Are National Parks Open during the Covid-19 Crisis?

The Watchman and the Virgin River as seen from the Pa’Rus Trail.

WordPress is running daily prompts during the month of April to help with the cabin fever of bloggers under quarantine everywhere. Today’s prompt is ‘Open.’ So in the midst of statewide lock-downs, are the National Parks Open?

Pa’Rus Trail

The NPS is taking extraordinary steps to implement the latest guidance from state and local public health authorities, which support the CDC’s efforts to promote social distancing and slow the spread of COVID-19. The NPS is modifying operations, until further notice, for facilities and programs that cannot adhere to this guidance. Where it is possible to adhere to this guidance, outdoor spaces will remain open to the public and entrance-fee free

—NPS Public Health Page

View of the valley from Scout Lookout Trail

Long story short, some sites, like Zion National Park are open on a limited basis which means no visitor centers, shuttles, stores, public restrooms or trails where people cannot reasonably expected to keep six feet apart. Rangers are still patrolling the parks that are open and there is some controversy in this that may soon see the complete closure of the parks until the pandemic has passed.

View of the valley from Hidden Canyon Trail, which is currently closed.

Until life resumes as normal, there are virtual parks visits on Google Earth and on You Tube. To amuse myself in the long hours at home, I’ve been turning some of my photos into digital paintings.

Kolob Canyon