National Parks During a Government Shutdown

Following the enactment of the continuing resolution, the National Park Service is resuming regular operations nationwide. You can find more information at

A government shutdown impacts all of us. 

Our top priority at the National Park Foundation is to ensure you, the champions of our national parks community, have as much information as possible. Be sure to bookmark this page and revisit it for the latest updates. In the meantime, here’s what we know.


The partial government shutdown adversely affects national parks. From overflowing garbage cans to damaged natural resources caused by human activity, parks now have new and unexpected challenges. Once the government reopens and National Park Service staff assess the full extent of damages, both financial resources and volunteers will be needed to help restore these great places. But, you can do something today to help your national parks recover. 

To make sure we’re at the ready, we need your help.

Below are two ways you can help. The first is to give today. By supporting the Parks Restoration Fund, your donations will go to the parks that need help the most. The National Park Foundation will be able to work across the National Park Service and our park partners to assess needs and provide clean up efforts once the parks are back open.

The second way you can help is to sign up for information about volunteer efforts. Because National Park Service employees are furloughed, we are not able to coordinate in-park volunteer efforts until they return. If you sign up today, we will let you know how you can lend a hand once parks are up and running again.

Parks rely on volunteers to support their work. Sign up here to receive news and information about what you can do once the government reopens.



From Yellowstone and Yosemite to Grand Canyon and Gettysburg, a shutdown will play out differently at different parks. Each site is unique – park access and the level to which partners can help (like concessionaires and philanthropic partners) vary greatly so the best thing you can do is prepare. If you are still planning a visit, we recommend you do the following as soon as possible:

  • Know before you go. In the event of a shutdown, some visitor centers will be open while others will be closed. Call to find out what will be accessible and inquire about any necessary safety measures. Do some online research as well. Gateway communities (e.g. local chambers of commerce or travel and tourism boards) and park concessionaires may also have some information on their sites and social media channels about what you can expect.

  • Confirm Reservations. If you plan to stay at a campground, hotel, or lodge, contact them directly about your reservation status and options should the government be shut down during your visit.

We will do what we can to keep you apprised of the latest news. While our partners at the National Park Service may be furloughed, we remain hard at work to protect our national treasures. When the National Park Service releases additional information related to the shutdown, we will update it here.

Last updated January 10, 2019.

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