Colorado National Park Updates Amid Coronavirus/COVID-19

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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.

Rocky Mountain National Park

As of March 20, 2020, Rocky Mountain National Park has completely closed down. 

Any programs that were previously scheduled including snowshoe walks, full moon walks, field trips and Earth Day events have been cancelled. 

To follow additional closures or changes with the status of the park, visit the Rocky Mountain National Park news site here www.nps.gov/romo/learn/news/

For camping reservations, alerts and closures for Moraine Park, Glacier Basin and Aspen Glen, visit Recreation.gov here: www.recreation.gov/camping/gateways/2907

Follow Rocky Mountain National Park on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RockyNPS/

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

 As of March 24, the park will delay the opening of the Pinon Flats Campground from April 1 to May 1, 2020, to promote social distancing and to prevent groups of 10 or more people from forming. The current infrastructure in the campground does not allow the park to meet this guidance and would consequently place visitors and staff at greater risk.

The Visitor Center and Western National Parks Association (WNPA) store are closed. Backcountry campers can obtain backcountry permits the day of their trip by calling 719-378-6395. Visitors are reminded to not congregate in front of facilities.

Outdoor spaces at Great Sand Dunes remain accessible to the public, 24 hours, 7 days a week and in accordance with the latest federal, state, and local health guidance, in addition to entry fees being waived for visitors. The following trails, parking areas, and picnic areas are open:

  • Montville Nature Trail, Mosca Pass Trail, Montville Nature Trail, Dunes Overlook Trail
  • The Dunes Parking Area, the main access point to the dunefield
  • Mosca Creek Picnic Area and Castle Creek Picnic Area
  • The Medano Pass Primitive Road is open to Castle Creek Picnic Area. The road is closed beyond this point due to weather and road conditions.
  • All outdoor interpretive signs and road pull outs

To get up-to-date news on Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, go to www.nps.gov/grsa/learn/news/

Follow Great Sand Dunes on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greatsanddunesnpp/

For camping reservations, alerts and closures, visit www.recreation.gov/camping/gateways/2738

Mesa Verde National Park 

As of March 25, 2020, Mesa Verde National Park has closed temporarily. 

To get up-to-date news on Mesa Verde National Park, go to www.nps.gov/meve/learn/news/

Follow Mesa Verde National Park on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mesaverdenps/

Refunds for Cliff Palace tours will take place automatically, but those who had reservations should confirm this by checking recreation.gov. For these tours and other plus tickets alerts and purchases, visit www.recreation.gov/ticket/facility/233362.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area

As of April 3, Black Canyon and Curecanti  offer no services outside those that support visitor or resource protection.

At Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, the following services and operations will be suspended in order to comply with state and local orders. The South Rim Road will remain closed beyond the Visitor Center. The North Rim road, and all trails on north rim are closed until further notice. The Inner Canyon and all routes and trails that go into the inner canyon from either rim are closed. Restrooms, visitor center, and campgrounds are closed

Tomichi and Gunnison Point overlooks, as well as the Rim Rock and Oak Flat Trails are open. The South Rim drive may be walked. Bicycles are not permitted. Exercise extreme caution as rescue and emergency resources are very limited.

Please refer to Montrose County for further information on local response to COVID-19 https://www.montrosecounty.net/957/Corona-Virus-COVID-19

At Curecanti, the following services and operations will be suspended in order to comply with the state and local public health orders: Blue Mesa, Morrow Point, and Crystal Reservoirs, as well as the Gunnison River from Riverway to the Lake City Bridge are closed to boating until at least April 30. The National Park Service will reevaluate this closure based on public health orders and conditions at that time. Campgrounds and the Elk Creek Visitor Center as well as all restroom facilities are closed.

The Gunnison River, and the reservoirs, are open for bank fishing. Trails also remain open.
Please note, however, all recreation sites within the county are open only to Gunnison County residents per Public Health Order. Please refer to https://covid19.gunnisoncounty.org/ for more information. Please ensure that fishing equipment, including waders, are free of aquatic invasive species, clean and dry, before you enter the river or reservoir. Exercise extreme caution as rescue and emergency resources are very limited.

To get up-to-date news on Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area, go to www.nps.gov/blca/learn/news/ and www.nps.gov/cure/learn/news/.

Follow Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/blackcanyonnps/

For information, alerts and reservation for the South Rim Campground visit Recreation.gov here: www.recreation.gov/camping/gateways/2592

Colorado National Monument

As of March 17, 2020, Colorado National Monument’s Saddlehorn Visitor Center is closed until further notice. Where it is possible to adhere to the latest health guidance, Rim Rock Drive, the campground, both picnic areas, restrooms and hiking trails will remain open to the public.

Park staff ask those who would like to visit the monument to pay your entrance fee online at www.recreation.gov/sitepass/72448.

For up-to-the-date information, visit the Colorado National Monument website at www.nps.gov/colm/learn/news/newsreleases.htm

Follow Colorado National Monument on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ColoradoNM

Dinosaur National Monument

As of April 7, 2020, Dinosaur National Monument’s Quarry Visitor Center and the Quarry Exhibit Hall have closed until further notice. The monument bookstore operated by Intermountain Natural History Association inside the Quarry Visitor Center is also closed. The online store can be found here: https://futuresite.inhaweb.com.

All river trips/operations in Dinosaur National Monument are canceled until further notice. All monument campgrounds are closed. All backcountry camping is suspended including camping at the Ely Creek designated backcountry sites in Jones Hole.

The National Park Service has temporarily suspended the collection of park entrance and camping fees. Services including access to running water and restrooms are limited. Visitors need to be self-sufficient and practice Leave No Trace principles to help keep outdoor spaces clean, safe, and healthy.

For up-to-date information, visit www.nps.gov/dino/learn/news/

Follow Dinosaur National Monument on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DinosaurNPS

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 will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

Related Stories

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

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