Yellowstone National Park South Entrance, Yellowstone visitation

Yellowstone Open on Limited Basis During Government Shutdown

With a government shutdown in effect, Yellowstone National Park is staying open and accessible on a limited basis.

This stands in contrast to the last government shutdown in 2013, when gates were closed and people told to leave the park.

The vast majority of National Park Service staff (over 21,000) have been furloughed until the shutdown ends. Only essential staff (e.g. law enforcement) will be allowed to stay on duty.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts will continue operating facilities like the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and the Mammoth Hotel, which are currently open for the winter season.

Both Yellowstone and Xanterra Parks & Resorts previously released contingency plans for what to do in case of a government shutdown Friday, January 19, 2018. For the most part, those plans have not changed now that a government shutdown has occurred.

According to a Yellowstone press release, government-run facilities (e.g. visitor centers, restroom facilities) have been shuttered. Entrance stations will not be manned, although people will not be barred from entering. The road between the North and Northeast Entrances will remain open.

Regarding snowmobilers, guided commercial trips will be permitted, but non-commercially guided snowmobile trips will not allowed in the park until the government shutdown ends.

According to the Yellowstone press release, interior park roads will remain accessible so long as concessioners provide funds for road grooming. In the event of dangerous conditions, all park roads and developed areas will close.

Yellowstone will provide limited emergency response during the government shutdown.

Outside the park, both Yellowstone’s NPS website and social media have been suspended. The public affairs office will also be closed.

About Sean Reichard

Sean Reichard is the editor of Yellowstone Insider and author of Yellowstone Insider For Families 2017.

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