National Park and State Park Closures Related to COVID-19
[Photo Credit: IG @danka.peter]
We’re living through a time in which there seems to be more questions than answers–questions about our health, our safety, and even our recreational activities. For outdoor lovers, quarantine can feel extra quarantine-y. Social distancing sounds like a codeword for camping to us. But in looking for information about the status of national parks and state parks, we found the answers to be scattered and hard to track. Are national parks closed? Are state parks closed? Are the closures nation-wide or are they happening on a case by case basis?
To help you adventure responsibly during the coronavirus pandemic, we put together this comprehensive guide to park closures, updates, and resources. Park statuses that aren’t listed explicitly can be found via one of the links provided below.
Keep your eyes peeled for more blogs from us in the coming days and weeks that will help you scratch your adventure itch responsibly during this strange time.
Are National Parks Closed?
Nationally, not all parks are closed. This can change if the President declares a national Shelter in Place (SIP) order. If you do plan to visit an open national park, the NPS recommends adhering to CDC recommendations of social distancing, hand hygiene, and staying home if you are sick.
To find the status of national parks, recreation areas, trails and historic sites near you, use this handy map. It’ll tell you if you can currently visit the park you have in mind.
What’s About State Parks?
While not all parks are officially closed yet, you should check local resources before heading into the wilderness. Below is a list of popular outdoor recreation areas and whether they’re open or closed. (list updated 03.25.2020)
- National Parks within the state remain open
- State parks remain mostly open with some closures due to weather conditions, not C19
- Yosemite is closed until further notice
- Joshua Tree has closed its visitor centers, campgrounds, and roads to vehicles
- Cabrillo National Monument is closed until further notice
- All state parks have closed campgrounds and vehicle access and some remain open for visitors. Here's a list of all of the closed parks in California.
- Rocky Mountain National Park is closed
- All state parks will remain open but visitor centers will restrict public access.
- Yellowstone National Park is closed
- State parks remain open but have closed visitor centers/camp cabins/yurts
- National Parks within the state remain open in Oregon
- All state parks are closed (not including the shore) until May 8th
- National Parks within the state are closed until further notice in Utah
- Some state campgrounds and visitor centers closed but most state parks are open
- Here's a list of which state parks are open
- National Parks within the state remain open in Washington however there are some road and facility closures for certain parks
- All state parks are closed until May 4th (unless the "Stay Home Stay Healthy" Order is extended)
- Yellowstone National Park is closed
- State parks remain open but visitor centers, campgrounds, and other facilities are closed
As strong as the urge can be to pack up and get away from the current madness, it’s crucial that we all respect the closures in effect at our state and national parks. In order to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic, keep at-risk individuals safe, and restore normalcy as soon as possible, we must act responsibly. If you’re able to venture outside safely and in accordance with the regulations of your area, take an extra breath of fresh air for those of us who are cooped up at home.
If the park you’re interested in isn’t listed, please tell us in the comments. And remember you can find up to date national park closures on the NPS website and up to date state park closures by checking your local park’s website.
Stay healthy and keep on trekking!