National Park COVID Responses

COVID and its associated quarantines have kept many of us cooped up with a serious case of cabin fever for much of the year thus far. Maybe we have been getting out on our local trails, wearing down the tread of our favorite tennies or hiking boots as we lap the same routes, or revisiting old classics not too far from home. Now though, as States move into more lenient phases of reopening, our options for escape expand! Along with the States, our National Parks and monuments have begun to admit visitors once more, albeit with some new rules, regulations, and closures.

To help you easily, responsibly, and  safely plan your escapes, we have compiled a list of some of the current policy changes for some of the nation’s most popular National Parks. Remember while traveling to follow CDC guidelines closely, and to check for any state or county safety implementations.

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ArizonaCaliforniaColoradoMontana/WyomingNorth Carolina/TennesseeUtahWashington

Arizona

State/County Requirements

  • Masks required in public spaces.
  • Bars are closed.
  • Restaurants are allowed to remain open with restricted capacities. Many are only doing take-out or outdoor seating.

Grand Canyon National Park

Park Amenities and Facilities:

  • All visitor centers are closed.
  • Shuttles, buses, and taxi services are suspended.
  • Most dining open with restricted capacity or take-out only.
  • All lodges and hotels are open and accepting reservations.
  • The East entrance on Highway 64 is closed, as is Desert View Watchtower and all associated facilities.

 

Wilderness Camping and Hiking:

  • All trails remain open for day hiking.
  • All campgrounds are closed except for Mather Campground, which will honor existing reservations but is not accepting new ones.
  • Existing backpacking permits are being honored but no new permits for July or August are being issued.

 

For more detailed or up to date information regarding Grand Canyon closures visit the NPS alerts page. 

Let us handle the logistics for you! View Grand Canyon hiking tours here.

California

State/County Requirements

  • Masks are required in all public places.
  • Bars remain closed.
  • Restaurants are only open with outdoor seating or take-away.

Death Valley National Park

Park Amenities and Facilities:

  • Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells visitor centers remain closed.
  • Lodges are open and accepting reservations
  • Restaurants are open with restricted capacity or take-out services only.

Wilderness Camping and Hiking:

  • All trails remain open
  • Most campgrounds are open
  • Dispersed wilderness camping is allowed.

Joshua Tree National Park

Park Amenities and Facilities:

  • Bookstore and visitor information desks remain open.
  • All museum and exhibit portions of park visitor centers will be temporarily closed.

Wilderness Camping and Hiking:

  • All trails are open.
  • Most campgrounds remain open on a first come first served basis.
  • Campfires prohibited.
  • Backpacking is allowed, though any vehicle being left at a trailhead overnight must be registered with Park.

Sequoia – Kings Canyon National Parks

Park Amenities and Facilities:

  • Visitor centers remain closed.
  • Most lodges remain open and are accepting reservations.
  • Most restaurants are open with restricted capacity, outdoor seating, or take-out services only.
  • Shuttles are not operating.

Wilderness Camping and Hiking:

  • All trails are open.
  • 3/13 campgrounds are open, but require advanced reservations.
  • Permits for backpacking will be granted based on trail quota but must be obtained at least two weeks in advance.

Yosemite National Park

Park Amenities and Facilities:

  • A reservation must be made in advance to enter the Park.
  • Most lodging is open and accepting reservations.
  • Most restaurants are open with restricted capacity, outdoor seating, or take-out services only.
  • Buses, shuttles, and taxis are not operating.

Wilderness Camping and Hiking:

  • Most trails are open.
  • Upper Pines Campground is open but requires advanced reservations. All other Campgrounds are closed.
  • Wilderness permits are being administered in a 14 day prior lottery.
  • It is not possible to obtain a wilderness permit fewer than 9 days in advance.

 

For more detailed or up to date information regarding closures visit the NPS alerts page.

Death Valley
Joshua Tree
Sequoia – Kings Canyon
Yosemite

Let us handle the logistics for you! View California hiking tours here.

Colorado

State/County Requirements

  • Masks required indoors.
  • Dining open with limited occupancy.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Park Amenities and Facilities:

  • A timed entry permit or camping reservation is required to enter ALL areas of Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • Visitor Centers and stores are open.

Wilderness Camping and Hiking:

  • All trails open.
  • Glacier Basin and Moraine Park campgrounds are open but require reservations in advance. All other campgrounds remain closed.
  • Backpacking permits are available.

 

For more detailed or up to date information regarding Rocky Mountain National Park closures visit the NPS alerts page. 

Let us handle the logistics for you! View Rocky Mountain hiking tours here.

Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho

State/County Requirements

If traveling through Montana: 

  • Masks are required indoors in most counties (including Gallatin county, outside of West Yellowstone).
  • Screenings may occur in Montana airports.
  • If traveling through tribal reservations additional restrictions may be in place.

If traveling through Wyoming:

  • Bars and restaurants are open with some restrictions regarding capacity and events.

If traveling through Idaho:

  • Idaho requires face masks while in public places in some counties (including Teton county, outside of Yellowstone and Grand Tetons).
  • Restaurants are open with capacity restrictions.

Grand Teton National Park

Park Amenities and Facilities:

  • Visitor centers are open but exhibits and auditoriums are closed.
  • Headwaters Lodge and Cabins, Colter Bay Cabins, and Signal Mountain lodge are open with reduced availability. Other lodges are not expected to reopen this season.
  • Some restaurants are open for take-out dining.

Wilderness Camping and Hiking:

  • All trails are open, although some wilderness areas are closed due to wildlife activity.
  • Campgrounds are open on a first come first served basis.
  • Backpacking permits are available and being administered normally.

Yellowstone National Park

Park Amenities and Facilities:

  • Roads are open. Construction present in some places.
  • Most lodges are open and accepting reservations.
  • Most restaurants remain closed though general stores and cafes are largely open.

Wilderness Camping and Hiking:

  • Most trails are open.
  • The Boiling River and Firehole swim areas are closed currently.
  • Only four campgrounds are open and the Park strongly recommends making reservations in advance.
  • Backpacking permits are being administered in a no-contact manner (phone and email) 2 days in advance. If planning your trip further out than that you may obtain an advanced reservation.

 

For more detailed or up to date information regarding closures visit the NPS alerts page.

Grand Teton
Yellowstone

Let us handle the logistics for you! View Montana and Wyoming hiking tours here.

North Carolina and Tennessee

State/County Requirements

If traveling through North Carolina: 

  • Masks are required in public spaces.
  • Bars remain closed but restaurants may be open with reduced capacity.

If traveling through Tennessee: 

  • Mask mandates vary on a county to county basis. If entering Smoky Mountain National Park via Sevier County (Gatlinburg), then masks are required. If entering via Blount County (Townsend) there is no mask mandate.
  • Restaurants in have reopened with limited capacity. Bars remain closed.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Park Amenities and Facilities:

  • Most visitor centers remain open.
  • LeConte Lodge is open and accepting reservations.
  • Cades Cove Store is open.

Wilderness Camping and Hiking:

  • All trails are open.
  • Limited campgrounds are open.
  • Backpacking permits are available and being administered normally.

 

For more detailed or up to date information regarding Great Smoky Mountains National Park closures visit the NPS alerts page.

Let us handle the logistics for you! View Great Smoky Mountains hiking tours here.

Utah

State/County Requirements

  • Bars and restaurants are open with restrictions on capacity.
  • Masks are required in public spaces dependent upon county.

Arches National Park

Park Amenities and Facilities:

  • All roads are open
  • Visitor Center services remain closed.
  • Arches’ park store remains open.
  • The Fiery Furnace is closed and all ranger led programs there are canceled until further notice.

Wilderness Camping and Hiking:

  • All trails are open.
  • Devils Garden Campground is open.
  • Backcountry camping is closed.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Park Amenities and Facilities:

  • All roads are currently open, though vehicle length restrictions may be in place.
  • Visitor Center is open with limited visitor occupancy. The theater is currently closed.
  • The Lodge at Bryce Canyon is open and accepting reservations. They are also offering take-out services from the restaurant.

Wilderness Camping and Hiking:

  • All trails open.
  • Sunset campground is open and accepting reservations. North campground is closed due to construction but is expected to reopen soon.
  • Backpacking permits are being administered as normal.
  • Sheep Creek backcountry site is closed due to bear activity.

Canyonlands National Park

Park Amenities and Facilities:

  • All roads are open.
  • The park book store is open and allowing a limited number of people inside at a time. 
  • Visitor centers are closed but rangers may be available in front of the visitor center for information and park info. 

Wilderness Camping and Hiking:

  • All trails are open.
  • Campgrounds are open and accepting reservations but group sites are closed until further notice.
  • Backpacking permits are being administered administered online only.
  • Permits must be secured at least two days before the start of your trip.

Capitol Reef National Park

Park Amenities and Facilities:

  • All services are fully open with some capacity restrictions in place.

Wilderness Camping and Hiking:

  • All trails are open.
  • All campgrounds are open and accepting reservations.
  • Backcountry permits are available at the Capitol Reef visitor center.

Zion National Park

Park Amenities and Facilities:

  • Springdale shuttles are operating once more.
  • Zion shuttles are operating with reduced capacity and require a pre-purchased ticket.
  • Parking is severely limited.
  • Kolob Canyons area, scenic drive, and visitor center are closed.
  • Campfires prohibited.

Wilderness Camping and Hiking:

  • Angel’s Landing infamous “chain section” is closed at Scout Lookout.
  • Hidden Canyon, Observation Point (via East Rim Trail), and Weeping Rock Trail are closed due to rockfall.
  • Only the Watchman campground remains open and requires advance reservations.
  • Backcountry permits are not being administered at this time.

 

For more detailed or up to date information regarding closures visit the NPS alerts page.

Arches
Bryce
Canyonlands
Capitol Reef
Zion

 

Let us handle the logistics for you! View Utah hiking tours here.

Washington

State/County Requirements

  • Masks required indoors or in public spaces.
  • Bars and restaurants are closed or operating with reduced capacity.

Mt. Rainier National Park

Park Amenities and Facilities:

  • All roads are open.
  • Visitor center remains closed.
  • The National Park Inn and Sunrise Day Lodge are both open and accepting reservations.
  • All restaurants are take-out only.

Wilderness Camping and Hiking:

  • All campgrounds are open with reduced capacity.
  • Backpacking permits must be obtained in advance. Walk-up permits are currently discontinued.

Olympic National Park

Park Amenities and Facilities:

  • Hurricane Ridge visitor center is open. Olympic National Park visitor center is closed but rangers are available on the front porch to answer questions.
  • All lodges are open and accepting reservations.
  • Dining at the lodges is restricted to take-out only.

Wilderness Camping and Hiking:

  • All trails are open except for the Spruce Railroad trail which is under construction.
  • Campgrounds are open and accepting reservations.
  • Wilderness information centers remain closed.
  • All permits must be obtained in advance. Walk up or self registration permits will not be administered during 2020.
  • Wilderness camping quotas have been implemented.

 

For more detailed or up to date information regarding closures visit the NPS alerts page.

Mt. Rainier
Olympic

 

Let us handle the logistics for you! View Pacific Northwest hiking tours here.

Wildland Trekking Hiking Adventures

 

As the world’s premier hiking and trekking company, Wildland believes in connecting people to fantastic environments in amazing ways. Wildland Trekking Company offers an array of incredible hiking and trekking experiences in 9 states and 11 countries. Read more about our world-class destinations.

To learn more about our guided backpacking trips and all of our award-winning hiking vacations, please visit our website or connect with one of our Adventure Consultants: 800-715-HIKE.

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National Park COVID Responses
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National Park COVID Responses
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INPUT 30-WORD DETo help you easily, responsibly, and  safely plan your escapes, we have compiled a list of some of the current policy changes for some of the nation's most popular National Parks. Remember while traveling to follow CDC guidelines closely, and to check for any state or county safety implementations.SCRIPTION
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The Wildland Trekking Company
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