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National parks closed. What to do now?

Travel Forums North America National parks closed. What to do now?

1. Posted by Nick_ (Budding Member, 13 posts) 2 Oct '13 07:47

Nick_ has indicated that this thread is about Utah

You've probably seen it on the news already, but the Government shutdown has caused all the national parks to be shut down. They're unsure on how long it will last and it could be quite drawn out. This doesn't mean anything to me in terms of time.

I'm currently at the end of my trip, where i visit several national parks. Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Canyon Lands.

I'm clueless as to what to do!? I've seen 14 cities already, including Vancouver and Toronto. The national parks were the cherry on the top for me. I already have flights booked to Boston for a concert and leaving on 7th October for Las Vegas which are non-refundable. My return flight is already booked, non changeable and leaves from Chicago on 25th.

Thanks.

2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru, 3491 posts) 2 Oct '13 09:31

Nick,
Contact me when you get to Vegas and I will get you some free shows. Perhaps we will hit one of our famous buffets. Send me a PM a day before you get here and I will send you my phone number. Mike

3. Posted by Nick_ (Budding Member, 13 posts) 4 Oct '13 21:22

I'll PM you the day before then Mike, thanks!

I've decided to rent a car regardless. Although i'm painfully waiting to book hostels, my car, flight to Chicago and so forth, it's the best thing i can do (worst thing i can do for my wallet!)

I'll visit a few national parks, viewing what i can from the drives and do some state parks.

Anyone wanting to give any recommendations on places to go with the car, i'm al ears :)

[ Edit: Edited on 04-Oct-2013, at 21:23 by Nick_ ]

4. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator, 1840 posts) 6 Oct '13 18:54

Well, there are many great state parks--and there are some parks they simply cannot close since the major highways go right through the middle of them (take, for example, Redwood National Park, which has US Hwy 101 (the only major highway in the area) go right through the middle of the park (this is in northern California). Also, Joshua National Park is located just one mile off of Interstate 10 in the southeastern part of California, so just pull off at where the entrance is and hike on in--since there is no way possible to "close" the park--(it is over 50 miles long where I-10 is next to it).

There are also some beach areas in Washington, Arizona, and California that are not national parks or monuments, but are just as beautiful as a national park. Examples of this are just south of Olympia National Park, west of Eugene, Oregon, and the beach areas near Pismo Beach and near Mendocino in California.

5. Posted by Joyful Feet (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 6 Oct '13 21:29

Valley of Fire, an easy drive northeast of Las Vegas, is a state park, and a fantastic place. You can drive around the park and admire the amazing scenery from overlooks, or you can get out and hike some interesting areas. Be sure to ask at the visitor center about seeing the wave.

We too were caught with the closures while on the road, and had to alter plans. If you are going to be in the Moab, utah area, there are several things you can do there outside the national parks--see the Corona Arch, hike to the Morning Glory natural bridge, drive the La Sal Mountain Loop (fantastic scenery), see the back side of Canyonlands from Dead Horse Point State Park, drive to Needles Overlook....

And, Goblin Valley State Park in south central Utah makes for a great day amid some pretty fantastic geology, and without all the restrictions a federal bureau might put on Alsace like this.

This is your opportunity to see places most people drive right on by!!

6. Posted by Nick_ (Budding Member, 13 posts) 7 Oct '13 11:41

Great replies, thanks. I'm formulating a plan while i stay in Vegas. I have a few days planned out so far. The state parks round Utah look amazing, so i don't think i should be disapointed. Hopefully by the time i work my way round(?), then the parks will be open again and i can see the Grand Canyon and Death Valley.

7. Posted by adrock71 (Budding Member, 2 posts) 13 Oct '13 20:49

National parks are huge they cover a lot of area. Imagine going to the grand canyon and having the whole place to yourself. I look at it as a once in a life time opportunity, don't let the government stop you go for it. Be smart pack all your gear and food in and out and check it out. Thats what I'm doing..

8. Posted by Nick_ (Budding Member, 13 posts) 13 Oct '13 21:57

Quoting adrock71

National parks are huge they cover a lot of area. Imagine going to the grand canyon and having the whole place to yourself. I look at it as a once in a life time opportunity, don't let the government stop you go for it. Be smart pack all your gear and food in and out and check it out. Thats what I'm doing..

Yeah, that's a very good point. I had decided to do mainly state parks but try maybe one national park. Though the parks are now open, or at least some are! Some states are funding the opening of them. I went to Zion today, and it was the best thing ever!

9. Posted by Sharons (Budding Member, 2 posts) 18 Oct '13 12:29

The government shutdown is over and all of the National Parks are open now.