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Government Shutdown

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 50
reviews: 26
Government Shutdown

With the impending threat of a government shutdown and the closure of National Parks/Monuments, does anyone know if you will still be able to drive through the Badlands or is it a gated park?

I can live with not going to the visitor center or having a Ranger guided walk, but to miss driving through this magnificent park would be a total buzz kill.

On those lines, I assume Mt Rushmore, Jewel Cave and Wind Cave would be completely closed during the shut down. Just trying to get a sense of what we will/won't be able to do on our already planned week up there starting 9/30 running through 10/4.

Sioux Falls, South...
posts: 2,074
reviews: 128
1. Re: Government Shutdown

Yes, you have to stop and pay to get in. There is a person working the booth at the entry. Therefore, I assume it would be closed. As always, anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Pierre, South Dakota
posts: 456
reviews: 7
2. Re: Government Shutdown

There is a pay station, but it is not "gated"....you can drive through the park regardless if the booth is manned or not. I've often driven through the park "after hours" or when the booth isn't manned in the off-season with absolutely no issues. The road remains open as it is the main access for some people living in the areas surrounding the park.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 50
reviews: 26
3. Re: Government Shutdown

Thanks for the info. I'm glad we will still be able to enjoy the Badlands and maybe even for free which is even better!

San Jose, California
posts: 4
4. Re: Government Shutdown

Well, not to burst your bubble but my bet would be that about half of the park roads would be closed. I was in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in November 1995 during the first Gingrich/Clinton shutdown and all roads in that park were closed, except roads essential for transit between communities outside the park. So the main east-west highway between Hilo and the Kona Coast was open, and the road to the park lodge was open so that guests could leave; but all other roads were closed. Those without gates were barricaded with traffic cones and sandbagged sign boards. At the park lodge, guests were given 48 hours to leave and were instructed to remain in the hotel or surrounding grounds in the meantime. Park trails were "closed" in the sense that we were forbidden from walking on them and risked citation if found (of course, with most of the rangers furloughed except a skeleton crew for law enforcement, the chances of that were low).

Looking at the park map for Badlands National Park now, I would bet that state highways like route 44 and 377 would remain open as thoroughfares that happen to cross the park; while the main scenic road system (Badlands Loop Road and Sage Creek Rim Road) would probably be closed. Again, this is just based on my 1995 experience at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; the agency for both parks is the same (National Park Service) and they follow the same standards and guidelines and it seems unlikely anything in their procedures for a shutdown would have substantially changed since then.

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
posts: 4,352
reviews: 35
5. Re: Government Shutdown

Interesting question and ideas from all. I wondered about the possibility about barricades being put up as well. Boystown, I think the best bet would be to contact the parks directly should the shutdown become a reality. You might even be able to find out something now based on past operating procedures. I'm sure they could tell you what would happen.

Pierre, South Dakota
posts: 456
reviews: 7
6. Re: Government Shutdown

Again, the highway that runs through Badlands national park is a roadway used for access by people living in the area. State highways run THRU the park, and they WILL NOT be closed regardless of a shutdown or not. If these roads were effectively closed, it would isolate a good many families and require them to travel several miles out of their way to reach their destinations....which include, school ,work, etc. These roads will NOT be closed even if the park facilities such as the entrance booth or visitor centers are.

Sioux Falls, South...
posts: 2,074
reviews: 128
7. Re: Government Shutdown

Again, all caps= yelling at someone. It's not the fact that you disagree with an opinion, it's how you phrase the disagreement.

I have contacted Badlands National Park. I will post on here when I receive an answer.

Edited: 9:41 am, September 23, 2013
San Jose, California
posts: 4
8. Re: Government Shutdown

I don't think we are in disagreement. Any highways that run through the park to connect communities outside the park would remain open, based on my experience in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in 1995 - that's what I said :-) Roads that would probably be closed (gated or barricaded) would be those that exist for park touring purposes, like Badlands Loop Road between Cedar Pass and Dillon Pass, and Sage Creek Rim Road between 502 and 240 if not the whole thing. Just speculation of course, but based on my personal experience in HVNP during the 1995 government shutdown :-)

Sioux Falls, South...
posts: 2,074
reviews: 128
9. Re: Government Shutdown

Scott, sorry, I will explain my comment. Sending you a private message.

Pierre, South Dakota
posts: 456
reviews: 7
10. Re: Government Shutdown

FWIW, I consider caps to add emphasis, not as "yelling" but your mileage may very.