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Despite Shutdown, Utah's National Parks Remain Open

Erik Neumann / KUER
Hoodoo rock formations in Bryce Canyon National Park.

On this first Monday after the government shutdown was announced, Utah’s national parks and monuments remain open, but visitors will get slightly more of a wilderness experience than normal. 

Over the weekend the Utah Office of Tourism updated their website to explain what travelers can expect if they’re planning to visit national parks like Canyonlands or monuments like Cedar Breaks during the federal shutdown.

In most cases, the gates will be open but ‘non-essential’ services like visitor centers will be closed, new permits won’t be issued and there will be limited rangers working. But officials hope people will still visit.

"Broadly speaking, what we expect is that much of the access to our national parks will remain open," says Vicki Varela, the Director of the Utah Office of Tourism.

The decision to keep national parks and monuments open came from the Department of the Interior on Friday. It’s an effort to prevent disruption to tourists but limit government staffing as the shutdown dictates. 

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