Visitor centers at Arches, Canyonlands to reopen during government shutdown
MOAB, Utah — Visitor centers at two of Utah’s national parks will reopen Friday morning as the partial government shutdown enters its 21st day.
The Canyonlands Natural History Association donated funds to reopen visitor centers at Canyonlands and Arches national parks, according to posts on both national parks’ Facebook pages.
“Rangers will be on duty to answer questions, but may not be able to offer all services,” the posts said.
Park visitors should expect to encounter winter conditions in both parks, and hikers are urged to bring traction devices for snowy and icy trails.
On December 31, the roads through both parks were closed due to snowy conditions and, because of the shutdown, a lack of funding to plow them.
On Thursday, the Utah Department of Transportation dispatched some of its plows to clear snow in both parks.
“These national parks are part of our state’s identity and it’s important that the roads are clear, that they’re safe for people to travel on. We have millions of people that visit our state because of these five national parks every year. So, we want their experience to be a pleasant one. We want everyone to be safe,” said UDOT spokesman John Gleason. “We have the resources to do this. Our leadership met with the governor and the Office of Tourism to see if this was something we could do.”
Gleason said the other three national parks in Utah either didn’t need plowing or had received their own donations for plowing.