National Campground Closures You Should Be Aware of if Planning a Trip in Early 2021
So, we made it through 2020; Hello 2021! Now, we know a little more about COVID-19, but we are still in the middle of it and precautions are still lingering and campground closures are still a real thing. Along with the pandemic, came a lot of new-found interest and love for camping and the great outdoors for many. For others, they were reunited with getting back out into the camping spirit.
The National Park Service (NPS) is always carefully monitoring and responding to COVID-19 changes and updates while they accept guidance from the CDC and local officials. Things change daily and the NPS helps each campground to adapt on the fly to conditions that change quickly to best protect the public.
If you are planning a camping trip early this year, be aware that some policies are changing for campgrounds every day without warning. Throughout this pandemic, traveling is a risk, but if you are heading out safely to camp outdoors with those that you live with, here are some campground closures that you need to know about before setting your plans in stone!
But first, it is important to note that in the spring of 2020, when the Coronavirus first struck, many campgrounds closed down in some capacity. However, by late summer last year, all of the state park’s campgrounds reopened, either partially or fully. In fact, most are now opened up on their typical schedule.
Campground Closures to Know About
The campgrounds at Acadia National Park, the crown jewel of the North Atlantic Coast, are currently closed. The park does not allow any overnight parking, backcountry, or “out-of-bounds” camping.
In Utah, the Devil’s Garden Campground is currently not open, with a potential reopening date of March 1st of this year. However, the campground closure is not due to COVID-19, it is closed because of a water leak and the drinking water is compromised.
The oh, so popular Badlands National Park is split. In the South end of the park, campgrounds are closed, including the South Unit. However, in the North end of the park, everything is opening and operating, including trails and roads.
In Virginia, Blue Ridge Parkway has many road closures due to ice and snow. All of the campgrounds are currently closed down for the season.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico does have some campground closures. Since March, Gallo Campground has been shut down in response to COVID-19. The Visitor Center is also closed.
While the campground is open at Chiricahua National Monument, all group camping is shut down to keep things more safe during Covid-19.
Death Valley National Park opened and then closed down its campgrounds again in December of 2020 in order to comply with the State of California’s Regional Stay at Home Order. The roads, trails, and overlooks are still open.
Also in Utah, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, while the campground is open, overnight camping along the Beehive/Ferry Swale road network is closed. Also, the Hite upper camping area is closed down.
Nestled in Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park campgrounds are all opened up. However, there is no group camping allowed due to COVID-19.
In Washington, Mount Rainier National Park’s campgrounds are all closed. However, backcountry camping is opened up here.
Rocky Mountain National Park’s campgrounds have some that are open and some that are closed. Moraine Park and Glacier Basin campgrounds are open, by reservation only. All other campgrounds are closed for the season.
Through January 18th at least, all campgrounds are closed.
To comply with California’s Regional Stay at Home Order, all campgrounds are currently closed.
The Watchman campground in Zion National Park is opened by reservation only. However, the south campground and Lava Point is closed up. All shuttles in the park are not currently running.