In light of the spread of COVID-19, trying to find out what is open and closed in our national parks is a moving target these days. The National Park Service is coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local public health authorities, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to make its decisions on what to keep open or to close on a daily basis.
In order to maintain the safety of park visitors, employees, and residents while allowing management and administrative operations to continue, Yosemite National Park is closed to all but residents and authorized employees of the National Park Service (NPS), park concessioners, and partners. This order remains in effect until further notice.
As of April 1, the South Entrance is closed overnight. Entry into the park will not be permitted at that entrance during the hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The entrance is being staffed from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. During that period employees, residents, and property owners with proof of residency/employment can enter the park.
To follow additional closures or changes with the status of the park, visit the Yosemite news site. www.nps.gov/yose/learn/news/
For camping reservations, alerts and closures, visit Recreation.gov here: www.recreation.gov/camping/gateways/2991
Follow the park on Facebook at www.facebook.com/YosemiteNPS
In the meanwhile, the park staff is advising travelers to enjoy Yosemite virtually by downloading the park’s free App at www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/app.htm and through the park’s webcams at www.nps.gov/yose/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Following guidance from the CDC and recommendations from state and local public health authorities in consultation with NPS Public Health Service officers, all public facilities are now temporarily closed, including park visitor centers, contact stations, lodges, and restaurants.
Most park highways and roads are closed, with the exception of roads that lead to national forest and the park areas that remain open. Park areas that remain open include Redwood Canyon in Kings Canyon and Mineral King Road, South Fork and North Fork areas of Sequoia National Park. These areas are being affected by a winter storm; check conditions before deciding to travel. South Fork Campground remains open. This primitive campground has 10 sites, and no potable water is available.
All lodging and dining facilities managed by Delaware North Companies (DNC) closed effective Wednesday, March 18 through April 1. Where it is possible to adhere to the latest health guidance, outdoor spaces including trails and campgrounds will remain open to provide healthy options for the public.
To get up-to-date news, go to the Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks news site. www.nps.gov/seki/learn/news/
Follow the park on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SequoiaKingsNPS/
For camping or the Crystal Cave Tour in Sequoia National Park go here: www.recreation.gov/camping/gateways/2931
Channel Islands National Park
As of March 16, 2020, the park’s mainland visitor center in Ventura Harbor is closed until further notice. The five remote islands that comprise Channel Islands National Park remain open to public visitation. However, current access will only be via private vessel.
The park’s boat transportation concessioner Island Packers announced a two-week halt to its public transportation services as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The cancellation in boat services includes all landing and non-landing trips.
The park staff encourage you to visit Channel Islands Live at www.nps.gov/chis/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm where you can experience the kelp forest virtually. It’s one of the richest marine environments in the world.
To get up-to-date news, go to www.nps.gov/chis/learn/news/.
Follow Channel Islands on Facebook at www.facebook.com/channelislandsnps.
Death Valley National Park
As of March 22, 2020, restrooms are open outside Furnace Creek Visitor Center, at the Stovepipe Wells gas station, Emigrant, and Panamint Springs Resort. Most restrooms at campgrounds, trailheads, and viewpoints are closed.
All visitor centers are closed, ranger led programs cancelled, and the following campgrounds closed March 18 and 19: Emigrant, Mesquite Springs, Texas Springs, Furnace Creek, Sunset and Stovepipe Wells.
Visitors can continue to enjoy Death Valley National Park online through videos, including the series “Death Valley Explorer.” These can be found at the park website at www.nps.gov/deva/learn/photosmultimedia/videos.htm.
Get Death Valley’s most up-to-date alerts at www.nps.gov/deva/learn/news/.
Follow the park on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/DeathValleyNPS
Only Furnace Creek Campground takes advanced campground reservations. Find out updates on it at Recreation.gov here www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/232496
Other National Parks and National Park Sites
The National Park Service has been updating its COVID-19 page daily with information about individual parks. You can visit it here: www.nps.gov/aboutus/news/public-health-update.htm
Updates about nationwide NPS operations are posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.
National Park Service to Temporarily Suspend Park Entrance Fees: www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/national-park-service-to-temporarily-suspend-park-entrance-fees.htm
National Park Service Is Modifying Operations to Implement Latest Health Guidance www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/statmentonparkopscovid19.htm