National Park Service suspends entrance fees. Free admission for now

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(March 18, 2020) – After careful consideration, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt directed the National Park Service (NPS) to temporarily suspend the collection of all park entrance fees until further notice.

“I’ve directed the National Park Service to waive entrance fees at parks that remain open. This small step makes it a little easier for the American public to enjoy the outdoors in our incredible National Parks,” said Bernhardt.

Other states and municipalities have implemented similar policies waiving fees to parks in an effort to support social distancing.

“Our vast public lands that are overseen by the Department offer special outdoor experiences to recreate, embrace nature and implement some social distancing,” said Bernhardt.

At a majority of park locations where it is currently possible to adhere to public health guidance, outdoor spaces remain open to the public, while many facilities will be closed.

The Department of the Interior and NPS continue to urge visitors to do their part when visiting a park to follow CDC guidance by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.

Specifically, the CDC recommends high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, take extra precautions to be best protected against the spread of coronavirus.

Updates about the NPS response to the coronavirus will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

Keep up to date with how the coronavirus is affecting RVers here.

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Richard Hubert
6 months ago

What was not mentioned in this article was that most, if not all, campgrounds in National Parks are closed.

https://thedyrt.com/magazine/local/campground-closures-list-covid-19/

So once again, as with many states – this decision makes no sense. Not allow overnight camping – yet encourage day use visitors???? We have been to many National Parks, and most are in very remote locations. If we could not spend the night at a particular N.P. then most are certainly farther away than a day trip. So we would not go.

And the logic they present for encouraging Day use visitors is that it gets people away from cities into remote areas where it is much more difficult to spread the disease – it promotes social distancing. But what about campers – RVers in particular? Wouldn’t you also want to encourage them to go hunker down in a remote area for the same purpose? Wouldn’t you want to encourage them to leave urban areas as well? Beyond that – there area many full timers – those with no “sticks & bricks” houses – out there who need a place to go. Particularly for those well equipped to boondock (such as ourselves) all we need is a quiet remote location to settle down.

So instead of closing off parks and public lands, government officials should be:

> Extending allowable stays (usually 2 week limit) in their parks to help support quarantine periods to help keep more people isolated and not moving around.
> Permit RVers (who are so equipped) to boondock on open spaces and parking lots, also with extended stays.
> Opening up more lands and open spaces for boondocking, and removing stay limits there as well.
> Encouraging people who have RVs to use them for more compliance with self-quarantine and stay-at-home orders by moving to more remote areas such as state parks and public lands.
> Enlist those camping to voluntarily assist in maintenance of their camping area through trash collection and basic road and site maintenance. The purpose of this is to allow campers who benefit from these rule changes to demonstrate and acknowledge their appreciation as well as take over some of the work that park personnel would have to do, relieving limited personnel of some workload. In some posts some RVers have already volunteered to help clean bathhouses in these parks as well if they are allowed extended stays during this crisis.

Chris
6 months ago

Yosemite National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park are closed.