Coronavirus in National Parks: COVID-19 Impacts and Park Reopenings

Another period of big updates across the National Park System.  Parks that changed status recently include Grand Canyon National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Zion National Park, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Curecanti National Recreation Area, Dinosaur National Monument, Everglades National Park, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, Great Basin National Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and Lake Mead National Recreation Area. See below for details, highlighted in italics.

Parks that have publicly said they are planning changes include Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Big Bend National Park. 

Please note any additional travel restrictions placed by states or localities on visitation before going to a park, and follow all guidance, as reopenings are reliant on responsible visitation. 

First things first, there are no updates for the George Washington Memorial Parkway, particularly the South District. There is no update for Arlington House, which remains closed due to renovations.  It will remain closed until the fall, in all likelihood.  We are working on a reopening plan but it will not be until Northern Virginia enters Phase One of Virginia’s reopening plans. Details on the status for both sites can be found under Virginia below.

Big Slackwater, C&O Canal National Historical Park

FULLY CLOSED

  • Alabama
    • Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument – Birmingham Civil Rights Institute closed indefinitely
    • Horseshoe Bend NMP – Closed/Cerrado
    • Russell Cave NM – Closed/Cerrado
    • Selma to Montgomery NHT – Closed/Cerrado
    • Tuskegee Airmen NHS – Closed/Cerrado
    • Tuskegee Institute NHS – Closed/Cerrado
  • Alaska
    • Alaska Public Lands Information Centers – Closed/Cerrado
    • Bering Land Bridge National Preserve – Closed/Cerrado
  • Arizona
    • Canyon de Chelly NM – Closed; Navajo Nation has prohibited visitation
    • Casa Grande Ruins NM – Closed/Cerrado
    • Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Montezuma Castle National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • Navajo National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • Petrified Forest National Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • Pipe Spring National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • Tonto National Monument. – Closed/Cerrado
    • Tuzigoot National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • Wupatki National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • Walnut Canyon National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
  • Arkansas
    • President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
  • California
    • Cabrillo National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Fort Point National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • John Muir National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Kings Canyon National Park – Closed; CA-180 open to access USFS land only
    • Lassen Volcanic National Park – Closed/Cerrado
      • Closed through 5/28
    • Muir Woods National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial – Closed/Cerrado
    • Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • Sequoia National Park
      • Closed/Cerrado until 5/28
      • CA-180 access through park remains open to access USFS land
    • Yosemite National Park – Closed/Cerrado
  • Colorado
    • Hovenweep National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • Rocky Mountain National Park – Closed/Cerrado
      • Xanterra operations closed until 6/15
  • Connecticut
    • Weir Farm National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
  • Florida
    • De Soto National Memorial – Closed/Cerrado
    • Fort Caroline National Memorial – Closed/Parque Cerrado
    • Fort Matanzas National Monument – Closed/ Parque Cerrado
    • Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve – Closed/Parque Cerrado
    • Canaveral National Seashore – Closed/ Parque Cerrado
    • Castillo de San Marcos National Monument – Closed/Parque Cerrado
    • Fort Frederica National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
  • Georgia
    • Fort Pulaski National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • Jimmy Carter National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
  • Guam
    • War in the Pacific National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
  • Hawaii
    • Haleakala National Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • Kalaupapa National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • Pearl Harbor National Memorial – Closed/Cerrado
    • Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
  • Illinois
    • Lincoln Home National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
  • Indiana
    • George Rogers Clark National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
  • Kansas
    • Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
  • Louisiana
    • Cane River Creole National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
  • Maryland
    • Clara Barton National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Fort Foote & Fort Washington Parks – Closed/Cerrado
    • Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine – Closed/Cerrado
    • Greenbelt Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
  • Massachusetts
    • Adams National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • Boston African American National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area – Closed/Cerrado
    • Boston National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Lowell National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • Salem Maritime National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Springfield Armory National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
  • Michigan
    • Isle Royale National Park
      • Visitor center closed indefinitely, reevaluated daily
      • Island closed indefinitely
    • River Raisin National Battlefield Park – Closed/Cerrado
  • Mississippi
    • Natchez National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
  • Missouri
    • Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
  • Montana
    • Glacier National Park – Closed/Cerrado
      • Phased reopening begins 6/1
      • Xanterra lodging operations suspended through 6/15, at least
    • Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
  • New Jersey
    • Thomas Edison National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
  • New Mexico
    • El Morro National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • Fort Union National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • White Sands National Park – Closed/Cerrado
  • New York
    • African Burial Ground National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • Castle Clinton National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Federal Hall National Memorial – Closed/Cerrado
    • Fort Stanwix National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • General Grant National Memorial – Closed/Cerrado
    • Hamilton Grange National Memorial – Closed/Cerrado
    • Harriet Tubman National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Martin Van Buren National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Saint Paul’s Church National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Sagamore Hill National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Saratoga National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • Statue of Liberty National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • Stonewall National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Women’s Rights National Historical Park New York – Closed/Cerrado
  • North Carolina
    • Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
  • Ohio
    • Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
    • First Ladies National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial – Seasonal closure
      • Visitor Center and Ranger Programs delayed opening until June 13th
      • Memorial and Observation Platform closed indefinitely due to size and space limitations
    • William Howard Taft National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
  • Oregon
    • Crater Lake National Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • Lewis and Clark National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
  • Pennsylvania
    • Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Eisenhower National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Independence National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • Steamtown National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial – Closed/Cerrado
    • Valley Forge National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
  • Puerto Rico
    • San Juan National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
  • Rhode Island
    • Roger Williams National Memorial – Closed/Cerrado
  • South Carolina
    • Charles Pinckney National Historic Site – Closed/Cerrado
    • Congaree National Park
      • Closed/Cerrado
    • Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
  • Texas
    • Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument – Visitor Center Closed; tours are required to visit and are suspended
    • Big Bend National Park – Closed/Cerrado
      • Phased reopening to begin 6/1
    • Chamizal National Memorial – Closed/Cerrado
    • Guadalupe Mountains National Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park – Closed/Cerrado
    • Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River – Closed/Cerrado
    • Waco Mammoth National Monument – Closed/Cerrado
  • Utah
    • Arches National Park – Closed/Cerrado
      • Phased reopening begins 5/29
    • Canyonlands National Park – Closed/Cerrado
      • Phased reopening begins 5/29
  • Virginia
    • Appomattox Court House National Historical Park – Closed
    • Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial – Building is closed for restoration & installation of all-new exhibits. Reopening will be pushed back indefinitely. Arlington National Cemetery is also closed indefinitely, is managed separately by the Department of Defense as a military base, and one must pass through the cemetery to access the house.
    • Booker T. Washington National Monument – Closed
    • George Washington Birthplace National Monument – Closed
    • Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site – Closed
  • Washington
    • Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve – Closed
    • Fort Vancouver National Historic Site – Closed
    • North Cascades National Park (seasonal access limited) – Closed indefinitely
    • Lake Chelan National Recreation Area (seasonal access limited) – Closed indefinitely
    • Ross Lake National Recreation Area (seasonal access limited) – Closed indefinitely
  • Washington, DC
    • Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument – Closed
    • Carter G Woodson Home National Historic Site – Closed
    • Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site – Closed
    • Frederick Douglass National Historic Site – Closed
    • Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site – Closed
    • Washington Monument – Closed
  • Wyoming
    • Devils Tower National Monument – Closed
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PARTIALLY CLOSED

  • Alabama
    • Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument – Birmingham Civil Rights Institute closed indefinitely
    • Horseshoe Bend NMP – Closed/Cerrado
    • Russell Cave NM – Closed/Cerrado
    • Selma to Montgomery NHT – Closed/Cerrado
    • Tuskegee Airmen NHS – Closed/Cerrado
    • Tuskegee Institute NHS – Closed/Cerrado
    • Little River Canyon National Preserve
      • Visitor Center & Restrooms Closed
      • Canyon Mouth Park closed
    • Natchez Trace Parkway – Visitor Center & Contact Stations Closed
  • Alaska
    • Cape Krusenstern National Monument
      • Northwest Arctic Heritage Center closed
    • Gates of the Arctic National Park
      • Air travel access to park and contact at visitor centers may be limited
    • Gates of the Arctic National Preserve
      • Air travel access to park may be limited
    • Glacier Bay National Park
      • All facilities closed
      • Visitor services closed until 7/1 (backcountry permit season will start 5/1)
      • Yakutat Ranger Station Closed
      • Bartlett Cove Public Use Dock access limited
      • Bartlett Cove campground and warming hut closed
      • Advance notice permits now 14 days
    • Kenai Fjords National Park
      • All public buildings closed, including Park Headquarters and the Exit Glacier public use cabin and vault toilets
    • Kobuk Valley National Park
      • Northwest Arctic Heritage Center Closed
    • Noatak National Preserve
      • Northwest Artic Heritage Center Closed
    • Denali National Park
      • Visitor Centers Closed
      • 2020 Climbing Season Suspended for Denali and Mt Foraker
      • Campgrounds closed
    • Katmai National Park
      • Brooks Camp closed until 7/1
    • Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (Alaska Unit) – All park facilities closed
    • Lake Clark National Park
      • Park Headquarters closed to public until further notice; call 907-781-2218 for assistance
      • Richard Proennke Historic Site & Hope Creek Campsite Closed
        • Richard Proennke Historic Cabin and all areas within 1/2 mile, including historic administration cabins, Hope Creek campsite and all outdoor areas are closed indefinitely
      • Public use cabins closed
    • Kenai Fjords National Park
      • All public buildings closed, including Park Headquarters and the Exit Glacier public use cabin and vault toilets
    • Kobuk Valley National Park
      • Northwest Arctic Heritage Center Closed
    • Wrangell-St Elias National Park
      • Park Headquarters closed to public indefinitely; for information call 907-822-5234
      • Public announcement detailing procedures for federal subsistence permits for upcoming fishing and hunting seasons will be released by 5/1
      • Interpretive programs, in-person trip planning, in-person backcountry information, bear canister loans, and restrooms at the following are delayed indefinitely until at least 7/1
        • Slana Visitor Center
        • Copper Center Visitor Center
        • Chitina Ranger Station
        • Kennecott Visitor Center
      • Within the Kennecott Mill National Historic Landmark, the following changes have been implemented
        • All buildings administered by NPS are closed
        • Kendesnii Campground is closed
        • The following public use cabins are closed
          • Esker Stream
          • Caribou Creek
          • Viking Lodge
          • Nugget Creek
      • Camping in the KNHL is closed
        • The following trails within the KNHL are closed
          • Erie Mine Trail
          • Root Glacier Trail
          • Bonanza Mine Trail
          • Jumbo Mine Trail
    • Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve
      • Visitors be aware that air travel access to the park and contact with information centers may be limited. Travel restrictions may exist as businesses close or greatly reduce operations to non-essential travel. Make contact before making travel plans.
  • American Samoa
    • National Park of American Samoa – Visitor Center closed. Travel restrictions in place (14 days in HI + health clearance 3 days before entry to American Samoa)
  • Arizona
    • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
      • ACCESS IS ONLY VIA US-89 SOUTH FROM UTAH.  The Navajo Nation has banned visitors from entering the reservation, thus closing all routes across the reservation to tourists, including US-163 and US-89 from Flagstaff north to Page. 
      • Closed
        • Campgrounds
          • Bullfrog
          • Halls Crossing
          • Hite
          • Lone Rock Beach
          • Stanton Creek
          • Farley Canyon
          • North Wash
          • Lee’s Ferry
        • Day Use Areas
          • Wahweap Overlook (Page, AZ)
          • Chains (Page, AZ)
          • Lone Rock Beach
        • All programs and permits suspended
        • All visitor centers and retail operations
      • Currently Open
        • Wahweap RV Park & Campground (including laundry and shower facilities) and campground store are open
        • Fuel docks, boat pumpouts, floating restrooms, and all fish cleaning stations (except Hite)
        • Lee’s Ferry launch ramp (upstream access only)
        • Beehive Campground is open, limit 3 days (camping beyond campground closed)
        • Horseshoe Bend Overlook
      • Reopening Schedule
        • May 15, Park
          • Park
            • Lake Powell public launch ramps at Bullfrog and Wahweap open 7 days/week, 24 hours/day.  AIS staff will be present dawn to dusk. 
            • Halls Crossing Ramp reopens for day use (8-6 PM).  AIS staff will be present
            • Dangling Rope restrooms open full time
          • Concession
            • Motorized and nonmotorized small boat rentals, Wahweap and Bullfrog (7 days/week)
            • Houseboat rentals, Wahweap and Bullfrog Marinas
            • Fuel docks, Stateline Launch Ramp in Wahweap District and at Hall’s Crossing
            • Bullfrog RV Park & Campground
        • May 20
          • Hite RV and Campground and Outpost Store
        • May 21
          • Halls Crossing
            • RV Park and Campground
            • Marina Store
            • Village Store
            • Laundry
            • Showers
          • Bullfrog
            • Defiance House Lodge and Gift Shop
            • Anasazi Restaurant
            • Boat Rentals Boat and Go Store
            • Bullfrog Dock and Stock
          • Wahweap
            • Lodging
            • Rainbow Room Restaurant
            • Wind Café
            • Driftwood To Go/Drinks
            • Driftwood Pool and Escalante Pool at Lake Powell Resort
            • Wahweap Grille (limited indoor seating, in addition to takeout)
            • Wahweap Dock & Stock
        • May 22
          • Lake Powell Halls Crossing public launch ramp will be open 7 days a week to all boats and begin overnight use
          • Primitive campgrounds will be reopened for overnight use
            • Lone Rock (located between Greenhaven, Arizona and Big Water, Utah)
            • Stanton Creek (located near Bullfrog).
          • Day Use Areas reopen
            • Wahweap Overlook (Page, AZ)
            • Chains (Page, AZ)
            • Farley Canyon (Bullfrog, UT)
            • North Wash (Hite, UT)
          • Stateline Launch Ramp located in the Wahweap District near Page, Arizona will be reopened, 7 days a week.
          • Lees Ferry Ramp restroom will reopen, 7 days a week.
          • Wahweap Picnic Area restrooms reopen, 7 days/week
    • Grand Canyon National Park
      • Only open for entries from 6-10 AM until May 18th.  Access will be limited to Desert View Drive between the South Entrance Road and Navajo Point.  All major named overlooks (Grandview Point, Moran Point, Lipan Point, Navajo Point, Yaki Point) will remain closed.  There will be no access on the South Entrance Road beyond the intersection with Desert View Drive, including to the Visitor Center, Visitor Center Parking, Rim Trail, Greenway Trail, museums, or Grand Canyon Village.  All concessions are closed until 6/15 at the earliest.  
    • Lake Mead NRA (AZ/NV)
      • Nevada has a 14 day quarantine in place for all visitors to limit #covid19
      • All Nevada entrances closed to most vehicles with below exception:
        • Following open to Annual Pass Holders
          • Boulder Entrance Station
          • Lake Mead Parkway Entrance Station
          • Northshore Entrance Station
          • Cottonwood Cove Entrance Station
      • Closed in Nevada
        • Developed Campgrounds
        • All coves and roads in Eldorado Area, including:
          • Nelson Landing
          • Placer Cove
          • Aztec Wash
          • Saddle Cove
        • Coves in the Government Wash area, including but not limited to
          • Crawdad Cove
          • 8.0
          • Boxcar Cove
          • Stewarts Point
        • Saddle Cove
        • Coves along Powerline Road near Cottonwood Cove, including, but not limited to
          • Nine Mile Cove
          • Six Mile Cove
        • Goldstrike Canyon
        • Alan Bible Visitor Center
        • Park Headquarters
      • Arizona Entrance Stations open for Annual Pass Holders only
        • Willow Beach
        • Temple Bar
        • Katherine Landing
      • Closed in Arizona
        • Willow Beach Campground
        • White Rock Canyon, Liberty Bell Arch, and Arizona Hot Spring (until 9/30)
        • Lone Palm Trail (until 9/30)
        • Kingman Wash Road
    • Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
      • Visitor Center – Closed
      • Backcountry Permits Suspended
      • Group Campground – Closed
      • Twin Peaks Campground closed
      • Alamo Campground closed
    • Tumacacori National Historical Park
      • Visitor Center Closed
      • Museum Closed
      • Ranger programs suspended
    • Saguaro National Park
      • Visitor Centers & restrooms closed
      • Ranger programs suspended
      • Group size limited to 10 people or fewer
  • Arkansas
    • Fort Smith National Historic Site
      • Visitor Center Closed
    • Hot Springs National Park
      • Fordyce Bathhouse Visitor Center closed
      • Programming suspended
      • Bathhouse Row Emporium Closed
      • Hot Springs Mountain Tower and other Bathhouse Row businesses – check with business in question, many closed
      • Gulpha Gorge Campground and picnic area closed
    • Arkansas Post National Memorial
      • Visitor Center closed
    • Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
      • Visitor Center Closed
      • Little Rock CHS tours suspended indefinitely
      • Pea Ridge National Military Park – Visitor Center closed
  • California
    • Cabrillo National Monument
      • Outdoor areas open 9 AM to 5 PM
      • Cabrillo Sea Cave closed
    • César E. Chávez National Monument – Visitor Center Closed; Memorial Garden open but no public restrooms
    • Channel Islands National Park
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Concession boat service to islands suspended
    • Golden Gate National Recreation Area
      • All parking areas and visitor facilities managed by NPS closed
      • Alcatraz Island Closed
      • Presidio VC Closed
      • Fort Point Closed
      • Golden Gate Bridge VC – Closed
      • Lands End Lookout Closed
      • Marin Headlands VC – Closed
      • Nike Missile Site Closed
      • Point Bonita Lighthouse – Closed
      • Stinson Beach – Closed
      • Kirby Cove Campground – Closed
      • Bicentennial Campground – Closed
      • Picnic areas
      • Parking Areas & Roads Closed
        • Baker Beach
        • West Bluff
        • Long Avenue
        • Battery East
        • Langdon Court
        • Navy Memorial
        • Merrie Way
        • Sloat Boulevard at Ocean Beach
        • Fort Funston
        • China Beach
        • Upper Fort Mason
        • Sutro Height
        • Muir Beach Overlook
        • Muir Beach
        • Rodeo Beach
        • Upper Conzelman Road
        • McCullough Road
        • Golden Gate overlook corridor
        • Northwest Commuter – Dillingham lot
        • Fort Baker and Horseshoe Cove parking areas
        • Stinson Beach
        • Tennessee Valley
        • Crissy Field-East Beach
  • Joshua Tree National Park
    • Closed
      • Visitor Centers
      • Group Campsites
    • Cancellations
      • All programs
      • Campsite reservations through 9/4
      • All special use permits through 5/31
    • Open
      • Park entrances and entrance booths
      • Roads and parking lots
      • Trails
      • Individual campsites; pay at campground
      • Most bathroom facilities
  • Lava Beds National Monument
    • Visitor Center closed
    • Cave Loop Road closed
      • Campground closed
      • Do not bring caving gear used in other caves into monument caves
    • Manzanar National Historic Site
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Block 14 exhibits closed
    • Mojave National Preserve
      • All visitor centers closed
      • Campgrounds closed
      • Restrooms closed
      • Zzyzx day use area closed
      • Lava Tube area closed
    • Pinnacles National Park
      • Closed to all day use
      • Prior camping reservations required
      • West Pinnacles Entrance closed
      • All Nature Centers closed
      • All Visitor Centers closed
      • Shuttle service suspended
      • Trail closures
        • Bear Gulch Caves Trail
        • Balconies Caves Trail
        • High Peaks Steep Trail
        • High Peaks Narrow Trail
    • Point Reyes National Seashore
      • Visitor Centers Closed
      • Campgrounds closed
      • All parking areas & many roads closed to cars
      • All ranger led programs and volunteer activities are suspended or canceled.
    • Redwood National Park
      • Visitor Centers closed
      • Parking areas closed to cars
      • Campgrounds closed
      • Backcountry sites closed
      • Some restrooms closed
      • Davison Road closed to vehicular traffic
      • Howland Hill Road closed to vehicular traffic
      • Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway closed to vehicular traffic
    • Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
      • Parking lots closed
      • Visitor centers closed
      • Solstice Canyon closed
      • All trails and restrooms in Los Angeles County closed
      • Trails in Ventura County closed 2 PM Fridays to 6 AM Mondays indefinitely
    • Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Tent & RV campgrounds closed
  • Colorado
    • Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site
      • Bookstore Closed
      • Fort closed
      • All visitor services & programs suspended
      • Trail parking only available on SR 104
      • Frontier Skills Day cancelled
      • Volunteer Work Weekend postponed (date TBD)
    • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
      • Gunnison County closed to non-essential travel until 5/27.  Visitors are prohibited
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Campground closed
      • Picnic area closed
      • North Rim Road day-use only
      • Inner canyon hiking routes day-use only; permits required
      • East Portal Road closed
    • Colorado National Monument
      • Saddlehorn Visitor Center Closed
      • Campground closed
      • Saddlehorn Picnic Area closed
      • Devils Kitchen Picnic Area closed
      • Cold Shivers Overlook closed
    • Curecanti National Recreation Area
      • Gunnison County closed to non-essential travel until 5/27.  Visitors are prohibited.
      • Elk Creek Campground closed
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Picnic areas closed
      • East Elk Creek and Red Creek Campgrounds closed for summer to comply with county health orders regarding group sizes
      • Reopened
        • Blue Mesa Reservoir for boating and on-shore recreation
          • Elk Creek Boat Ramp and Inspection Station 5:30 am to 9 pm daily
          • Lake Fork Boat Ramp and Inspection Station 5:30 am to 9 pm daily
          • Iola Boat Ramp and Inspection Station 6 am to 4 pm daily
          • Boat-In dispersed camping at least 1/2 mile from developed areas including roads
          • Gunnison River from Riverway to Blue Mesa Reservoir with extreme caution advised for changing water conditions, strainers, and other hazards.
        • Due to an anticipated high number of vessel decontaminations, please be prepared to use any of the three open ramps/inspection stations to avoid crowding and delays in getting on the water. Decontaminations will be done 8 am to 4 pm daily.
    • Dinosaur National Monument
      • Monument roads and trails are open. 
      • Visitor centers, Quarry Exhibit Hall, campgrounds and river operations are closed
    • Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Visitor Center parking lot closed
    • Great Sand Dunes National Park – Closed/Cerrado
      • Phased reopening begins 6/3
        • Open
          • Main park road
          • Dunes parking area and dunefield
          • Medano Pass Primitive Road (if road conditions allow), including established campsites on a first-come, first-served basis
          • All trails: Mosca Pass, Montville Nature, Sand Sheet Loop, Wellington Ditch, Dunes Overlook, Sand Ramp, Medano Lake, and Music Pass
          • All picnic areas: Mosca Creek, Sand Pit, and Castle Creek
          • Entrance Station, including the collection of fees if authorized
        • Closed
          • Visitor Center
          • South Ramada group picnic site in the Mosca Creek Picnic Area
          • Pinon Flats Campground
          • Overnight backcountry access in the National Park, including the dune field and sites along the Sand Ramp Trail
    • Great Sand Dunes National Preserve – Closed/Cerrado
      • Phased reopening begins 6/3
        • Open
          • Mosca Pass Trail
          • Medano Pass Road
          • Medano Lake Trail
          • Music Pass Trail
    • Mesa Verde National Park
      • Closed
        • Mesa Verde Research and Visitor Center
        • Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum
        • All cliff dwellings and ranger-guided cliff dwelling tours
          • Includes continued closures of Cliff Palace, Balcony House, Long House, and Step House
        • Wetherill Mesa
      • Facilities and Services Open
        • Virtual Ranger Station
        • Morefield Campground
        • Farview Terrace Café and Gift Shop
        • Far View Lodge
        • Spruce Tree Terrace Café and Gift Shop
        • Chapin Mesa Picnic Area
        • Public Restrooms
        • Trash collection
      • Roads and Recreational Areas Open
        • Main Park Road
        • Far View Archeological Sites
        • Mesa Top Loop Road
        • Cliff Palace/Balcony House Loop Drive
        • Spruce Tree House Overlook
        • Hiking Trails on Morefield and Chapin Mesa
    • Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
      • Visitor Center & Park Store closed
  • Delaware
    • First State National Historical Park
      • Arsenal in New Castle closed
      • John Bell House closed
      • Old Swedes Historic Site closed
      • New Castle Court House Museum closed
      • John Dickinson Plantation closed
      • Old State House Closed
  • Florida
    • Big Cypress National Preserve
      • Visitor Centers closed
      • Ranger programs canceled
      • All campgrounds and restrooms closed indefinitely
    • Biscayne National Park
      • Facilities at Convoy Point, Boca Chita, Elliott, Adams Keys Closed.
      • Visitor events suspended.
      • Biscayne National Park Institute tours suspended
      • Rafting of marine vessels in park waters prohibited
    • Dry Tortugas National Park
      • Islands closed
      • Camping closed
      • All docks closed
      • All finger piers closed
      • All programs and services suspended
      • Concession ferries suspended
      • Marine waters and both harbors remain open
    • Everglades National Park
      • Closed
        • Shark Valley Access Closed
        • Gulf Coast access from Everglades City closed
        • Wilderness Campsites (chickees and ground sites) closed
        • North Nest Key and areas 100 yards from shore closed indefinitely to all public entry
        • All programs suspended
        • Flamingo campground
        • All visitor centers and public buildings
        • Concession tours and houseboat rentals
        • All other park restrooms
        • Nike Missile Site
      • Phased reopening underway; open areas include
        • Main Park Road from the Homestead entrance to Flamingo (note exceptions below)
        • External restrooms at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center
        • Flamingo Marina and boat launch ramps
        • Flamingo Marina Store, restrooms, and gas pumps
        • Flamingo Fish Cleaning Station and restroom
        • Chekika Day Use Area (roads and surrounding areas only)
        • East Everglades, accessible by 168th St. (9 a.m – 5 p.m.)
        • Marine waters of Everglades National Park
        • Beach campsites in wilderness
        • Royal Palm, including the Anhinga Trail
        • Research Road
        • Long Pine Key picnic area and trails
        • West Lake
        • Guy Bradley Trail and Flamingo Day Use area
        • Coastal Prairie Trail
        • Canoe, kayak and skiff rentals at Flamingo
  • Georgia
    • Appalachian National Scenic Trail
      • Stay at home orders are in effect for North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine
      • Great Smoky Mountains National Park has reopened, but Appalachian Trail thru-hiker permits are not being issued
      • Closed through Graham County, North Carolina starting 3/30. Proof of local residency required.
      • All Appalachian Trail overnight shelters and privies on NPS property closed indefinitely
        • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
        • Blue Ridge Parkway
        • Shenandoah National Park
        • Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
        • Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
        • AT Park Offices
          • Virginia (11 shelters, 12 privies)
          • Maryland (1 shelter, 2 privies)
          • Pennsylvania (8 shelters, 6 privies)
          • New Jersey (1 shelter, 1 privy)
          • New York (5 shelters, 5 privies)
          • Connecticut (7 shelters, 16 privies)
          • Massachusetts (1 shelter, 4 privies)
          • Maine (22 shelters, 29 privies)
      • ATC has requested hikers to postpone hikes on the Appalachian Trail and requested closure of trail
      • Appalachian Trail Conservancy Visitor Centers closed
      • Many shuttles and resupply locations closed (for more, visit https://wildeast.appalachiantrail.org/explore/plan-and-prepare/hiking-basics/health/covid19/a-t-closures/)
      • North Carolina
        • North Carolina State Park facilities closed
        • Fontana Hilton shelter closed by Tennessee Valley Authority
      • Tennesee/North Carolina
        • Campgrounds on National Forest Land are closed
        • All trailheads and access points closed in the Cherokee, Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests
      • Tennessee
        • All State Parks closed to overnight use indefinitely
      • Virginia
        • Shenandoah National Park – Closed
        • Trail Days in Damascus canceled
        • Morgans Mill Road/VA 605 Trailhead parking closed
        • Snickers Gap/VA-7 Trailhead parking closed
        • Triple Crown section of AT closed
        • Trailheads closed in George Washington and Jefferson National Forests
        • Spy Rock Trailhead closed
        • Grayson Highlands overnight backpackers lot closed and quota for park entries
        • All State Park facilities closed
      • West Virginia
        • All public facilities closed at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
      • Maryland
        • Shelters and camping areas on Appalachian Trail in Maryland Closed until 5/11 at least
        • Campgrounds and cabins at Maryland State Parks remain closed
      • Pennsylvania
        • Shelters on Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources land closed
          • Deer Lick Shelter
          • Tumbling Run Shelter
          • Rocky Mountain Shelter
          • Quarry Gap Shelter
          • Birch Run Shelter
          • Toms Run Shelter
          • James Fry at Tagg Run
          • Eagles Nest Shelter
          • Leroy Smith Shelter
          • Kirkridge Shelter
        • Hamburg Burough watershed access closed
        • State Park and forest visitor centers, restrooms, campgrounds, and cabins closed
      • New Jersey
        • Appalachian Trail shelters and privies closed in New Jersey; overnight camping discouraged
        • All backcountry campsites on Appalachian Trail and on Delaware River within Delaware River Water Gap NRA are closed until May 22
        • All state parks and forests, including parking lots and trails, are closed and patrolled
        • Delaware River Water Gap NRA
          • Kittatinny Point – closed (parking areas and boat launch)
          • Dunfield Creek – closed (parking areas and boat launch)
          • Bushkill Visitor Center – closed
          • Foster-Armstrong House – Closed
          • Nelden-Roberts Stonehouse – Closed
          • Montague Grange – Closed
          • Van Campen Inn – Closed
          • Millbrook buildings – closed
          • Walpack Center buildings – closed
          • All other volunteer-operated buildings – closed
      • New York
        • Overnight visitation to state parks prohibited
          • All state park playgrounds, athletic courts, and sporting fields closed
          • All campgrounds, cabins, and cottages closed through April 30
      • Connecticut
        • All buildings on Connecticut State Park & Forest land closed
        • Camping season on state park and forest land postponed until Memorial Day weekend
        • Bulls Bridge Recreation Area closed indefinitely
        • River Road gate – CLOSED until Labor Day weekend
      • Massachusetts
        • All buildings, campsites, shelters, and privies on Massachusetts State Park and Forest land closed
        • Camping prohibited along Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts
        • No trash collection available at state parks
      • Vermont
        • Appalachian and Long Trail, as well as side trails on state land are CLOSED
        • All travelers arriving in Vermont required to self-quarantine for 14 days; all short term lodging operations suspended (including hotels, public and private campgrounds, RV parks, VRBO, Air BNB, inns, B&Bs, and motels)
      • New Hampshire
        • Stay at home order in place in NH through 5/4
        • Appalachian Mountain Club (NH) has closed all huts through the White Mountains, suspended all food service, and suspended all staff and volunteer-led programming
      • Maine
        • Stay at home order in place in Maine
        • All travelers arriving in Maine required to self-quarantine for 14 days; all short term lodging operations suspended (including hotels, public and private campgrounds, RV parks, VRBO, Air BNB, inns, B&Bs, and motels)
      • Baxter State Park offices and headquarters closed
      • For business impacts state-by-state: https://wildeast.appalachiantrail.org/explore/plan-and-prepare/hiking-basics/health/covid19/a-t-closures/
    • Andersonville National Historic Site
      • National Prisoner of War Museum closed
      • Historic Prison Site closed
      • Restrooms closed
      • National Cemetery closed weekends
    • Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
      • All park trails open
      • All river access open
      • Parking areas open
        • Abbotts Bridge
        • Medlock Bridge
        • Jones Bridge
        • two parking lots at Island Ford
        • Johnson Ferry North
        • Powers Island
        • Interstate North
        • Akers Mill
        • Paces Mill
      • All parking areas not listed above are closed
      • Comfort stations are closed
      • All picnic areas are closed
      • Hewlett Lodge Visitor Center is closed
    • Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
      • Open
        • Chickamauga Battlefield
          • All roads
          • All picnic areas
          • All trails (foot traffic only – horse trails closed due to storm damage)
        • Lookout Mountain Battlefield
          • All trails
          • All picnic areas
          • Sanders Road
          • Cravens House Parking
        • Missionary Ridge
        • Orchard Knob
        • Moccasin Bend National Archeological District
          • All Trails
      • Closed/Cerrado
        • Chickamauga Battlefield
          • Visitor Center
          • Wilder Brigade Monument
          • Vault toilets
          • Recreation field
          • America’s National Parks Bookstore
        • Lookout Mountain Battlefield
          • Point Park
          • Ochs Museum
          • Ochs Observation Deck
          • Lookout Mountain Visitor Center & parking lot
          • Sunset Rock parking
          • America’s National Parks bookstore
        • Signal Point
      • Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
        • Trails and parking lots open
        • Mountain Road closed
        • Visitor Center/restrooms closed
        • Horse trailer parking area closed
  • Idaho
    • City of Rocks National Reserve
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Campgrounds closed
    • Craters of the Moon National Monument
      • Visitor Center Closed
      • Campgrounds closed
      • Loop road closed
    • Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument – Visitor Center closed
    • Minidoka National Historic Site – Visitor Center closed
  • Illinois
    • Pullman National Monument – Visitor Center closed, restrooms closed, programs suspended
  • Indiana
    • Indiana Dunes National Park – All buildings closed (beach access under unrelated closure)
    • Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial – Visitor Center closed
  • Iowa
    • Effigy Mounds National Monument
      • Park trails open
      • Visitor Center and facilities remain closed
    • Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
      • Park grounds, paths and trails are open
      • Visitor center and historic buildings remain closed
  • Kansas
    • Fort Larned National Historic Site – Visitor Center and historic buildings closed
    • Fort Scott National Historic Site – All park buildings closed
    • Nicodemus National Historic Site – Visitor Center closed
    • Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
      • All buildings closed
      • Bus tours canceled until June 30th
  • Kentucky
    • Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park – All buildings closed (including visitor center and Memorial); grounds and trails open
    • Camp Nelson Heritage National Monument – All public buildings closed
    • Mammoth Cave National Park
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Cave tours suspended
      • Campground closed
  • Kentucky/Virginia
    • Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
      • All trails open
      • All backcountry campsites open
      • Closed
        • Pinnacle Road
        • Wilderness Road campground
        • Visitor Center
        • Picnic Shelters
        • Restrooms
  • Louisiana
    • Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
      • All buildings closed
      • Barataria Preserve closed
  • Maine
    • Acadia National Park
      • All park roads closed
      • All facilities closed
      • All carriage roads closed
      • All campgrounds closed
      • All restrooms and visitor centers/services closed
      • Assistance available by phone or email
    • Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
      • Campsites and lean-tos closed
      • Haskell and Big Spring Brook Huts closed
      • Millinocket contact station closed
    • Saint Croix Island International Historic Site – all services and facilities closed
  • Maryland
    • Antietam National Battlefield
      • Visitor Center closed.
      • Observation Tower closed, reopening delayed by COVID-19.
    • Assateague Island National Seashore
      • Maryland District Closed
      • Virginia District
        • Toms Cove Visitor Center closed
        • Toms Cove parking closed
        • Beach restrooms closed
        • Toms Cove boardwalk closed
    • Catoctin Mountain Park
      • Visitor Center closed; restrooms and drinking water unavailable
      • Camp Round Meadow closed
      • Poplar Grove Youth Campground closed
      • Adirondack shelters closed
      • Owens Creek Campground closed
      • Camp Misty Mount closed
      • All public programming suspended
    • C & O Canal National Historical Park
      • Visitor centers & restrooms closed
      • All campgrounds and campsites closed
      • Water sources closed
      • Some parking areas closed, including Great Falls, Fletchers Cove, and Carderock; others limited
      • All drive-in and group campgrounds closed
      • All permits, reservations, and applications for demonstrations and special events cancelled and suspended indefinitely
    • Civil War Defenses of Washington – Ranger programs suspended
    • Hampton National Historic Site – All park facilities and parking closed. Pedestrians allowed on grounds from dawn to dusk.
    • Monocacy National Battlefield – Visitor Center Closed
    • Piscataway Park
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Accokeek Creek Boardwalk Closed
    • Thomas Stone National Historic Site – All buildings closed
  • Massachusetts
    • Cape Cod National Seashore – All public buildings closed
    • Minute Man National Historical Park – Visitor Centers closed
  • Michigan
    • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
      • All visitor facilities closed until June 25th
      • Visitor centers
      • Drive-in campgrounds
      • Backcountry campgrounds
      • Restrooms
    • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
      • Visitor Center and campgrounds closed
      • Trails closed
      • Trailheads closed
      • Picnic areas closed
      • Parking areas closed
      • Boat launches closed
      • Following facilities closed until July 1
        • Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive
        • South Manitou Island museums
        • South Manitou Island campgrounds
        • North Manitou Island campsites
        • Glen Haven museums
        • Maritime Museum
  • Minnesota
    • Mississippi National River and Recreation Area – Visitor Center closed
    • Pipestone National Monument – Visitor Center closed
    • Voyageurs National Park
      • Visitor Centers and HQ closed, may remain closed through 2020 summer season
  • Mississippi
    • Vicksburg National Military Park
    • Visitor center & USS Cairo Museum closed
    • Park tour road open 8-5 daily
  • Missouri
    • Gateway Arch National Park – Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse closed
    • George Washington Carver National Monument – Visitor Center closed
    • Harry S Truman National Historic Site – Grounds of Truman Farm in Grandview open; all else closed
    • Missouri National Recreational River
      • Park headquarters and visitor contact station closed
    • Ozark National Scenic Riverways
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Campgrounds closed
      • Some trail sections temporarily closed
      • All commercial activities, including all authorized outfitters, suspended
      • Beginning May 9th, the following changes will be implemented
        • Park concession operations and outfitters will be authorized to open for business at their discretion, as they are able to meet CDC guidelines.
        • Camping on gravel bars while engaging in multi-day floats and dispersed camping along the Ozark Trail while engaging in multi-day hikes will be allowed.
        • The Spring Branch hiking trails at Big Spring and Alley Spring will reopen, as well as the staircase into Devils Well
    • Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Museum closed
      • Bookstore closed
      • Library closed
  • Montana
    • Big Hole National Battlefield – Visitor Center closed
    • Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
      • North District (Fort Smith, MT)
        • All campgrounds closed
        • MK Hill Closed
        • Government Camp closed
        • Afterbay Lake access through Government Camp closed
        • All restrooms closed
        • Ok-A-Beh Road and Marina closed
        • Visitor Center Closed
      • South District – Visitor Center Closed
    • Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
      • Visitor Center closed; tours suspended
      • Parking lots closed
      • Historic buildings closed
  • Nebraska
    • Agate Fossil Beds National Monument – Visitor Center closed
    • Scotts Bluff National Monument – Visitor Center & summit road closed
    • Homestead National Monument of America
      • Heritage and Education Centers closed
      • Palmer-Epard Cabin closed
      • Freeman School closed
      • Ranger programs suspended
      • Digital learning opportunities available, contact park
    • Niobrara National Scenic River
      • Visitor Center Closed
  • Nevada
    • Great Basin National Park
    • Grounds are open, day use only
      • Restrooms open on rotating schedule
    • Trails open, but mostly covered in deep snow at higher elevations
    • Most park roads open
      • Entrance road to Lehman Caves Visitor Center
      • Scenic drive to Mather Overlook (first 6 miles)
      • Baker Creek road and trailhead
      • Snake Creek road and trailhead
      • Strawberry Creek road and trailhead
    • Visitor centers closed
    • Campgrounds closed
    • Café closed
    • Bookstore accessible online at https://store.wnpa.org/national-park-stores/great-basin-national-park.html
    • Park concessions closed
    • Dump station closed
    • All ranger programs and cave tours have been suspended
  • New Jersey
    • Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
      • Public facilities closed; trails open except in Kittatinny Point area and at PEEC
      • River and Appalachian Trail campsites closed
    • Morristown National Historical Park
      • Jockey Hollow and New Jersey Brigade grounds and trails open
        • Jockey Hollow access through Temple Wick entrance
      • Fort Nonsense area closed
      • All buildings closed
      • All restrooms closed
    • Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
      • Grounds open
      • State restrictions apply
        • Parking limited to 50% capacity
        • Prohibiting picnics
        • Social distancing to be practiced except with immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners
        • No organized or contact activities or sports; and gatherings of any kind
  • New Mexico
    • Aztec Ruins National Monument – Visitor Center closed indefinitely
    • Bandelier National Monument
      • Mostly closed indefinitely
        • Frijoles Canyon closed
        • Visitor Center closed
        • Main Loop Trail closed
        • WNPA Store closed
        • Sirphey at Bandelier restauraunt closed
        • Tsankawi, Juniper, Ponderosa campgrounds closed
    • Capulin Volcano National Monument
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Park store closed
      • Volcano Road closed
    • Carlsbad Caverns National Park – Cavern and Visitor Center closed
    • Chaco Culture National Historical Park – Visitor Center & campground closed
    • El Malpais National Monument
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Cave permits suspended
      • Sandstone Bluffs Overlook closed
    • Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
      • Visitor Center, bathrooms closed
      • Trailhead Museum closed
      • All campgrounds closed by US Forest Service
    • Manhattan Project National Historical Park
      • Oak Ridge Unit Visitor Center closed & programs suspended
      • Los Alamos Unit Visitor Center closed indefinitely
      • Hanford Unit Visitor Center closed indefinitely & programs suspended
    • Pecos National Historical Park – Visitor Center closed; programs and fishing suspended
    • Petroglyph National Monument – Visitor Center and all vault toilet facilities closed
  • New York
    • Fire Island National Seashore
      • All public buildings closed
      • All public restrooms closed
      • All marinas closed
    • Gateway National Recreation Area
      • All park buildings & restrooms closed
      • Sandy Hook Unit closed
      • Floyd Bennett Field closed
  • North Carolina
    • Blue Ridge Parkway
      • Visitor Centers closed indefinitely
      • Folk Art center closed indefinitely
      • All campgrounds closed
      • All backcountry campsites closed
      • Peaks of Otter Lodge closed
      • Pisgah Inn Closed
      • All Concession facilities, food service, and stores closed
    • Cape Hatteras National Seashore
      • All indoor buildings closed
      • Visitors prohibited from entering Dare and Hyde Counties until 5/16   
    • Cape Lookout National Seashore
      • All park facilities and services closed
      • Beaches closed to groups of more than 10 people
    • Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Visitors prohibited from entering Dare and Hyde Counties until 5/16
    • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
      • Open
      • Roads
        • Newfound Gap Road
        • Gatlinburg Bypass
        • Little River Road
        • Wear Cove Road
        • Laurel Creek Road
        • Cades Cove Loop Road (no bike-only closures, opens daily at 8 AM)
        • Cherokee Orchard Road
        • Lakeview Drive Road
        • Deep Creek Road
        • Open ONLY to pedestrians and cyclists
          • Clingmans Dome Road
          • Elkmont Road
          • Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
          • Tremont Road
          • Greenbrier Road
          • Cosby Road
          • Big Creek Road
          • Hwy 284
          • Cataloochee Road
          • Abrams Creek Road
          • Forge Creek Road
          • Rich Mountain Road
          • Little Greenbrier Road
          • Balsam Mountain Road
          • Heintooga Round Bottom Road
          • Straight Fork Road
          • Twentymile Road
      • Restrooms
        • Sugarlands Visitor Center
        • Newfound Gap
        • Oconaluftee Visitor Center
        • Restrooms near Cable Mill, Cades Cove
        • Abrahm Falls Trailhead
        • Rainbow Falls Trailhead
        • Open picnic areas
      • Picnic Areas
        • Chimney Tops
        • Metcalf Bottoms (pavilion closed)
        • Cades Cove
        • Deep Creek (pavilion closed)
        • Collins Creek (pavilion closed)
      • Backcountry operations
        • Laurel Falls Trail closed
        • Alum Cave Trail closed
        • Chimney Tops Trail closed
        • Clingman’s Dome Tower closed
        • All other trails, shelters and backcountry campsites are open with reduced capacity limits
          • Many trailheads not accessible due to road access
        • No AT thru-hiker permits issued
      • Firefly festival canceled
      • Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
        • Visitor Center closed
        • Parking lots closed
        • Tour road closed to cars
        • Interpretive programming suspended
      • Moores Creek National Battlefield – All park facilities closed
      • Wright Brothers National Memorial
        • All indoor areas closed
  • North Dakota
    • Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site – Visitor Center & historic buildings closed
    • Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site – Visitor Center closed
    • Theodore Roosevelt National Park
      • Open
        • All trails and trailheads open
        • All roads in the North and South Units
        • Limited restrooms
        • Picnic areas
        • Backcountry camping
        • Elkhorn Ranch Unit
      • Closed
        • North Unit Visitor Center
        • South Unit Visitor Center
        • Painted Canyon Visitor Center & Rest Area
        • All campgrounds
  • Ohio
    • Cuyahoga Valley National Park
      • Visitor Centers closed & programs suspended
      • Blue Hen Falls parking lot closed
      • Brandywine Falls boardwalk closed
    • Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
      • Wright Dunbar Interpretive Center closed
      • Wright Cycle Co. Bike Shop closed
      • Huffman Prairie Flying Field closed
      • Paul Lawrence Dunbar House Historic Site closed
    • Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
      • Mound City Group Visitor Center & restrooms closed
      • James A. Garfield National Historic Site – Visitor Center and Garfield Home closed
  • Oklahoma
    • Chickasaw National Recreation Area
      • Travertine Nature Center Closed
      • Campgrounds closed
      • Travertine Creek closed to swimming
      • East Perimeter Road closed
    • Washita Battlefield National Historic Site – Visitor Center closed & programs suspended
  • Oregon
    • Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve – Visitor Center closed; cave tours suspended
    • John Day Fossil Beds National Monument – Visitor Center closed
    • Rainbow Bridge National Monument – Navajo Nation visitor ban has closed land route (technically located on Navajo Nation as well)
  • Pennsylvania
    • Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site
      • All buildings closed; grounds and trails open
    • Flight 93 National Memorial
      • All buildings closed
    • Fort Necessity National Battlefield
      • Grounds and trails open
      • Visitor Center and Mount Washington Tavern closed
    • Friendship Hill National Historic Site
      • Grounds and trails open
      • Gallatin House closed
    • Johnstown Flood National Memorial
      • All buildings closed, services limited
    • Gettysburg National Military Park
      • Museum, Visitor Center, and all comfort stations closed indefinitely
      • Pennsylvania Memorial upper level and all observation towers closed
  • South Carolina
    • Cowpens National Battlefield – Visitor Center & restrooms closed
    • Kings Mountain National Military Park – Visitor Center & restrooms closed
    • Ninety Six National Historic Site
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Restrooms closed
      • Pond closed
    • Reconstruction Era National Historical Park – Visitor Center closed
  • South Dakota
    • Badlands National Park
      • Visitor Centers closed & ranger programs suspended
      • South District closed in compliance with Oglala Lakota tribe shelter in place order
    • Jewel Cave National Monument – Visitor Center closed (cave under seasonal closure due to repairs to tour route)
    • Minuteman Missile National Historic Site – Delta-01 tours suspended (through 6/1) & Visitor Center closed indefinitely
    • Mount Rushmore National Memorial
      • Parking (Xanterra operated) open, not staffed
      • Information Center closed
      • Programs suspended
      • Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center, amphitheater, and Avenue of Flags under temporary deferred maintenance closure regardless
    • Wind Cave National Park
      • Visitor Center closed & programs suspended; cave tours closed due to elevator outage regardless
      • Campground closed
  • Tennessee
    • Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
      • All facilities and buildings closed
    • Fort Donelson National Battlefield
      • Park lands and roads accessible
      • All buildings closed
    • Stones River National Battlefield
      • Visitor Center and restrooms closed
    • Obed Wild and Scenic River
      • Visitor Centers closed and programs suspended
      • Campground closed indefinitely
    • Shiloh National Military Park
      • Shiloh Battlefield Visitor Center & Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center closed
      • Visitor center parking lot closed
      • Picnic area closed
      • Restrooms closed
      • Memorial Day commemoration canceled
  • Texas
    • Amistad National Recreation Area
      • Visitor Center & campgrounds closed
      • Daily picnicking areas closed
    • Big Thicket National Preserve
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Lakeview Sandbar and Day Use Area closed
    • Fort Davis National Historic Site
      • Visitor Center & Park Store closed
      • Historic buildings closed
      • Restrooms closed
    • Lake Meredith National Recreation Area
      • Campgrounds closed
      • Mooring docks and fishing piers closed to fishing
    • Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
      • LBJ Ranch Unit closed
      • Johnson City visitor facilities closed
      • Johnson Settlement remains open
    • Padre Island National Seashore
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Malaquite Campground closed
      • Bird Island Basin Campground closed
  • Utah
    • Bryce Canyon National Park
      • Open
        • The main road and all viewpoints to Rainbow Point
        • Visitor Center and bookstore: outdoor and indoor operations from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The theater and museum remain closed, and in accordance with regional public health guidance on group gatherings, indoor visitor occupancy will be limited for retail or restroom access only
        • In the Bryce Amphitheater area, restrooms are available at Sunset Point (24 hrs), Inspiration Point (24 hrs)
        • Along the southern Scenic Drive, restrooms are available at Farview and Rainbow Points (24 hrs)
        • All trails within the Bryce Amphitheater area, including the Navajo Loop
        • Mossy Cave parking, restroom, and trail area (this area may temporarily close for short periods due to construction)
        • Horseback rides
        • General Store open
        • Closed
          • Sunset Campground (reopens 6/7)
          • Private horse reservations (6/15)
          • Backcountry trails and permits for backcountry camping (7/1)
    • Capitol Reef National Park
      • Open
        • Scenic Drive
        • Backcountry Camping
        • Canyoneering
        • All Trails
        • Cathedral District
        • Waterpocket District
        • Cedar Mesa Campground
      • Closed
        • Visitor Center
        • Gifford House
        • Fruita Campground
      • Reservations for the Fruita Campground for the period of June 2 – July 31 resumed 5/18 other dates will continue to open on a rolling six month basis. The Group Site will remain closed at this time.
    • Cedar Breaks National Monument
      • Cedar Breaks Scenic Road open
      • All viewpoints and parking lots open
      • Visitor Center, restrooms, trails, and campground closed
    • Golden Spike National Historical Park – Visitor Center closed
    • Natural Bridges National Monument
      • Park grounds and trails open
      • Visitor Center and campground closed
    • Rainbow Bridge National Monument – Navajo Nation visitor ban has closed land route (technically located on Navajo Nation as well)
    • Zion National Park
      • Closed
        • Kolob Canyons
        • Zion Lodge
        • Campgrounds
        • Museum and Theatre
        • Angels Landing Chains Section
        • Canyon Overlook Trail
        • Wilderness and Recreation Permits
        • Climbing and Canyoneering
        • Overnight backpacking and any thruhiking
        • Narrows (due to high flow)
        • Lower Emerald Pools (due to trail construction)
        • Weeping Rock Area (due to rockfall)
        • Hiking during Limited Operations
      • Hiking
        • In and out day hiking from all trailheads only.
        • Hikers must remain on established trails.
        • No cross-country travel or off-trail travel.
        • Hop Valley trail can not be used to access Kolob Canyons area.
      • Open
        • Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is open to private vehicles as parking allows. No vehicles over 23 feet long. Last entry to the Scenic Drive is 6pm.
        • The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway (State Route 9) is open. It may be temporarily closed to vehicles in the event of severe traffic congestion.
        • Mount Carmel Tunnel – Escorts from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
        • Pa’rus Trail – A great hike from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center where there is usually plenty of parking.
        • Archeology Trail – Hike from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center.
        • Grotto Trail – A great way to hike from the parking at the Zion Lodge to the Grotto Trailhead.
        • Riverside Walk – The closest thing to the Narrows until the river level goes down.
        • Watchman Trail – A great hike from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center where there is usually plenty of parking.
        • Sand Bench Trail – a longer moderate hike that can be started from the Court of the Patriarchs.
        • Upper Emerald Pools and the Kayenta Trail – the only access to Upper Emerald Pools is from the Grotto Trailhead and the Kayenta Trail. Lower Emerald Pools remains closed.
        • The West Rim Trail to Scout Lookout – The Angels Landing Chains Section remains closed.
  • Virgin Islands
    • Buck Island Reef National Monument
      • Boating activities in open waters open
      • All permits suspended and canceled, including anchoring and mooring permits
      • Some park facilities closed, including picnic areas and comfort station
      • All concession boating operations suspended until further notice
      • USVI travel restrictions in place
    • Christiansted National Historic Site
      • All park events and permits cancelled until further notice
      • Fort Christiansvaern, parking lot and visitor restrooms closed
      • Eastern National Bookstore closed
      • All park administrative buildings closed
      • USVI travel restrictions in place
    • Virgin Islands National Park
      • Cruz Bay Visitor Center closed & programs suspended
      • Food service and watersports rental at Trunk Bay suspended
      • USVI travel restrictions in place
  • Virginia
    • Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park – Visitor Center & contact stations closed
    • Colonial National Historical Park
      • Jamestown and Yorktown Visitor Centers closed; programs suspended
      • Colonial Parkway closed to traffic from Rt 199 to Jamestown Island (open to bicycles and pedestrians)
    • Fort Monroe National Monument
      • All public programming & indoor rooms of fort closed
      • Vehicular access closed north of De Russy Field on Fenwick Road
      • Beach access limited
    • Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
      • All public buildings closed and programs canceled through 6/10
    • George Washington Memorial Parkway
      • Most parking areas, including Great Falls, have closed. This includes the following:
        • Great Falls Park (hike-in ONLY)
        • Theodore Roosevelt Island
        • Gravelly Point
        • Belle Haven Park
        • Dyke Marsh
        • Riverside Park
        • Fort Hunt Park
        • Turkey Run has reopened due to damage to resources caused by visitors parking on the grass leading to the formerly closed lots. Please do not park in areas that may damage park resources.
        • Please do not park on non-durable surfaces, such as grass. 
      • The Mount Vernon Trail is accessible primarily by nonmotorized transportation only
      • Parks listed above remain open for nonmotorized access only. For many, that means the Mount Vernon Trail alone
      • Arlington House closed for separate reasons above; reopening delayed.
      • For the South District, which I work on, we will have one ranger available daily to answer phones in the morning and rove the parkway in the afternoon
      • Bird walks at Dyke Marsh have been suspended indefinitely by Friends of Dyke Marsh.
      • All ranger programming and permits canceled through May.
      • Common locations to find a ranger on the South District at include the Marine Corps Memorial, Fort Hunt Park, Dyke Marsh, Jones Point Park, and Gravelly Point. (Please avoid parking on the grass at Gravelly Point even if others are. It’s against park regulations, we simply do not currently have the staff to enforce this). I also go to the LBJ Grove.
    • Manassas National Battlefield Park – Henry Hill Visitor Center & Brawner Farm Interpretive Center closed
    • Petersburg National Battlefield – Visitor Centers and contact stations closed
    • Prince William Forest Park
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Campgrounds closed
      • Chopawamsic Backcountry area closed to all overnight camping
      • Cabin Camps closed
      • Roads closed to vehicular traffic. Bicycle and foot access only
    • Richmond National Battlefield Park – Visitor Centers closed through 6/10
    • Shenandoah National Park
      • Open
        • Skyline Drive and most trails open 5 AM-10 PM
      • Closed
        • All boundary trailheads and picnic areas
        • Old Rag trails
        • Whiteoak Canyon trails
    • Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts (seasonal closure of venue, trail open, restrooms closed)
      • All events canceled through 6/10
  • Washington
    • Klondike Gold Rush – Seattle Unit
      • Outdoor Recreation Information Center closed due to REI closure
      • Visitor Center & Museum closed (rangers can be reached at 206-220-4240)
    • Mount Rainier National Park
      • Fishing closed statewide
      • All park roads closed to vehicles (backcountry areas remain open)
      • All park visitor centers closed
      • All park lodges closed
      • All park shops and restauraunts closed
    • Olympic National Park
      • All park facilities closed
      • All park roads closed
      • All park restrooms closed
      • All park campgrounds closed
      • No services available
      • Shi Shi Trailhead closed by Makah Tribe
      • Second Beach trailhead closed by Quileute Tribe
      • Recreational fishing closed
      • Lake Crescent Lodge, Log Cabin Resort, Sol Duc Resort, Campground and RV Park opening delayed
    • San Juan Island National Historical Park
      • American Camp Visitor Center area closed due to new visitor center construction
      • Restrooms at English Camp parking lot and South Beach picnic area closed
    • Whitman Mission National Historic Site
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Parking Lot and Picnic Area closed to vehicles
  • Washington, DC
    • National Capital Parks East
      • Varies; indoor sites closed and programs suspended.
      • Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens Visitor Center closed. Ranger programs suspended.
      • NCPE Headquarters closed
      • All Anacostia Park playgrounds closed
      • All Anacostia Park restrooms and comfort stations closed
      • All Capitol Hill Parks playgrounds closed
    • National Mall and Memorial Parks
      • All restrooms on the National Mall are closed until further notice
      • All parking south of Independence Avenue SW is closed indefinitely, including Parking Lots A, B and C on Ohio Drive SW, the Tidal Basin Parking Lot, and street parking on Ohio Drive in East Potomac Park
      • Ohio Drive SW through West Potomac Park (between 23rd Street SW and Inlet Bridge) is thru traffic only. Parking and stopping is not permitted
      • Ohio Drive SW past East Potomac Park Golf Course to Haines Point is closed to all traffic (including vehicular, pedestrian and bicycles).
      • All permits and reservations for events scheduled indefinitely have been cancelled. New applications will not be accepted for demonstrations, special events, or park site reservations scheduled indefinitely
      • All athletic fields and volleyball courts are closed until further notice. The 2020 softball lottery and athletic season is postponed until further notice.
      • All concession operations are closed until further notice
        • Big Bus sightseeing tours
        • East Potomac Tennis Center
        • Tidal Basin paddle boats
        • Food & beverage kiosks
        • Retail stores
      • Ranger programming suspended
    • Pennsylvania Avenue National Historical Site
      • Old Post Office Tower closed
    • President’s Park
      • Visitor Center closed and White House tours suspended
    • Rock Creek Park
      • Nature Center closed
      • Horse Center closed
      • Pierce Mill/Barn closed
      • Old Stone House closed
      • Tennis Center closed
      • Thompson Boathouse closed
      • All playgrounds and exercise equipment closed
      • All ranger programs suspended and cancelled
      • Planetarium programs suspended
      • Park fountains temporarily closed (Meridian Hill Park, Georgetown Waterfront Park, Chevy Chase Circle, Kahlil Gibran Memorial Garden)
    • Theodore Roosevelt Island
      • No restrooms available; parking lot closed
  • West Virginia
    • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (nb: Potomac footbridge closed due to derailment)
      • Parking lots closed
      • All park buildings closed
      • Park restrooms closed
    • New River Gorge National River
      • Visitor Center closed
      • Campgrounds and restrooms closed
    • Gauley River National Recreation Area
      • Gauley Tailwaters Campground closed indefinitely
  • Wisconsin
    • St Croix National Scenic Riverway
      • St Croix River Visitor Center in St Croix Falls, WI remains closed
      • Namekagon River Visitor Center in Trego, WI closed indefinitely
      • Fairy Falls Day Use Area Closed
  • Wyoming
    • Fort Laramie National Historic Site
      • Visitor Center, restrooms, and all historic buildings closed indefinitely
    • Fossil Butte National Monument
      • Visitor Center closed indefinitely
    • Grand Teton National Park
      • Reopened Monday 5/18
      • Park waters are closed
      • Backcountry camping not allowed at this time
      • Road access limitations
        • Hwy 26/89/191
        • Teton Park Road
        • Moose Wilson Road
        • Antelope Flats
        • Kelly Road
        • East Boundary Roads
      • Closed roads
        •  Signal Mountain Summit
        • Spaulding Bay
        • RKO
        • Bar BC
        • Pilgrim Creek
        • Two Ocean
        • UW – NPS Research Station
        • Schwabacher Landing
        • Deadman’s
        • Cattleman’s
        • Laurence Rockefeller Preserve access road
        • Grassy Lake road
      • All other roads closed due to weather conditions
      • Jackson Lake Lodge and Jenny Lake Lodge areas closed and gated
    • Yellowstone National Park
      • Wyoming entrances open
      • Lower Loop open, allowing access to Lake, Canyon, Norris, Old Faithful, West Thumb and Grant Village
Sipapu Bridge, Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah

UNAFFECTED

  • Alaska
    • Alagnak Wild River
    • Aniakchak National Preserve
    • Aniakchak National Monument
    • Denali National Preserve
    • Glacier Bay National Preserve
    • Katmai National Preserve
    • Lake Clark National Preserve
    • Sitka National Historical Park
    • Wrangell-St Elias National Preserve
  • Arizona
    • Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument
  • California
    • Castle Mountains National Monument
    • Devils Postpile National Monument (seasonal closure)
    • Tule Lake National Monument
  • Colorado
    • Yucca House National Monument
  • Hawaii
    • Honouliuli National Historic Site
  • Louisiana
    • Poverty Point National Monument
  • Massachusetts
    • Blackstone River Valley National Historic Park
    • John F. Kennedy National Historic Site (closed until 2021)
    • Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site (no visitor services 11/1-6/1)
  • Michigan
    • Keweenaw National Historical Park (seasonal closure)
  • Mississippi
    • Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site
    • Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail
    • Tupelo National Battlefield
  • Nevada
    • Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument
  • New Hampshire
    • Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park
  • New Mexico
    • Valles Caldera National Preserve
  • New Jersey
    • Great Egg Harbor Scenic and Recreational River
  • New York
    • Governors Island National Monument (seasonal closure)
    • Stonewall National Monument
    • Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River
    • Middle Delaware National Scenic River
  • Texas
    • San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
  • Utah
    • Timpanogos Cave National Monument (seasonal closure)
  • Vermont
    • Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
  • Virgin Islands
    • Salt River Bay National Historical Park & Ecological Preserve (closed due to impacts from Hurricane Maria)
    • Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument
  • Washington
    • Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area
  • Washington, DC
    • Constitution Gardens
    • FDR Memorial
    • Korean War Veterans Memorial
    • LBJ Grove on the Potomac
    • Lincoln Memorial
    • Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
    • Thomas Jefferson Memorial
    • Vietnam Veterans Memorial
    • World War II Memorial
    • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (Visitor Centers on C&O Canal portion closed)
  • West Virginia
    • Bluestone National Scenic River

AFFILIATED/SUBSIDIARY AREAS AFFECTED

  • Maryland
    • Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail – offices closed until further notice
    • Chesapeake Bay offices closed
    • Oxon Cove Park/Oxon Hill Farm – Visitor Center closed
  • Northern Marianas Islands
    • American Memorial Park – Visitor Center closed
  • New York
    • Lower East Side Tenement Museum National Historic Site – Closed
    • Thomas Cole National Historic Site – Closed
  • Oklahoma
    • Oklahoma City National Memorial – NPS office closed
  • Pennsylvania
    • Gloria Dei Church National Historic Site – Closed
    • Touro Synagogue National Historic Site – Closed
  • Virginia
    • Great Falls Park – Visitor Center and all parking closed. Hike-in ONLY.
  • Washington
    • Wing Lake Museum – Closed indefinitely
  • Washington, DC
    • Anacostia Park – All playgrounds, restrooms, and comfort stations closed
    • Capitol Hill Parks – Playgrounds closed
    • Fort Dupont Park – Ice rink closed; programs suspended
    • Fort Circle Parks – Programs suspended
    • World War I Memorial – Ranger programming/contacts limited or suspended

AFFILIATED/SUBSIDIARY AREAS UNAFFECTED

  • Aleutian Islands WWII National Heritage Area
  • Inupiat Heritage Center
  • Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail – trail open; sites likely impacted
  • Old Spanish National Historic Trail – trail open, but sites may be affected
  • Trail of Tears National Historic Trail – trail open but sites may be affected
  • California National Historic Trail – trail open but sites may be affected
  • Pony Express National Historic Trail – trail open but sites may be affected
  • Santa Fe National Historic Trail – trail open but sites may be affected
  • New England National Scenic Trail
  • Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor
  • Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail
  • Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area
  • Augusta Canal National Heritage Area
  • Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor
  • Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail – trail open but sites may be affected
  • Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail – trail open but sites may be affected
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail – trail open but sites may be affected
  • Oregon National Historic Trail – trail open but sites may be affected
  • Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail – trail open but sites may be affected
  • Atchafalaya National Heritage Area
  • Cane River National Heritage Area
  • El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail – trail open but sites may be affected
  • Maine Acadian Culture
  • Roosevelt Campobello International Park (house closed seasonally, grounds open)
  • Baltimore National Heritage Area
  • Baltimore-Washington Parkway
  • Harmony Hall
  • Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail – trail open but sites may be affected
  • Essex National Heritage Area
  • John H. Chafee Blackstone River Corridor
  • Motor Cities National Heritage Area
  • North Country National Scenic Trail
  • Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area
  • Mississippi Gulf National Heritage Area
  • Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area
  • Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area
  • Lower Delaware National Wild & Scenic River
  • New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve
  • El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail – trail open but sites may be affected
  • Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor
  • Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area
  • Blue Ridge National Heritage Area
  • Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail – trail open but sites may be affected. Overmountain Shelter closed (reason unspecified)
  • David Berger National Memorial
  • Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis
  • Dayton Aviation Heritage Area
  • Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
  • Oil Region National Heritage Area
  • Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area
  • Schuylkill River Valley National Heritage Area
  • South Carolina National Heritage Corridor
  • Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area
  • Cape Henry Memorial. (Part of Colonial National Historical Park)
  • Green Springs National Historic Landmark District
  • African American Civil War Memorial
  • Coal National Heritage Area
  • Wheeling National Heritage Area
  • Ice Age National Scenic Trail (admin office closed)

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Arizona Trail, Day 30 – Anderson Mesa (Passages 31 and 30, Walnut Canyon and Mormon Lake)

The trail reaches Lowell Observatory’s Navy Precision Optical Interferometer (NPOI). The NPOI measures precise relative positions of stars in the sky for the Naval Observatory to use as reference when determining geographic positions of locations on both Earth and in space, as well as for use in timekeeping. Over four football fields long, it uses a six-mirror array directing multiple light beams from a star to a single point, enhancing image detail and separating stars that are so close that even the largest conventional telescopes cannot separate them visually. Near the NPOI is an excellent view of Upper Lake Mary in the valley of Walnut Creek below, after which the trail continues across Anderson Mesa.

After reaching Horse Lake, I make camp for the night. The sky is black as coal and the night is filled with coyotes howling.

Coronavirus in National Parks: COVID-19 Impacts and Park Reopenings

Another period of big updates across the National Park System.
Here we will look at the status of all 500+ national parks and affiliates, see which have changed status or will soon, and look at the details of what is or is not currently available at each park.

Parks that changed status recently include Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, Great Basin National Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Zion National Park, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Curecanti National Recreation Area, Dinosaur National Monument, Everglades National Park, and Lake Mead National Recreation Area. See below for details.

Parks that have publicly said they are planning changes include Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Big Bend National Park.

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Arizona Trail Thruhike, Day 26: Passage 31 (Walnut Canyon), Part 2 (Arizona/Utah Day 33)

The ponderosas are dense throughout, and their reddish bark glows in the light that filters through the green needles. The gambel oaks continue to impress along the route as well, adding splashes of yellow, red, and orange to the green ponderosa woodlands. The trail crosses two spur trails leading to overlooks with more magnificent views of the canyon.

Arizona Trail, Day 26: Passage 31 – Walnut Canyon (Arizona/Utah Day 33)

The trail crosses FR 303, Old Walnut Canyon Road, and heads west toward Flagstaff. Rolling in and out of drainages, It traces the rim of Walnut Canyon in places, and veers away into the woods in others. Heading west, the forest transitions back to the ponderosas, rolling up and down through drainages. The ponderosas are dense throughout, and their reddish bark glows in the light that filters through the green needles. The gambel oaks continue to impress along the route as well, adding splashes of yellow, red, and orange to the green ponderosa woodlands. The trail crosses two spur trails leading to overlooks with more magnificent views of the canyon. Both well worth the minor extra mileage and time.

Arizona Trail: Walnut Canyon National Monument, Part 4

Wrapping up at Walnut Canyon National Monument. After wrapping up the fantastic Island Trail, the Rim Trail yields some great sites as well, including an unexcavated site and several pueblos. The views of the canyon itself are pretty amazing too.

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Arizona Trail, Day 26: Walnut Canyon National Monument, Part 3

This morning starts with a stop at my last national park in northern Arizona, Walnut Canyon National Monument. Walnut Canyon National Monument protects over 80 cliff dwellings of the Northern Sinagua people. Named for the historic Spanish name for the general region, Sierra de Sin Agua, or “mountains without water,” the Sinagua people built the dwellings between 1125 and 1250 CE. The dwellings are, as the name suggests, located in Walnut Canyon, a 20 mile long, 400 ft deep and quarter mile wide canyon carved by Walnut Creek in the Mogollon Plateau southeast of Flagstaff.

Arizona Trail, Day 26: Walnut Canyon National Monument, Part 2

Walnut Canyon National Monument, one of 420 national parks in the National Park System, protects over 80 cliff dwellings of the Northern Sinagua people. Named for the historic Spanish name for the general region, Sierra de Sin Agua, or “mountains without water,” the Sinagua people built the dwellings between 1125 and 1250 CE. The dwellings are, as the name suggests, located in Walnut Canyon, a 20 mile long, 400 ft deep and quarter mile wide canyon carved by Walnut Creek in the Mogollon Plateau southeast of Flagstaff.

Arizona Trail, Day 26: Walnut Canyon National Monument, Part I

Walnut Canyon National Monument protects over 80 cliff dwellings of the Northern Sinagua people. Named for the historic Spanish name for the general region, Sierra de Sin Agua, or “mountains without water,” the Sinagua people built the dwellings between 1125 and 1250 CE. The dwellings are, as the name suggests, located in Walnut Canyon, a 20 mile long, 400 ft deep and quarter mile wide canyon carved by Walnut Creek in the Mogollon Plateau southeast of Flagstaff.

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Arizona Trail, Day 24: Elden Mountain, Part 3 (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 31)

Welcome back to Aspen’s Tracks, thruhiking the Arizona Trail from Utah to Mexico. I want to note that this hike was completed before the coronavirus pandemic arrived, but it has left me with quite a bit of time in quarantine to write up my experiences on the trail. Exiting the shadow of Elden Mountain, I … Continue reading Arizona Trail, Day 24: Elden Mountain, Part 3 (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 31)

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Arizona Trail, Day 24: Elden Mountain, Part 2 (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 31)

The Arizona Trail wraps past golden oaks and aspens through Schultz Pass and innumerable drainages, then opens out to areas potentially impacted by the 1977 Radio Fire. Hiking on, the trail skirts Little Elden Mountain. Views of Elden Mountain open up, and I hike across 89 through a tunnel, entering the Painted Canyon Preserve. Sunset clouds glow in the sky as I hike south.

Arizona Trail, Day 24: Elden Mountain (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 30)

The Arizona Trail wraps past golden oaks and aspens through Schultz Pass and innumerable drainages, then opens out to areas potentially impacted by the 1977 Radio Fire. Views of Elden Mountain open up, and I hike across US-89 through a tunnel, entering the Painted Canyon Preserve. Sunset clouds glow in the sky as I continue hiking south.

Arizona Trail, Day 23: Flagstaff Zero (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 30)

Today is going to be a busy off day. I start it with a stop at Macy’s European Coffeehouse, an awesome breakfast place in downtown Flagstaff. They make particularly great waffles, but given the hiker hunger that all thruhikers suffer from, I add a smoothie and a breakfast sandwich for good measure today. I always make a point to stop here when I’m in Flag.

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Arizona Trail, Day 22: Flagstaff, Part 3 (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 28)

The trail crosses to the flanks of Elden Mountain and continues to drop down toward Flagstaff. It crosses the Coconino National Forest border onto McMillan Mesa and into Buffalo Park, managed by Flagstaff. A wide rice grass meadow composes much of the park, crisscrossed with wide paths providing magnificent views of the San Francisco Peaks. Just magnificent, especially seen now in the late afternoon.

Arizona Trail, Day 22: Flagstaff, Part 2 (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 28)

The gambel oaks are glorious with the light passing through the leaves, and the views of Elden Mountain – the other side of which was “apocalyptically burned” in the 1970s Radio Fire, according to my AZT guidebook – are spectacular. Mule deer graze among the rice grass and trees. The gambel oaks continue to look incredible. It’s amazing how as I progress south I seem to be seeing the progression of the foliage across different tree species as well as within the species. Makes for an ever changing and spectacular color display.

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Arizona Trail, Day 21, Part 2: Heart of the San Francisco Peaks (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 27)

The Arizona Trail continues through massive groves of mature aspen and across rice grass meadows below the San Francisco Peaks. Contouring around below Humphreys and Agassiz Peaks, the two highest in Arizona, the view of the Peaks themselves and the western San Francisco Volcanic Field, over to Kendrick Peak and Bill Williams Mountain near Williams, is wide-open and magnificent.

Arizona Trail, Day 21: Heart of the San Francisco Peaks (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 27)

As the trail ascends again to traverse the mountain flank, the ponderosas transition further to aspens and mixed conifer forest again. These seem to be slightly past peak in places, but many are still quite magnificent. The trail passes through mature forest and rice grass meadows as it contours along the lower slopes of the mountains below Humphreys and Agassiz Peaks, the two highest peaks in Arizona. The weather is perfect, and the aspen leaves glow in the high elevation light. I’ll let some of their beauty again speak for themselves here, before continuing on in the next entry.

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Arizona Trail, Day 18: Passage 35, Babbitt Ranch (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 24)

Well, I’ve officially found my least favorite part of the trail so far. The first 5 miles today from Moqui Stage Station to the border of the Kaibab National Forest are nice…and then the views disappear and a long roadwalk down a valley begins where one crosses into the Babbit Ranch Passage (Passage 35). The … Continue reading Arizona Trail, Day 18: Passage 35, Babbitt Ranch (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 24)

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Arizona Trail, Day 17: Passage 36, Coconino Rim (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 23)

Today began with a continuation of the southward trek along the Coconino Rim. The rolling hike along the rim of the Coconino Plateau passes through a combination of ponderosas and, through the trees, views off the plateau toward the Navajo Nation. As the trail rises slowly back to the top of the rim and heads … Continue reading Arizona Trail, Day 17: Passage 36, Coconino Rim (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 23)

Arizona Trail, Day 15: Passage 37, Grand Canyon South Rim (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Days 21)

Unfortunately, I feel like the past few days off have broken my rhythm in terms of mileage. I spent last night with some friends on the South Rim before returning to camp for the night. Unfortunately, it seems I left my wallet at Maswik when I stopped there for dinner. So I’m up early, and … Continue reading Arizona Trail, Day 15: Passage 37, Grand Canyon South Rim (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Days 21)

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Arizona Trail Days 10-14: Triple Zero on the South Rim & Passage 37, Grand Canyon South Rim (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Days 17-20)

My late arrival the other night meant that I wasn’t able to make it to the majority of the gathering, but I did still get to see some people. I was then able to spend a few days conducting post-hike job interviews, resting, resupplies – my main reason for the extended stay; I arrived on … Continue reading Arizona Trail Days 10-14: Triple Zero on the South Rim & Passage 37, Grand Canyon South Rim (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Days 17-20)

The Arizona Trail Day 9 – Passage 39, Grand Canyon Inner Canyon (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 16)

the trail reaches the Kaibab Bridge, or Black Bridge, over the Colorado River. A 440 ft suspension bridge, it is the crossing for all mule trips from the South Rim to Phantom Ranch, and along with the Silver Bridge downstream (visible from the Kaibab Bridge) it is one of only two crossings between the Navajo Bridge at Lee’s Ferry and Hoover Dam.

The river itself, unlike when I departed from Lee’s Ferry, is a deep brown today due to rain upstream. At such times, the river takes on its natural brown color, which in fact was what led to its name – “Rio Colorado,” meaning “colored river” or “red river” in Spanish. It’s refreshing to see it as it was seen for all of history before the construction of Glen Canyon Dam in the 1960s. 

In stark contrast to the North Rim at around 8800 ft, the Colorado at Phantom is only around 2500 ft, or around the same elevation as Phoenix, so the weather it experiences is more akin to Central Arizona valleys than it is the rims of the Canyon. A hike through Grand Canyon crosses between 5-8 ecosystems, depending of where the precise boundaries are drawn, and can be like hiking from Mexico to Canada from an ecological perspective. Below the rim, one passes through the riparian zone along the river, the Lower Sonoran Desert, Upper Sonoran Desert. The North Rim features ponderosa pine and mixed conifer forests, and the South Rim ponderosa pine and pinyon-juniper forest.

Passing through a brief tunnel on the south bank, the trail quickly ascends around 1500 ft to The Tipoff on the edge of the Tonto Platform, the rim of the Inner Canyon. During this climb, I am treated to some great views of river trips launching again after having lunch at Phantom Ranch. The trail crosses the Tonto Platform and begins to climb toward Skeleton Point, through sections of the South Kaibab with colorful names such as the “Red & Whites,” and with outstanding views of the formations and scale of the canyon.

The Arizona Trail, Day 8: Passage 38, Grand Canyon National Park Inner Canyon, Part II (Trans-Arizona/Utah Day 15)

It’s getting dark when I rejoin the trail, so I’ll supplement this stretch with some photos from May. The trail enters the Box for the final several miles to Bright Angel Campground. This narrow section of the canyon is carved out of the Vishnu Schist, some of the oldest rock visible in the world (about … Continue reading The Arizona Trail, Day 8: Passage 38, Grand Canyon National Park Inner Canyon, Part II (Trans-Arizona/Utah Day 15)

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The Arizona Trail, Day 8: Passage 38, Grand Canyon Inner Canyon, Part 1 (Trans-Arizona/Utah Day 15)

Grabbed a few things at the general store on the North Rim of Grand Canyon today, then packed up camp. The park has a number of special sites at the campground, available first-come, first-served, to those who hike or bike into the park. I then proceed over to the Backcountry Information Center, and get put … Continue reading The Arizona Trail, Day 8: Passage 38, Grand Canyon Inner Canyon, Part 1 (Trans-Arizona/Utah Day 15)

The Arizona Trail, Day 7, Part II: Passage 39, Grand Canyon National Park North Rim (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 14)

The North Rim lookout is located near the highest point on the entire Arizona Trail. A historical geographic marker still bearing the Forest Service name (the tower was moved to its current location inside the park in the 1930s) is beside the tower, along with a historic lookout register sign. This particular tower is also … Continue reading The Arizona Trail, Day 7, Part II: Passage 39, Grand Canyon National Park North Rim (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 14)

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The Arizona Trail, Day 6: Passage 40, Kaibab Plateau South (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 13)

I’m on the trail early. As I noted in an earlier entry, one of the perils of combining being a seasonal ranger and thruhiking in the offseason (or shoulder seasons) is that one must make oneself available for interviews in sometimes inconvenient times or places. I owe a park a return call at some point … Continue reading The Arizona Trail, Day 6: Passage 40, Kaibab Plateau South (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 13)

The Arizona Trail, Day 5: South Kaibab Plateau (Passage 40), Part III (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 12)

Toward the end of the day there is a second encounter with another thruhiker, this time with Eric, the hiker that I encountered several days ago when he was headed northbound (nobo) to Utah; he’s now headed southbound (sobo). Hiking together for a stretch, Eric and I come to a golden tree tunnel of aspens … Continue reading The Arizona Trail, Day 5: South Kaibab Plateau (Passage 40), Part III (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 12)

The Arizona Trail, Day 5: Southern Kaibab Plateau (Passage 40), Part II (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 12)

Aspens continue to take center stage throughout the day as the terrain rolls. From Telephone Hill the trail descends to Crane Lake, one of the Kaibab Plateau’s many limestone depressions that seasonally fill with water. Trail angels have also left water caches in several places, which given how dry the weather continues to be, is … Continue reading The Arizona Trail, Day 5: Southern Kaibab Plateau (Passage 40), Part II (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 12)

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The Arizona Trail, Day 4: Central Kaibab Plateau, Part III (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 11)

The trail continues through the burn scar of the 2006 Warm Fire, In between looking around at the aspens in the prior two posts, a crack opens in the tree line to the west. The first southbound view of Grand Canyon opens up in the distance. I ultimately ran out of light in the burn … Continue reading The Arizona Trail, Day 4: Central Kaibab Plateau, Part III (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 11)

The Arizona Trail, Day 4: Central Kaibab Plateau, Part II (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 11)

Continuing through the aspen groves and ponderosa forest of the central Kaibab Plateau. It’s slow going, as the aspens in their splendor are very distracting. The day continues through ponderosa groves and then enters the burn scar left by the 2006 Warm Fire. Entering the burn scar, the wind picks up substantially, and even without … Continue reading The Arizona Trail, Day 4: Central Kaibab Plateau, Part II (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 11)

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The Arizona Trail, Day 3: Northern and Central Kaibab Plateau (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 10)

Continuing across the northern Kaibab today and onto the central (Passage 41). I encounter my first AZT hiker, Eric, to whom I give a great recommendation for Vermilion Cliffs – anyone who read my entries for the first week of this trek surely knows why. I also encounter some friends from Grand Canyon who were … Continue reading The Arizona Trail, Day 3: Northern and Central Kaibab Plateau (Trans-Arizona/Utah Hike Day 10)

The Arizona Trail, Day 2: Buckskin Mountain to Kaibab Plateau North (Arizona/Utah Day 9)

Another early start. I make it off Passage 43 (Buckskin Mountain) by mid morning and break into the northern Kaibab Plateau (Passage 42). The land shifts from BLM land at the start and enters the Kaibab National Forest south of the Passage boundary. I’m having some issues charging given the intermittent shade cast by the … Continue reading The Arizona Trail, Day 2: Buckskin Mountain to Kaibab Plateau North (Arizona/Utah Day 9)

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The Arizona Trail, Day 1 (AZ/UT Day 8, Part 4)

“In the land of Arizona
Through desert heat or snow
Winds a trail for folks to follow
From Utah to Old Mexico

It’s the Arizona Trail
A pathway through the great Southwest
A diverse track through wood and stone
Your spirit it will test

Oh, sure you’ll sweat and blister
You’ll feel the miles every day
You’ll shiver at the loneliness
Your feet and seat will pay

But you’ll see moonlight on the borderlands
You’ll see stars on the Mogollon
You’ll feel the warmth of winter sun
And be thrilled straight through to bone

The aches and pains will fade away
You’ll feel renewed and whole
You’ll never be the same again
With Arizona in your soul

Along the Arizona Trail
A reverence and peace you’ll know
Through deserts, canyons, and mountains
From Utah to Old Mexico”

Arizona Trail Approach Day 8, Part 1 – Buckskin Gulch to the Arizona Trail (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)

Broke camp early in Buckskin Gulch this morning and headed out. I make better time than I expect, and encounter the Dragoos from Oklahoma about 1.5 mi from Wire Pass. I’m surprised that I’m that close to the Pass, since I hadn’t expected to make it for several miles. We have breakfast together and hike … Continue reading Arizona Trail Approach Day 8, Part 1 – Buckskin Gulch to the Arizona Trail (Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)

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Arizona Trail Approach Day 6: Paría Canyon and Buckskin Gulch (Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)

I’m running low on battery in these canyons with extremely limited solar power to recharge. The day starts with a flight of bats flying down the canyon. After that exciting start, I decide to hike up to Slide Rock and then turn around and hit Buckskin Gulch. Just past the confluence of Paría Canyon and … Continue reading Arizona Trail Approach Day 6: Paría Canyon and Buckskin Gulch (Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)

Arizona Trail Approach Day 7: Buckskin Gulch, Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness (Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)

After several hours spent trying to fill water bags and talking with a friendly BLM ranger, as well as a farewell encounter with Philip and Raj, I head up Buckskin Gulch. After dragging my pack over the boulder jam – a much more difficult undertaking than yesterday without the pack – I start up canyon … Continue reading Arizona Trail Approach Day 7: Buckskin Gulch, Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness (Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)

Arizona Trail Approach Day 5: Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness (Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)

Dawn finds me encamped at Big Springs. I get another slow start than I’d like, this time due to weather. Expecting potential rain and knowing about remnants of Tropical Storm Lorena in area, and in relatively safe spot with gear prepped for rain, I opt to wait. Flash floods are the top weather-related killer in … Continue reading Arizona Trail Approach Day 5: Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness (Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)

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Arizona Trail Approach Day 3: Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness (Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)

Slow start this morning. The spring that I reached yesterday, the first on the trail, is little more than a trickle, and I have a lot of water to fill. It marks the border between the Chinle Formation and the Wingate Sandstone. As I begin to wind my way further up Paria Canyon, deeper and … Continue reading Arizona Trail Approach Day 3: Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness (Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)

What is Wilderness?

As I enter the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area, I think that it’s important to take a moment to discuss the concept of wilderness.

The 1964 Wilderness Act, signed by President Lyndon Johnson, states “a wilderness in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.“ It was signed on September 3rd, 1964 and gives Congress the authority to create wilderness areas within public lands where things that are associated with manmade civilization – such as mechanized transportation, developed campgrounds, etc. – are prohibited and the area is allowed to remain in as natural a state as possible.

Arizona Trail Approach Day 2: Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness (Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)

Today was an absolutely exhilarating day. I climbed around countless rapids and waterfalls heading up Paria Canyon further into the wilderness area in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. The soil around here can be cryptobiotic – essentially, living – so I stayed in the stream whenever possible to avoid damaging living soil. The canyon has started … Continue reading Arizona Trail Approach Day 2: Paría Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness (Vermilion Cliffs National Monument)

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South Rim to Lee’s Ferry

First day description, traveling from the South Rim of Grand Canyon to Marble Canyon and Lee’s Ferry in preparation for beginning the southbound trek to Mexico.

Prologue: The Arizona Trail

I finally bit the bullet on a thruhike. Since I arrived at Grand Canyon National Park in March, I have been considering thruhiking the Arizona Trail across the state. For those who don’t know, the Arizona Trail is an 800 mile long hiking trail across Arizona. It starts at the Utah state line, skirts Buckskin … Continue reading Prologue: The Arizona Trail

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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The Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River, as viewed from Uncle Tom’s Trail on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone below the Falls. At 308 ft high, the Lower Falls are almost 2x the height of Niagara Falls, and the largest volume waterfall in the Rocky Mountains in the United States.  Flow rates vary from 680 cu ft/s in fall to 8400 cu ft/s in the spring runoff. The falls are located where a hard rhyolite lava flow meets a more glassy one that has been fractured and is more easily eroded. Yellowstone NP is the oldest national park in US & world, & the 2nd largest national park in the Lower 48 after Death Valley. Sitting on the largest volcanic system in North America (the Yellowstone Caldera) it contains 50% of the world’s hydrothermal features, & many plant and animal species.
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Arizona Trail: Walnut Canyon National Monument, Part 4

Welcome back to Aspens Tracks, thruhiking the Arizona Trail from Utah to Mexico. Hopefully this wilderness account is helping you get through your coronavirus-related distancing and isolation, and giving you hope for what adventures may yet come in the post-COVID-19 future for you.

Wrapping up at Walnut Canyon National Monument. After finishing up the fantastic Island Trail, the Rim Trail yields some great sites as well, including an unexcavated site and several pueblos. The views of the canyon itself are pretty amazing too. Some kind visitors in the parking lot also give me some snacks when they hear about my attempt to hike across Arizona. One can always trust fellow parkies to help out! All in all, well worth the side trip here. I underestimated this stop and I am now running a little behind schedule, so it is time to head back and pick up the trail toward Flagstaff again.

Cliff dwellings visible from the Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument (one of 22 national parks in Arizona)
Cliff dwellings along the Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument (one of 22 national parks in Arizona)
Cliff dwellings along the Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument (one of 22 national parks in Arizona)
Archeological site on the rim of Walnut Canyon, Walnut Canyon National Monument (one of 22 national parks in Arizona)
Archeological pueblo on the rim of Walnut Canyon, Walnut Canyon National Monument (one of 22 national parks in Arizona)
An unexcavated archeological site on the rim of Walnut Canyon. Leaving such sites in place helps preserve the artifacts in as close to natural condition as possible. Walnut Canyon National Monument, one of 22 national parks in Arizona.

Walnut Canyon National Monument protects over 80 cliff dwellings of the Northern Sinagua people. Named for the historic Spanish name for the general region, Sierra de Sin Agua, or “mountains without water,” the Sinagua people built the dwellings between 1125 and 1250 CE. The dwellings are, as the name suggests, located in Walnut Canyon, a 20 mile long, 400 ft deep and quarter mile wide canyon carved by Walnut Creek in the Mogollon Plateau southeast of Flagstaff. Most are near the Island Trail that rings a peninsula of rock that Walnut Creek bends around, connected to the north rim of a canyon by a narrow ridge of rock, giving the peninsula the appearance of an island. Each room, built under limestone ledges, might have housed a family. The ledges afforded protection from the elements – they kept the dwellings cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They were also easier to defend against invasion. Prior to building the cliff dwellings, the Sinagua lived and cultivated areas on the rim of the canyon. In a dry, semi-arid landscape – though not as harsh as some found further south – the communities relied on the intermittent flow of water in Walnut Creek for sustenance. It is not clear why the dwellings were abandoned around 1250, but suspected reasons include drought and relations with neighboring tribes. National Monument also protects natural resources, including 387 species of plants as well as marine fossils remaining from when the area was located under a sea. Views from the canyon rim include the volcanic peaks around Flagstaff, including Elden Mountain and the San Francisco Peaks, as well as landmarks such as Mormon Mountain to the south, all rising out of the extensive ponderosa forest covering the Mogollon Plateau.

Cliff dwellings along the Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument (one of 22 national parks in Arizona)
Cliff dwellings along the Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument (one of 22 national parks in Arizona)
Cliff dwellings along the Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument (one of 22 national parks in Arizona)

Arizona Trail, Day 26: Walnut Canyon National Monument, Part 3

This morning starts with a stop at my last national park in northern Arizona, Walnut Canyon National Monument. Walnut Canyon National Monument protects over 80 cliff dwellings of the Northern Sinagua people. Named for the historic Spanish name for the general region, Sierra de Sin Agua, or “mountains without water,” the Sinagua people built the dwellings between 1125 and 1250 CE. The dwellings are, as the name suggests, located in Walnut Canyon, a 20 mile long, 400 ft deep and quarter mile wide canyon carved by Walnut Creek in the Mogollon Plateau southeast of Flagstaff. Most are near the Island Trail that rings a peninsula of rock that Walnut Creek bends around, connected to the north rim of a canyon by a narrow ridge of rock, giving the peninsula the appearance of an island. Each room, built under limestone ledges, might have housed a family. The ledges afforded protection from the elements – they kept the dwellings cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They were also easier to defend against invasion. Prior to building the cliff dwellings, the Sinagua lived and cultivated areas on the rim of the canyon. In a dry, semi-arid landscape – though not as harsh as some found further south – the communities relied on the intermittent flow of water in Walnut Creek for sustenance. It is not clear why the dwellings were abandoned around 1250, but suspected reasons include drought and relations with neighboring tribes. National Monument also protects natural resources, including 387 species of plants as well as marine fossils remaining from when the area was located under a sea. Views from the canyon rim include the volcanic peaks around Flagstaff, including Elden Mountain and the San Francisco Peaks, as well as landmarks such as Mormon Mountain to the south, all rising out of the extensive ponderosa forest covering the Mogollon Plateau.

Cliff dwellings visible from the Island Trail within Walnut Canyon National Monument (National Park Service-managed, Arizona)
Cliff dwellings on the walls of Walnut Canyon within Walnut Canyon National Monument (National Park Service-managed, Arizona)
Upper Walnut Canyon within Walnut Canyon National Monument, from the Canyon rim. Elden Mountain and the San Francisco Peaks rise behind in the distance. (National Park Service-managed, Arizona)
Archeological farming areas within Walnut Canyon National Monument (National Park Service-managed, Arizona)
Southward view from the rim of Walnut Canyon National Monument. Mormon Mountain rises in the distance. The “island” of the Island Trail passing many cliff dwellings is the narrow peninsula at right-center. (National Park Service-managed, Arizona)

Starting in the 1880s, theft and looting became an issue at Walnut Canyon as construction of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad brought more people to the region. By 1915, alarm among local citizens led President Wilson to establish Walnut Canyon National Monument, first under the US Forest Service as part of Coconino National Forest, then the National Park Service starting in 1934. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps built trails and buildings, stabilized the walls of various cliff dwellings, and led guided tours. Further expansions of the site in 1938 by President Roosevelt and 1994 by President Clinton added additional stretches of the canyon into the monument, bringing it to its current 3600 acres of protected resources.

Cliff dwellings on the walls of Walnut Canyon within Walnut Canyon National Monument (National Park Service-managed, Arizona). Can you spot the dwellings?
Cliff dwellings on the walls of Walnut Canyon within Walnut Canyon National Monument (National Park Service-managed, Arizona). Can you spot the dwellings?
Cliff dwellings on the walls of Walnut Canyon within Walnut Canyon National Monument (National Park Service-managed, Arizona). Can you spot the dwellings?
Southwest panorama of Walnut Canyon, showing the canyon itself, the “Island,” (center-right), Mormon Mountain (distance, left), and Elden Mountain and the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff (distance, right). Smoke from a fire rises in the distance as well, possibly the one that I observed several days ago from the Peaks.
Elden Mountain and the San Francisco Peaks (Agassiz and Schultz) from the rim at Walnut Canyon National Monument

Arizona Trail, Day 26: Walnut Canyon National Monument, Part 2

This morning starts with a stop at my last national park in northern Arizona, Walnut Canyon National Monument. Walnut Canyon National Monument, one of 420 national parks in the National Park System, protects over 80 cliff dwellings of the Northern Sinagua people.

Cliff dwellings along Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument, ((a national park, managed by the National Park Service, Arizona)
Limestone texture on the walls of Walnut Canyon; Walnut Canyon National Monument ((a national park, managed by the National Park Service, Arizona)

Named for the historic Spanish name for the general region, Sierra de Sin Agua, or “mountains without water,” the Sinagua people built the dwellings between 1125 and 1250 CE. The dwellings are, as the name suggests, located in Walnut Canyon, a 20 mile long, 400 ft deep and quarter mile wide canyon carved by Walnut Creek in the Mogollon Plateau southeast of Flagstaff. Most are near the Island Trail that rings a peninsula of rock that Walnut Creek bends around, connected to the north rim of a canyon by a narrow ridge of rock, giving the peninsula the appearance of an island.

Cliff dwellings along Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument, (a national park, managed by the National Park Service, Arizona)

Each room, built under limestone ledges, might have housed a family. The ledges afforded protection from the elements – they kept the dwellings cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They were also easier to defend against invasion.

Cliff dwellings along Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument, (a national park, managed by the National Park Service, Arizona)
Cliff dwellings along Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument (a national park, managed by the National Park Service, Arizona)

Prior to building the cliff dwellings, the Sinagua lived and cultivated areas on the rim of the canyon. In a dry, semi-arid landscape – though not as harsh as some found further south – the communities relied on the intermittent flow of water in Walnut Creek for sustenance. It is not clear why the dwellings were abandoned around 1250, but suspected reasons include drought and relations with neighboring tribes. National Monument also protects natural resources, including 387 species of plants as well as marine fossils remaining from when the area was located under a sea.

Cliff dwellings along Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument (a national park, managed by the National Park Service, Arizona)
Cliff dwellings along Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument (a national park, managed by the National Park Service, Arizona)

Starting in the 1880s, theft and looting became an issue at Walnut Canyon as construction of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad brought more people to the region. By 1915, alarm among local citizens led President Wilson to establish Walnut Canyon National Monument, first under the US Forest Service as part of Coconino National Forest, then the National Park Service starting in 1934. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps built trails and buildings, stabilized the walls of various cliff dwellings, and led guided tours. Further expansions of the site in 1938 by President Roosevelt and 1994 by President Clinton added additional stretches of the canyon into the monument, bringing it to its current 3600 acres of protected resources.

Panoramic photo of Walnut Canyon from Island Trail in Walnut Canyon National Monument ((a national park, managed by the National Park Service, Arizona)
Unaccessible cliff dwellings along Island Trail in Walnut Canyon National Monument (a national park, managed by the National Park Service, Arizona)
Upcanyon view of Walnut Canyon from Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument (a national park, managed by the National Park Service, Arizona)
Unaccessible cliff dwellings in Walnut Canyon viewed from Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument (a national park, managed by the National Park Service, Arizona)
Upcanyon view of Walnut Canyon from Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument (a national park, managed by the National Park Service, Arizona)
Unaccessible cliff dwellings in Walnut Canyon viewed from Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument (a national park, managed by the National Park Service, Arizona)

Arizona Trail, Day 26: Walnut Canyon National Monument, Part I

This morning starts with a stop at my last national park in northern Arizona, Walnut Canyon National Monument. Walnut Canyon National Monument protects over 80 cliff dwellings of the Northern Sinagua people. Named for the historic Spanish name for the general region, Sierra de Sin Agua, or “mountains without water,” the Sinagua people built the dwellings between 1125 and 1250 CE. The dwellings are, as the name suggests, located in Walnut Canyon, a 20 mile long, 400 ft deep and quarter mile wide canyon carved by Walnut Creek in the Mogollon Plateau southeast of Flagstaff. Most are near the Island Trail that rings a peninsula of rock that Walnut Creek bends around, connected to the north rim of a canyon by a narrow ridge of rock, giving the peninsula the appearance of an island. Each room, built under limestone ledges, might have housed a family. The ledges afforded protection from the elements – they kept the dwellings cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They were also easier to defend against invasion. Prior to building the cliff dwellings, the Sinagua lived and cultivated areas on the rim of the canyon. In a dry, semi-arid landscape – though not as harsh as some found further south – the communities relied on the intermittent flow of water in Walnut Creek for sustenance. It is not clear why the dwellings were abandoned around 1250, but suspected reasons include drought and relations with neighboring tribes. National Monument also protects natural resources, including 387 species of plants as well as marine fossils remaining from when the area was located under a sea.

Starting in the 1880s, theft and looting became an issue at Walnut Canyon as construction of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad brought more people to the region. By 1915, alarm among local citizens led President Wilson to establish Walnut Canyon National Monument, first under the US Forest Service as part of Coconino National Forest, then the National Park Service starting in 1934. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps built trails and buildings, stabilized the walls of various cliff dwellings, and led guided tours. Further expansions of the site in 1938 by President Roosevelt and 1994 by President Clinton added additional stretches of the canyon into the monument, bringing it to its current 3600 acres of protected resources.

View into Walnut Canyon within Walnut Canyon National Monument
View along Walnut Canyon, Walnut Canyon National Monument
Cliff dwellings in Walnut Canyon, Walnut Canyon National Monument
Panorama of upper Walnut Canyon from the upper Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument
Cliff dwellings visible from the Island Trail in Walnut Canyon National Monument
Cliff dwellings along the Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument
Cliff dwellings along the Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument
Cliff dwellings along the Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument
Cliff dwellings along the Island Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument
Cliff dwellings visible from the Island Trail in Walnut Canyon National Monument

Just What is the Difference Between National Park Service Designations, Anyway?

Zabriskie Point sunrise, Death Valley National Park

It’s National Park Week! As I head toward the next national park on my account of the Arizona Trail, Walnut Canyon National Monument, I wanted to stop and address one thing that is the source of a lot of misconceptions and questions about the National Park System.

Just what is the difference between all those national park designations, anyway?

Sunrise, Joshua Tree National Park, California
Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
General Sherman Tree, Sequoia National Park, California

First, an important observation here. I realize that this is an age where things like nuance and capitalization are treated as irrelevant or unimportant. On this note, such things are often critical, because we are dealing with laws and presidential actions.

Great Fountain Geyser eruption, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

OK, some background. For those who aren’t aware, the National Park System has a variety of designations for its component parks:

National Park
National Monument
National Preserve
National Reserve
National Seashore
National Lakeshore
National River
National River & Reccreation Area
Wild River
Wild and Scenic River
National Scenic River
National Scenic Riverways
Scenic & Recreational River
National Historical Reserve
National Scenic Trail
National Military Park
National Battlefield
National Battlefield Site
National Battlefield Park
National Historical Park
National Historic Site
International Historic Site
National Memorial
National Recreation Area
National Parkways
National Park for the Performing Arts

Fort Point National Historic Site, San Francisco
Linville Falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
Big Slackwater, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Whew. That’s quite the list! Just for an added twist, some parks contain multiple designations in one contiguous area. For example, the North Cascades National Park Service Complex includes not only the National Park but also two contiguous National Recreation Areas, Ross Lake and Lake Chelan. More on that to come. Many parks in Alaska and at least one in the lower 48 (Great Sand Dunes) contain both National Parks and Preserves, which each count as two national park units – the Park and the Preserve. There has been discussion about New River Gorge (currently designated a National River) being redesignated as such as well.

Washington Monument, National Mall & Memorial Parks, Washington DC

All of the above designations can be created by an Act of Congress. Congress can name a park anything it wants. It could name a park the National Playground or National Backyard if it wanted. It would be kind of ridicuous, but it could do it.

Now, National Monuments. How about those?

Sipapu Bridge, Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah
Montezuma Castle National Monument, Arizona
Wildflowers on a rainy day at Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah

Well, the Antiquities Act of 1906 grants the President the authority to create parks from previously owned public lands, and under the law such sites automatically receive the designation of National Monument regardless of their characteristics. Most are smaller sites, focused on a single resource. A great example of this is Jewel Cave National Monument in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It primarily protect the cave beneath the surface; the surface area is relatively limited in size. Other examples include areas like the Statue of Liberty.

But, there are some important caveats here! First, as noted, Congress can name a park anything it wants, and at least one National Monument has been created by an Act of Congress, not a Presidential Proclamation under the Antiquities Act – George Washington’s Birthplace National Monument in Virginia.

George Washington’s Birthplace National Monument, Virginia, on a gray President’s Day

Second, not all National Monuments created by Presidential Proclamation are small – some, despite meeting the legal size requirement to be limited in scope to the “proper care and management of the objects to be protected” are larger than some National Parks, partially due to the scale of the landscape and “objects to be protected,” and partially due to recent decisions by Congress to rename two relatively small sites, Gateway Arch and Indiana Dunes, as National Parks. Organ Pipe Cactus and Chiricahua National Monument are both substantially larger than either. (I think the characteristics of both make them better suited to be National Parks, personally, but Congress has not taken action to make that change.)

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona
Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona

Third, not all National Monuments are managed by the National Park Service. This is important because other land management agencies have different missions, which may be either more multiple use (Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management) or more resource protection (Fish & Wildlife Service) than the Park Service is, which is primarily resource protection with a dose of public recreation and access thrown in to allow the public to experience the protected resources – “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people,” as the Act creating Yellowstone famously proclaimed. Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Grand Staircase National Monument, and Gold Butte National Monument are examples of BLM National Monuments. Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska is an example of a US Forest Service National Monument. Bears Ears National Monument in Utah is joint BLM/USFS; Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in Arizona is joint BLM and NPS. More on this separately.

Different designations generally reflect the core resource or landscape of the site. National Seashores and Lakeshores largely contain spectacular stretches of coastline; the various battlefield designations (National Battlefield Park, National Battlefield, National Military Park, National Battlefield Site, and, in one or two cases, National Historical Park) protect historic battlefields; National Historical Parks and Sites generally protect historic areas, with the primary difference between those two being the relative size of the park, etc. National Parks generally contain a variety of resources, what the Park Service would term “multiple resources,” typically both natural and cultural, and thus tell a diverse story.

Bodie Island Lighthouse, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

The key words here, however, are “largely” and “generally.” Why? Because there is, despite public perception and common belief, no actual legal dfference between the different designations; there is no law that defines legal characteristics for each designation. As noted above, Congress can name something anything that it wants. Gateway Arch National Park, for example, protects an almost exclusively cultural landscape. Mesa Verde National Park protects a primarily cultural landscape, albeit in a beautiful setting in southwest Colorado.

Interior dome of Old Courthouse, Gateway Arch National Park

There’s one rough exception. National Preserves and National Reserves are a unique designation that often allow additional resource activities that would be prohibited in the other designations.

Kelso Dunes, Mojave National Preserve, California

Now that we’ve gone over the designations, what misconceptions might you hear about these?

Well, first and foremost, you might hear some suggest that there is a status difference between them – notably, that National Parks are a higher “status” or an “upgrade.” This manifests in two ways. The first is the belief that there is some kind of hierarchy within the park system. This is what drove the redesignation of parks like Gateway Arch (formerly Jefferson National Expansion Memorial). And I admit, it’s a misconception I fell for myself at one time. However, its not true. The mission of the Park Service is identical regardless of designation. The management is largely identical, and differences are generally due to other parts of founding legislation, not the designation*. Most parks regardless of designation prohibit the gathering of resources within the park, but while Cape Hatteras National Seashore allows the gathering of seashells, Grand Canyon National Park also allows the gathering of pinyon pine nuts. The authorization for parks to allow such activities is written into other parts of the founding legislation, and is unrelated to the designation itself (as evidenced by the fact that both a National Park and National Seashore allow a variation on a similar activity). When parks such as Gateway Arch, Cuyahoga Valley, and Indiana Dunes were redesignated, all that changed was the letterhead and signage (and visitation). For this reason, when names are changed or a park of a different designation is renamed a National Park, “redesignation” is a more appropriate phrase than “upgrade.”

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

The second manifestation is that there is a difference in legal protections or legal status between the designations established by Congress and National Monuments. Now, I will observe that it many national parks start as National Monuments and are later further established by Congress, but there is a solid legal argument that since National Monuments are established through a path established by Congress and since the Antiquities Act, their legal status is identical to that of a park established directly through an Act of Congress. Major modifications thus have to be made to the site by Congress once established, just like with all other sites, rather than by the President. There is material in the Congressional Record and further legislation since (the Federal Land Management Policy Act of 1976) to back up Congressional intent on this matter.

It’s also easy when visiting an area like the Black Hills to compare somewhere like the previously mentioned Jewel Cave National Monument to the nearby Wind Cave National Park. And it is true that Wind Cave received its designation due in part to the 30,000+ acres that Wind Cave protects on the surface in addition to the cave beneath. While Wind Cave and its surface of mixed grass prairie and 450 pure bison are unquestioningly magnificent, the two parks should be viewed based on their individual characteristics. Wind Cave didn’t receive its designation because of anything it had that Jewel Cave didn’t, nor vice versa. They each received their designations because of the legal means through which the parks were established, and because of the characteristics of the individual site.

Pronghorn on the border of Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park, South Dakota

You might also hear some people say that “national parks are different from national park units.” Well, yes – but all 419 parks are units of the park system, including all 62 National Parks. Indeed, the better way to distinguish between the two is to use capitalization to indicate the 62 Congressionally-designated National Parks, since it is an official title granted by Congress, whereas the lowercase “national parks” usually refers to all 419. NPS typically reserves the term “unit” for a subsidiary part of one of the 419 parks, such as the “North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.”

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Lastly, as further evidence of the relative insignificance of most designations, there are at least 5 designations for battlefields, as referenced above. As a native of northern Virginia, I’ve been to many of them. The difference between them (other than the obviously smaller National Battlefield Site) is extremely limited, to the point of being practically nonexistent. If designations were truly impactful, this would not be the case. Indeed, I believe that one of the simplest ways to streamline park nomenclature would be to establish one designation for all battlefields. I favor “National Battlefield Park,” which makes both the primary resource and the National Park Service connection clear, but I’m open to other thoughts as well on that matter.

Antietam National Battlefield during the annual luminaries event, Maryland
Rose River Falls, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

I also mentioned North Cascades above. The three parks that make up the North Cascades National Park Service Complex are the product of compromise and politics and show how those processes influence designations and park establishment. When the park was initially proposed, the entirety of the North Cascades complex was within the National Park. But residents of the town of Stehekin were concerned – likely due to some of the misconceptions above, in part – about the implications of living within the border of a National Park. So that area was drawn into Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. In addition, the state of Washington wanted to build a road across the area, but park advocates wanted the park to maintain a wilderness character. So the road corridor became part of Ross Lake National Recreation Area, dividing the National Park itself into the North and South Units and accessed only by hiking trails and one short 6 mile spur road. Many visitors never actually cross into Park itself. Yet, all three parks are managed together as one unit despite their different designations. The different designations are the result of politics, not status or any other reason.

I hope this clarifies park designations somewhat. It’s important to remember that at their core the parks represent, protect, and interpret the shared natural, cultural, and historical story of America, beautiful and ugly. And the name a park receives as part of its role in telling that story is relatively limited in impact relative to the story itself. As Shakespeare famously wrote, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Have you been subject to any of these misconceptions over the years, as I was at one time? What do you think could be done by Congress to clarify such misconceptions and confusion that might result from the various nomenclature that is currently employed?

*with the exception, again, of National Preserves and National Reserves.

Arizona Trail, Day 16 – Passage 37, Grand Canyon South Rim to Passage 36, Coconino Rim (Trans-Arizona/Utah Day 22)

Slow start this morning due to the temperature. Still in the Kaibab National Forest. It was pretty chilly last night but having the tent helped keep the temperature up. Packing up, it’s about 3 miles to the Grandview lookout tower. I climb the tower for a nice view of Grand Canyon and the Coconino Plateau. Continuing, the trail passes under a ceremonial archway and do an interpretive trail regarding dwarf mistletoe on the east side of the lookout tower. Dwarf mistletoe is a parasitic plant that impacts Southwest conifer forests. Dwarf mistletoes are dioecious (individual male/female) plants. It shoots sticky seeds up to 60 mph for distances of 15-40 ft. Most seeds fail to land on suitable hosts, but those that do stick to and implant themselves beneath the bark of the host and begin living off of it, growing “roots” into the host to extract nutrients and water. Southwest dwarf mistletoe make up the particular species in the Kaibab National Forest. Mistletoe spreads throughout the tree, taking more and more nutrients, leading to portions of the tree starting to die. The tree often starts to die from the top. When there are not enough live branches remaining, the whole tree dies, often as the result of outside attack (such an insects) on the tree already stressed by the mistletoe.

Witches’ brooms are a common result of dwarf mistletoe infestations; the more that form on a given tree, the worse the infestation on the tree, but they also provide habitat for other animals. Trimming such branches can help control the spread and reduce the degradation of a given tree, but it is also expensive and typically only conducted in areas close to commonly-traveled areas like campgrounds.

Longtime fire suppression tactics, which have since been changed but the effects of which take time to change themselves, contributed to artificially high densities of trees in ponderosa forests; natural wildfire and thinning help manage dwarf mistletoe. And it becomes clear, walking through the forest, that the areas where the spacing between trees is greater, due to natural fires and prescribed burns, the forest is healthier. But the walk through the pines is magnificent regardless.

The trail approaches and begins to trace the Coconino Rim to tonight’s campsite. The end of the day brings some particularly spectacular views of the eastern portion of Grand Canyon, including Cape Royal and Cape Final on the North Rim as well as Moran Point, Lipan Point, and Desert View on the South Rim. The Navajo Nation can also be seen in the distance, and the distinct landscape change that accompanies the elevation drop from the Coconino Plateau to the Nation. While it is a challenge, I do find healthy ponderosas along the way too. I find a campsite relatively close to the rim beneath a ponderosa near the trail, and crash for the night.

The Arizona Trail winds toward the Grandview Lookout, through ponderosa groves in the Kaibab National Forest
The Arizona Trail winds toward the Grandview Lookout, through ponderosa groves in the Kaibab National Forest, past ridges of Kaibab limestone
Arizona Trail winds along Kaibab limestone ridges, Kaibab National Forest
Gambel oaks along the Arizona Trail, Kaibab National Forest (AZT Passage 37)
Groves of Gambel oaks along the Arizona Trail, Kaibab National Forest (AZT Passage 37)
Groves of Gambel oaks along the Arizona Trail, Kaibab National Forest (AZT Passage 37)
Arizona Trail in Kaibab National Forest (AZT Passage 37)
Wildfire reminders, Arizona Trail, Kaibab National Forest (AZT Passage 37)
Arizona Trail through ponderosa forest, Kaibab National Forest (AZT Passage 37)
Wildfire reminders along the Arizona Trail, Kaibab National Forest
Gambel oak grove among ponderosa pines, Arizona Trail, Kaibab Nation Forest (AZT Passage 37 – Grand Canyon South Rim)
Arizona Trail Grandview Trailhead, lookout tower behind, Kaibab National Forest (AZT Passage 37 – Grand Canyon South Rim)
Arizona Trail Grandview Trailhead, lookout tower behind, Kaibab National Forest (AZT Passage 37 – Grand Canyon South Rim)
Grand Canyon from the Grandview Lookout on the Arizona Trail, Kaibab National Forest (AZT Passage 37 – Grand Canyon South Rim)
Grand Canyon from the Grandview Lookout on the Arizona Trail, Kaibab National Forest (AZT Passage 37 – Grand Canyon South Rim)
Northeast view from Grandview Lookout tower on the Arizona Trail, Kaibab National Forest. Grand Canyon at left. (AZT Passage 37 – Grand Canyon South Rim)
East view off Coconino Rim from Grandview Lookout, Kaibab National Forest. (AZT Passage 37 – Grand Canyon South Rim)
San Francisco Volcanic Field, including San Francisco Peaks (left), viewed from Grandview Lookout in the Kaibab National Forest (AZT Passage 37 – Grand Canyon South Rim)
Buttes rise out of the Coconino Plateau, viewed from the Grandview Lookout on the Arizona Trail in the Kaibab National Forest (AZT Passage 37 – Grand Canyon South Rim)
Heading onto Arizona Trail Passage 36 – the Coconino Rim
The Arizona Trail continues south from Grandview onto Passage 36 – the Coconino Rim
Dwarf Mistletoe growing on ponderosa pines in the Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Dwarf mistletoe impacts to ponderosa pines in the Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Young impacted ponderosa pines in the Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Dwarf-mistletoe impacted ponderosa pines in the Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Dwarf-mistletoe impacted ponderosa pines in the Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Dwarf-mistletoe impacted ponderosa pines in the Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Southbound on the Arizona Trail toward Russell Tank in the Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Southbound on the Arizona Trail toward Russell Tank in the Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim). 676 miles to Mexico.
Southbound through impacted ponderosas in the Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino National Forest)
Gambel oak along Arizona Trail, Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Ponderosa pines killed by dwarf mistletoe, Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Ponderosa pines killed by dwarf mistletoe, Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Cape Royal on the North Rim of Grand Canyon from the Arizona Trail along the Coconino Rim in the Kaibab National Forest (AZT Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Cape Royal and Cape Final on the North Rim of Grand Canyon from the Arizona Trail on the Coconino Rim, Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
East view off the Coconino Plateau in the Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
View toward the Navajo Nation from the Coconino Rim, Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Dwarf mistletoe impacts in ponderosa forests on the Coconino Plateau in the Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Dwarf mistletoe impacts in ponderosa forests on the Coconino Plateau in the Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Dwarf mistletoe impacts in ponderosa forests on the Coconino Plateau in the Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Dwarf mistletoe impacts in ponderosa forests on the Coconino Plateau in the Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Dwarf mistletoe impacts in ponderosa forests on the Coconino Plateau in the Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Dwarf mistletoe impacts in ponderosa forests on the Coconino Plateau in the Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)
Healthy, young ponderosas on the Coconino Plateau, Kaibab National Forest (Arizona Trail Passage 36 – Coconino Rim)