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Western National Parks Begin Phased Reopenings

Parks in four Western states are beginning a phased reopening after shutting down due to Covid-19.

Lassen Volcanic National Park begins a phased reopening on May 29.

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Editor's note: The following information is subject to change as parks continue a phased reopening process. Check back here or at nps.gov/coronavirus for the latest updates.

After being shut down for most or all of April due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, many western states are beginning a phased reopening of their national parks and state parks.

Before you go, check the park’s website or call ahead for updated information about what is open, and check the guidelines of your state/county and those around the park before visiting. If your local health department recommends staying home or avoiding all non-essential activities, stay in your community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Park Service ask all visitors to stay in their local area. The CDC also advises visitors to only recreate with members of their household, always maintain proper social distance of at least 6 feet within the park (including in the parking lot, at any overlooks, and on all trails), and to opt for less-trafficked areas and trails.

Here’s what you can expect for parks in California, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada:

California

Channel Islands National Park

The Channel Islands’ five island destinations are open, but accessible only by private vessel. Island Packers, the park’s transportation concessionaire, plans to resume ferry service in early June.

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley remains closed indefinitely.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua tree has begun reopening. Park entrances, roads, and trails are open throughout the park. Campgrounds are open on a first-come, first served basis. No reservations are being taken through September 4. Visitor centers and group campsites remain closed.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen is beginning to increase recreational access on May 29, with the park’s scenic highway and most trails reopening. Bumpass Hell trail will remain closed for the time being. Starting June 1, Manzanita Lake and Southwest Walk-In campgrounds will be available for overnight stays, with other park campgrounds following on their originally scheduled dates (available here). Visitor centers are closed.

Pinnacles National Park

After being closed to day visitation for most of April and May, Pinnacles began allowing walk- or bike-in traffic on May 22, from both the west and the east entrance to the park. The campground remains open, by reservation only. Visitor centers, shuttles and road access beyond the campground remain closed, as do some of the park’s more constricting trails, including Bear Gulch caves, Balconies caves, and the steep and narrow section of the High Peaks trail.

Redwood National and State Parks

Beginning May 21, Redwood increased access to hiking trails and park facilities. Visitor centers and campgrounds remain closed. For more information about what is open and closed in this network of parks, visit this link.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Sequoia and Kings Canyon remain closed indefinitely.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite remains closed indefinitely.

California State Parks and Other Recreation Areas

  • Some California State Parks are fully closed, while others are closed only to vehicular access. All state park campgrounds remain closed. For information about specific parks, visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Sunset over North Window with Turret Arch in the distance at Arches National Park.

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Utah

Arches National Park

Beginning May 29, Arches will resume recreational access to all park roads, trails, and bathrooms. Permits for canyoneering and climbing within the park will be available starting May 30. Front and backcountry camping will remain closed, as will visitor centers and park stores.

Bryce Canyon National Park

As of May 6, Bryce Canyon began reopening recreational access. The park is open to day use visitors, including the main road and all viewpoints out to Rainbow Point, as well as trails within the Bryce Amphitheater and Mossy Cave areas. Camping at Sunset Campground is set to resume (by reservation only) on June 7, while backcountry permits will once again be issued no later than July 1. Park entrance fees are being collected, and passes are not yet available online.

Canyonlands National Park

Recreational access to park roads, trails, bathrooms, and backcountry camping will begin in Canyonlands on May 29. Visitor centers and campgrounds will be reopened at a later date.

Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef began the first phase of its reopening on May 5. Remote areas of the park, including Waterpocket Fold and Cathedral Valley, as well as the park’s two primitive campgrounds are open for recreation. Fruita campground (with the exception of the group site) is set to reopen in June, with reservations now available for the period from June 2 to July 31. Route 24 is open for thru-traffic, and all trailheads along Route 24 and Scenic Drive are open. Backcountry and canyoneering permits are being issued, with certain seasonal exceptions. The visitor center and Gifford House remain closed.

Zion National Park

Zion began allowing recreational access to certain parts of the park on May 13, including Zion Canyon Scenic Drive and most trails. Shuttle service in Zion Canyon is temporarily suspended. Angels Landing’s chain section, the steep and narrow connector that requires single-file scrambling to the top of the iconic rock formation, is closed. Most park facilities, including visitor centers and museums are also closed, as is the Kolob Canyons section of the park. Watchman Campground and Zion Lodge reopened by reservation only and with limited services on May 22.

Utah State Parks and Other Recreation Areas

  • Hovenweep and Natural Bridges National Monuments: As of May 14, roads, trails, and restrooms are open. The visitor center’s bookstores and campgrounds remain closed.

  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area: Recreational access to certain parts of Lake Powell opened the week of May 15.

  • All Utah state parks (and facilities therein) are open.

Trails and roads are open in Saguaro National Park.

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Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon’s South Rim Southern Entrance reopened some day-use picnic areas and viewpoints along Desert Rim Drive on May 15. From May 22-25, the park will experiment by opening the South Rim for scenic drives, day hiking, and limited food, beverage, and bicycle rental services. Visitors must arrive before 10 a.m. to be granted entry into the park. Park passes are available online or at automated fee machines.

Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest remains closed indefinitely.

Saguaro National Park

All visitor centers and restrooms are closed within Saguaro, but hiking trails and roads are open. All backcountry campgrounds are open, though no fires are permitted in the park as of April 25. Group sizes are limited to 10 people maximum.

Arizona State Parks and Other Recreation Areas

  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area: Many parts of the recreation area in Arizona and Nevada are open to annual pass holders. Specific information about entrances, picnic areas, launch ramps, and more is available here.

  • All Arizona state parks, including campgrounds and trails, are open.

  • State historic parks and visitor centers are closed.

Roads and trails in Great Basin National Park are open for day use.

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Nevada

Great Basin National Park

Great Basin has begun a phased reopening. Park roads and trails are open for day use only. Campgrounds, visitor centers, and concessions facilities are still closed.

Nevada State Parks and Other Recreation Areas

  • All Nevada state parks (with the exception of Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort) are open for day use. Campgrounds, visitor centers, and other park facilities are closed at this time. More information is available here.