. Am I correct in thinking this. Also are there other non federal parks in the area which would be worthwhile to visit.since Zion would be closed and we would need an alternative.

Kipling. SK
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1. Re: Alternatives if Parks are Shut Down by Congress

Check out this topic>> tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g143057-i1449-k6853…

Several of the towns surrounding the national parks have several non park rec opportunities which are used to diversify and add value to the tourist industry.One idea is to Seek out the visitor centers or primary outfitters in these towns, and ask their advice as to what is available off of public federal lands. Here is a resource for some possible ideas in Springdale>> http://www.zionpark.com/Activities.html

Salt Lake City, Utah
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2. Re: Alternatives if Parks are Shut Down by Congress

There are certainly other places to see and do. Many of them things easily missed because visitors don't have enough time.

Near Capitol Reef are Little WIld Horse canyon, a nice beginner slot. Also Goblin Valley SP. Just read about a hike up Caineville Mesa.

Many places to stop along hwy 24 in Capitol Reef, some hikes- whether they would be off limits or not is hard to say.

Same thing with Zions. Hwy 9 goes through the park- don't see how they could close that down -and it is certainly worth the drive. There are some hikes on the east mesa.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Best Friends Shelter, Kolob Terrace (north Gate Peaks hike), Grafton, Sand Hollow State park, any of the canyoneering or jeep tours.

Hopefully it won't affect your plans, but nice to now the options.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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3. Re: Alternatives if Parks are Shut Down by Congress

Last year I heard a story from a close friend that went to a state park after it had closed. He was just stopping for dinner on the way home after a vacation at another park. While eating, they were approached by a ranger who told them they needed to leave immediately, even though they were in the middle of dinner. The reason was, because the park was closed for the season, so all of the restrooms were locked and they didn't want to deal with human waste in the campground area from people passing through. If they had been hiking or something they may have received a ticket. I'm not sure how it will work if the national parks close down, but I would assume if you're car is in one of the parking lots, you may receive a visit from an officer trying to "protect" the park. Hopefully it won't be a problem.

Arlington, Virginia
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4. Re: Alternatives if Parks are Shut Down by Congress

Thanks for all the advice. Hopefully there won't be a shutdown, but you never know.

Kipling. SK
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5. Re: Alternatives if Parks are Shut Down by Congress

I can not speak from any type of experience, but at this point I feel that it is speculation what might happen. While it has been stated that the main gates to the parks will be closed, it is hard to say whether the less known access points will be posted as well. Another question that I do not know the answer to is what exactly are they going to do with the vast amounts of BLM public use land. I will speculate that they may put up barriers at all of the major roads leading into BLM controlled lands(ie the Grand Staircase Escalante, and the area in and around Moab)). It is possible that they will eventually post every access trail and feature, or maybe not. If they do not work at restricting access to points on BLM lands, there will be rec opportunities available, far too numerous to list. The website www.scenicbyway12.com lists just a few options in the Bryce and Capitol Reef area.

Best advice is to wait and see, and to tune into the forum in the event that a shutdown occurs. There will be reports on what is or isn't affected. Seeing as you are starting out in Phoenix, take a quick look at the Arizona forum as well to see what is optional in that area as well. Sedona(if you haven't been there)is a good place to spend two or three days.

6. Re: Alternatives if Parks are Shut Down by Congress

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