National Park Visits During A Government Shutdown
A government shutdown is not ideal for anyone. However, we believe that it should not hold us back from campervan adventures. We here at Lost Campers are huge supporters of the National Parks Service. We want to encourage our customers to make sure that their National Park visits are planned with safety & environmental awareness in mind. Also, we want to point out some options for researching an alternative destination for your trip should a government shutdown occur.
Planning a trip
From past experiences, when a shutdown happens the National Park Service website may not be updated until normal operations resume but we encourage you to read up on the travel alerts that are currently posted in regards to the shutdown & road conditions. Even though some parks might be accessible, this could change without notice. It is a good idea to have a backup plan. Check out State Parks as an alternative to visiting a National Park. Here are some useful links for Utah and California to help you research other options.
Safety & Emergency Services
If you feel that you must visit a National Park during a govt. shutdown, remember to journey there with a high level of caution and mindfulness. Self-sufficiency is a must and keep in mind that you are traveling to these areas at your own risk. Staffing and resources are typically limited for more than general park management services. When it comes to emergency situations there might be limited aid available within the parks. Many emergency services are sourced from outside of the parks so response times may take longer. People who are experiencing an emergency should call 911. Backcountry permits are not offered during shutdowns and it is not a good idea to travel into restricted areas of the parks not only for the preservation of the public lands but for safety as well. Be smart and be diligent about planning wisely.
Camping Etiquette & Consideration
Practice the 7 Leave No Trace Principles during your trip.
We here at Lost Campers are huge advocates of respect and preservation of the public lands. Please be aware and mindful during your travels. Remember: You pack it in, you pack it out! Don’t be that a$%&^!e human who ruins nature for everyone else. Every visitor leaves a footprint and this impacts the environment and its inhabitants. Please be self-sufficient & self-aware. Make your Mother proud and clean up after yourself!
Please follow local laws and park rules. Be courteous to all park staff that you may come across. During a shutdown they are there out of sheer dedication & are not being paid for their hard work. You may find opportunities to volunteer in times like these, we encourage people to get involved!
We hope this helps with your planning & brings you some awareness.
From all of us here at Lost Campers, we wish you happy travels!