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Government shutdown question

Tampa,Fl
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Government shutdown question

I'm reading about the looming government shutdown and that all national parks will be closed if the shutdown goes into affect. My question specifically is I have my first vacation to yellowstone planned for 2 weeks in May. Does that mean no entry to the park will be permitted or that only no services such as restrooms,park rangers and visitor stations will be provided? Do the west and north entrances have gates that can be locked to keep visitors out of the park? Assuming the shutdown happens friday and there is no entry to the park permitted, how long would you wait before cancelling plans and going someplace else? Any information or opinions would be much appreciated. I'm scheduled to fly into jackson hole May 4th with the intention of spending full 2 weeks in yellowstone and grand tetons. Obviously if I can't enter either park I will need to start scrambling soon to find a different vacation spot and eat the plane tickets change fees. Thank you.

Moose, Wyoming
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for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
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1. Re: Government shutdown question

My understanding is that all gates will close and visitors will be asked to leave. One park road between Gardiner and Cooke City would remain open to through traffic, but travelers would not be allowed to stop except for an emergency.

greenfieldreporter.com/view/…

Route 89 between Jackson and Moran Junction would stay open, but the Teton Park Road and other roads inside GTNP would close.

Edited: 07 April 2011, 04:03
Ohio, USA
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for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
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2. Re: Government shutdown question

The government shutdown is impossible to predict. At present, it seems like there will be a shutdown and as a result the parks will be closed, meaning no access to the park at all (gates locked, etc.). Hopefully if there is a shutdown it will be short, so that your trip in early May will not be impacted. All you can really do is watch the news and see what progress is being made on the budget issues.

As far as having an alternate plan, I would start looking now for a backup destination and perhaps check into lodging and other travel reservations, as long as there are no cancelation penalties, then wait as long as possible before pulling the plug on your Yellowstone/GT trip.

Sorry that this is not a more definitive answer, but there is just too much uncertainly with the government budget/shutdown at present.

Nashville
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3. Re: Government shutdown question

If it happens, I doubt it will last into May. Unfortunately, I think they will try to shut down the areas that will cause the greatest public outcry. That will cause many complaints to congress and force one or both sides into backing down.

I hope this will be settled long before your trip. It will be the trip of a lifetime. There is plenty of waste in govt. that could be trimmed before things like parks and historic areas, but the high profile areas will be shut down first.

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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4. Re: Government shutdown question

Well, there is still a lot to see and do in that area of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho as well as down into the Northern part of Utah!

My understanding here and on other forums is that the North entrance would not be closed as that is a main highway leading to Cooke City so you could work the Northern park of the park. There are gates near the Upper Terrace at Mammoth that can be closed off and are indeed closed in the winter, but you would be able to go across the N. part of the loop road and out into Lamar valley.

There are gates at the West entrance IIRC.

I am not sure how *gated* GTNP is.

Pam

(editing to add...we were all posting at the same time!!)

Edited: 07 April 2011, 04:09
Christchurch
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5. Re: Government shutdown question

Hi All

I know asking this question is probably like asking how long is a piece of string and I have asked it a while back on this forum - but now its only days away from possibility - if the goverment does shut down the parks would it last until July??? I have read the forums - there is a lot of discussion on the California one re Yosemite and see historically the shutdown in the 1990's went for about 3 weeks. I have also read alot about this in the international media. So I get the feeling that there is still along way to go before the two parties agree. I know July is a long time away and they should have sorted things out - But after having survived two major earthquakes in less than six months in an area that was not meant to be at high risk (even in a country of active tectonic plates) I have learnt never to say never.

Our family is really looking forward to our trip in July and would be hugely disappointed if we did not get to do our planned park visiting esp Yellowstone - do I need to put together a PLAN B???

cheers

Kiwi

Tampa,Fl
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6. Re: Government shutdown question

Thanks for everyones quick responses. I appreciate it. My main question as to whether we would still be able to enjoy the park was answered. I will just keep following the reports and hope for the best. My wife and myself have spent alot of time researching this trip and are really looking forward to it so we will wait till the last possible moment before pulling the plug and going to plan b or c. Don't think I could fully enjoy going through with trip if we could not see yellowstone and tetons. Hopefully government will get it together soon!

Ohio, USA
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for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
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7. Re: Government shutdown question

I certainly hope that the shutdown is short, assuming it happens. The last time the government shutdown was in 1995-1996 when thee Federal government "put non-essential government workers on furlough and suspended non-essential services from November 14 through November 19, 1995 and from December 16, 1995 to January 6, 1996" (from wikipedia). So the shutdown was about 27 days total. I have no idea how long this one could be, but I hope it is short, as I also have a trip in early May that includes visits to a couple National Monuments.

Bay Village, Ohio
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8. Re: Government shutdown question

I hope the shutdown, if it occurs, is short. Our son works for YNP and my sister-in-law is assistant superintendent of GTNP. She is in Italy now, but I will call her and ask her what she has heard when she returns home this Sunday.

Englewood, Fl.
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9. Re: Government shutdown question

Since my annual visit to YNP is coming up in May, I querried the NPS on this matter... "just in case." I spend the bulk of my time in Lamar Valley, so my question was , in the event of a shutdown, whether or not visitors would be allowed to access the northern range between Gardiner and Cooke City. The official response that I received stated that in the event of a government shutdown, the park will be closed "TO ALL RECREATIONAL VISITORS."

The park gates will be manned by non-NPS officers, and although the road from Gardiner across the park to Cooke City must be kept open, only Cooke City residents, emergency, and other essential traffic will be permitted to cross the park.

Let's all just hope that if this has to go down this weekend, that it all gets resolved very quickly.

Bend, Oregon
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10. Re: Government shutdown question

Was part of the government shudown the end of 1995 to January 1996, it was a disaster. We were off for 26 days and was totally unnecessary. My hope for this go round is they get it settled and does not affect good and hard working employees.

Edited: 07 April 2011, 19:08