Rocky Mountain National Park Significantly Impacted by Government Shutdown

The Government Shutdown in RMNP

Rocky Mountain National Park is significantly scaling back operations amidst the lapse in federal appropriations. Staff are closing restroom facilities and trash receptacles at many park locations because of human waste issues, wildlife concerns, and overall public health. This will impact the cleanliness of facilities and possibly cause an excessive output of garbage and human waste. The New York Post reported today, “Human feces and garbage have been overflowing at the campgrounds of Yosemite and Joshua Tree national parks — because there’s no staff on hand to clean up, according to new reports.”

There is limited road access by vehicle. US 36 will be closed past Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, and US 34 will be closed past Fall River Entrance, to vehicles after 5 pm on December 30, 2018. These road closures remain in effect until further notice.

Because of road conditions from the recent snowfall, blowing and drifting snow, and ice combined with the inability to snowplow, sand or otherwise maintain the roads, gates remain closed past the Wild Basin Entrance on the Wild Basin Road and at the Grand Lake Entrance on US 34.

Sections of roads are above 8,000 feet in elevation and are closed to vehicles. Please do not move barriers or travel off-road to pass closed gates. These roads may not reopen until after the shutdown.

Roads that are already open will remain open, weather and road conditions permitting.  Additional roads or areas in Rocky Mountain National Park may be closed during the government shutdown if conditions warrant.

During the federal government shutdown:

  • The National Park website will not be updated and may not reflect current conditions
  • Some national parks could remain accessible to visitors; however, access may change without notice
  • Some parks are closed completely
  • Some visitor services may be available when provided by concessioners or other entities
  • For most parks, there will be no National Park Service-provided visitor services, such as restrooms, trash collection, facilities, or road maintenance
  • No visitor services will be provided
  • Park staff will not issue permits, conduct educational programs, collect trash, maintain restrooms, maintain roads or walkways in the event of snow or ice, or provide visitor information

Use extreme caution if choosing to enter the park on foot, bicycle or in limited legal areas via vehicles. Park personnel will not be available to provide guidance or help if an emergency occurs. It limits emergency services. Any entry to the park during this period of the federal government shutdown is at the visitor’s sole risk. All rules and regulations still apply.Services that require staffing and maintenance, such as snow plowing, entrance stations, the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, the Kawuneeche Visitor Center, Moraine Park Campground, and some restroom facilities are not operating.

For more information, see and the park website

Read the contingency plan for a full outline of shutdown protocols and regulations.

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