Our Northwest

National Parks, Forests closed by shutdown

Friday, October 4, 2013by  Jon Osterberg

Now is a great time to visit Washington State Parks with a Discover Pass.
   With the federal government shutdown, National Parks and National Forests have closed. Mt. Rainier gave hikers and campers 48 hours to get out and closed Paradise Inn early. Expect similar shutdowns at Olympic, North Cascades, and Crater Lake National Parks.
   On National Forest land, it’s “use at your own risk.” Not all facilities have gates to bar the entrances, but if you drive past an open gate, it might be locked shut when you return. Law enforcement continues to patrol some trailheads.
   Which brings us back to Washington State Parks – they’re unaffected by the national closures, and they would love to host visitors and boost revenue. If you stay at one under clear skies, you might even be treated to a show of the Northern Lights, as happened recently at Steamboat Rock State Park. Read The Seattle Times story about regional closures.

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