Wyoming National Parks During Shutdown
The federal government shutdown, as it has in the past, will affect the national parks and other sites in Wyoming. Here is a list of parks and monuments and what will change during the shutdown.
Operations at Yellowstone during the government shutdown
In response to the lapse in federal appropriations, Yellowstone National Park is implementing its plan for a government shutdown:
- Yellowstone will remain open, however, all government-run operations and facilities are closed. Entrance stations will not be staffed.
- The road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, through Mammoth Hot Springs to the Northeast Entrance at Cooke City, Montana, is open to wheeled vehicle travel. Visitors can access all the commercial services along this route (including commercial services in Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower).
- Visitors can also access commercial services in the interior of the park via oversnow travel (e.g. at Old Faithful). Concessioners are currently providing funding for road grooming so that oversnow access to the interior is possible.
- Guided snowmobile and snowcoach trips with commercial operators will be allowed. Non-commercially guided snowmobile trips will also be allowed.
- If conditions become unsafe at any time, roads and/or developed areas in the park may be closed.
- Park staff will provide emergency services and law enforcement. All park regulations, including those regarding oversnow travel, are in effect as normal.
- The park website and social media sites will not be maintained.
- All administrative offices, including the public affairs office, will be closed until the government reopens.
Old Faithful Snow Lodge, operated by Yellowstone National Park Lodges, remains open. In-park restaurants and gift shops remain open as regularly scheduled. Tours and activities may be modified based on road and weather conditions.
This information will be posted on the park's website momentarily - CLICK HERE.
- Grand Teton National Park: Entrance gates are open, but not staffed. Visitors can access the park with no visitor services available. Ranger-led snowshoe hikes are not available.
In addition, government-operated facilities are closed. Park roads that are open will remain open if they are essential to respond to emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property; this includes most roads that are normally maintained open at this time of year. Access to all residences will be maintained, while concessioners and commercial-use authorization holders may continue to provide visitor services after coordination with the park to ensure compliance with government shutdown protocols. National park websites and social media are not maintained during a shutdown. Emergency response is available, but limited, with the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center available from 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily (Teton County Dispatch will continue to answer emergency calls, as usual, outside those hours).
- Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area: All park facilities (restrooms, visitor centers, etc.) are closed; visitor access to recreation areas, trails and fishing on the area’s waterway remain open.
- Devils Tower National Monument: Access is unavailable.
- Fossil Butte National Monument: Facilities are closed.
- Fort Laramie National Historic Site: All fenced facilities are closed.
- National Elk Refuge: Sleigh ride tours on the National Elk Refuge through Double H Bar will continue as previously scheduled. For more information on ticket sales and services, please call the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce at 307-733-3316.
Visitors to all of Wyoming’s national parks, historic sites and recreation areas are advised and encouraged to practice caution and follow all safety protocol on national lands, as emergency services are limited as part of the shutdown.
Authorized and licensed guides with special use permits and commercial-use authorization holders will continue to operate on federal lands, including U.S.F.S. land, and will continue previously scheduled tours as planned. Visitors are encouraged to contact those individual businesses for the most current information on their scheduled tour.
While federal sites are affected by the shutdown, there are abundant options for travelers who have trips planned into impacted national parks, historic sites, etc.
- Wyoming State Parks remain open and unaffected, with abundant recreation options at Boysen State Park near Riverton and Lander, Hot Spring State Park in Thermopolis, Buffalo Bill State Park in Cody, Glendo State Park near Laramie, Keyhole State Park in Moorcroft, Curt Gowdy State Park near Laramie and Bear River State Park in Evanston Parks offer ice fishing (with valid fishing license), hiking, natural hot springs, fat tire biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and sledding. For more information, visit HERE.