Entertaiment

Geysers yes, Ellis Island no: Some US parks open, some not

Geysers yes, Ellis Island no: Some US parks open, some not

We worked closely and productively through 2016 with dedicated National Park Service employees, an inspiring Director and a fully supportive Department.

As a government shutdown grew increasingly likely this week, the Trump administration scrambled to find a way to keep America's open - albeit without rangers, restrooms and other visitor services. Government-run operations and facilities will be closed as soon as Saturday morning, January 20, while visitors will be able to access the road from Gardiner to the northeast entrance and all the commercial services along the route. That includes the National Park Service and GSMNP.

Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and Yosemite National Park in California were open, but few Park Service staff were available to help visitors.

This stands in contrast to the last government shutdown in 2013, when gates were closed and people told to leave the park. Visitors can access the road from Gardiner to the Northeast Entrance and all the commercial services along that route. Visitors at the park were ordered to leave by 3 p.m. October 3. During the shutdown, the park will not update its social media accounts or website.

The Interior Department had vowed to keep open as many parks, monuments and public lands as possible during the shutdown, which began at midnight Friday.

On the eastern side of Yellowstone National Park, Cody has an array of visitor offerings, including the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, while nearby Thermopolis is home to Hot Springs State Park, soaking pools and the Wyoming Dinosaur Center.

If conditions in the park become unsafe, roads and developed areas will be closed.

In Yellowstone, cross-country skier Carol Weaver was unhappy with lawmakers, even though the trails were open for her and a group of friends making a two-day visit.

Gediman said the medical clinic in the park would remain open, and federal employees who are considered essential for ensuring the health and safety of visitors also would come to work. One of the places impacted is Gettysburg National Military Park.

"We have roughly about 180 permanent employees during this time of year, and we're only going to have about 30 that will remain working during the shutdown - and those are primarily responsible for visitors safe", Soehn said.

"Smokemont and Cades Cove are the only front country campgrounds that are now open, so we will not ask campers that already have campsites secured to leave those sites, but there will not be any services provided during a shutdown, so there will be no trash collection or bathroom facilities", she said.

Some Glacier National Park areas are accessible, however, access may change without notice, and there are no NPS-provided services.

"It's very, very disorganized, maybe because we've been at the brink of the cliff so many times", Cox said. "We will not have the ability to issue permits for future campground use".

In New Mexico, parts of Bandelier National Monument's cliff dwellings and fragile archaeological sites were off-limits to protect them from damage, but the entrance road and some trails were open.