Nation Parks Visitors should steel themselves for a “new normal” that is not likely square with their last trip, said Acting Park Service Director David Vela.
Nation Parks Visitors may have facilities that aren’t going to be available, but the (park’s) footprint will be. So it will be a different visitor experience, and it will be a different normal.
“This gets to the value and importance of making sure that visitors know what to expect when they get to the park, making sure that visitors go to the park’s website (and) social media … as to what is accessible, how to plan your trip, and, most importantly, what are the expectations when you get there,” said Director Vila.
National Park Service is testing public access at several parks across the nation.
Parks are staffing up and will increase access as workers are in place to patrol trails and roads, host campgrounds, and operate visitor centers and museums. At the Utah parks, seasonal employees from out of state must quarantine for 14 days before they can report for duty, which will slow the process.
Major parks throughout the country that have begun limited openings include Badlands and Wind Cave national parks, Jewel Cave National Monument in South Dakota; Everglades National Park in Florida; Indiana Dunes National Park; Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada; Mount Rainier National Park in Washington; Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky; Pinnacles National Park in California.