We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Government Shutdown

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 54
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.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 54
reviews: 26
21. Re: Government Shutdown

Ok, so we passed through the Badlands on Sunday (9/29) and asked the Rangers and they said the road from the Interstate to Interior would remain open, but the 'loop road' that goes from that road (and the Visitor's Center) towards Wall would be gated/padlocked shut. Also, all trails and overlooks along open roads would be closed (such as the trailheads for The Notch, The Door and The Window).

Mt. Rushmore is closed. Because you have to enter through the parking garages, they have those locked off. You of course can still get great views from out front, from the Iron Mountain road and the profile view of Washington just passed the main gate.

Jewel Cave NM is of course closed and there is nothing to see there since it is a cave. We went on Monday, (9/30) and actually got stuck in the cave for a couple of hours because one of the elevators broke down (with 11 people in it).

Wind Cave NP is closed, although the roads through the park were not barricaded, there were signs saying it was closed. We had only tried one of the gravel roads that exists Custer State Park on the southern boundary but didn't want to risk travel on it and getting 'cited' by a Ranger.

Devil's Tower in Wyoming and Scottsbluff NM in Nebraska were gated closed allowing only perimeter views of each massive monument which allows one to observe them from a distance, but not hike on or around them where available.

We talked to a carload of tourists at Devil's Tower who had come from Yellowstone and they said all roads through the park were closed. They said busloads of foreign tourists were sitting outside the gates, turned away from vacations they had saved forever for. Such a disgrace and blackeye for our country.

Sioux Falls, South...
posts: 2,144
reviews: 134
22. Re: Government Shutdown

Thank you for the update boystownboys. I know I would be mad if I paid a lot of money to come here and found the things I wanted to see were closed. Would you be so kind as to post this an original post on a new thread so others who are seeking this information will be sure to notice it? Thanks so much. I'm sorry you had so many challenges on your vacation.

posts: 22
reviews: 31
23. Re: Government Shutdown

Thank you so much for posting this!

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 7,967
reviews: 29
24. Re: Government Shutdown

I hope that info on Badlands is the way it is. It was easy for everyone, including those at the NPS sites to think they knew how things would be handled if the shut-down became reality.

What nobody could foresee or predict was how our government would choose to close all access to all NPS sites. Look at what happened at the WWII Memorial.

Take a look at this nonsense that happened at a McLean, VA site that is part of the NPS but hasn't received any support from them since the 1980's. pjmedia.com/tatler/… .

They however, did expend money and manpower to barricade access to something not costing the American taxpayer or the Federal government a dime. It is a shame that our gov't has been spiteful in the implementation of the shut-down.

Has anyone actually been to or through Badlands since Tuesday's shutdown? I would love to know factually how things are there.

Edited: 2:06 pm, October 03, 2013
Edison, New Jersey
posts: 4
reviews: 4
25. Re: Government Shutdown

I and my dad are planning to travel to Rapid City from 10/14 to 10/23... We are worried that the shut down would not be resolved until then... As much as I would like to cancel the whole trip but as long as we can somehow enjoy the trip with a minor disruption we do not mind.. and I need to get away! Haha...

Please someone let us know how things are over there so we can plan the trip accordingly...

Thanks a bunch!

Middle Village, New...
posts: 1
26. Re: Government Shutdown

Thank you to everyone who has posted helpful information. Please keep it coming as to the park. We saved up a long time to send my parents to Sioux Falls for my mother's 60th birthday. Her lifelong dream is supposed to come true when she arrives in SD on Sunday (10/6). If this shutdown isn't over yet, I will be checking back here to see if there updates from locals on the scenes to try to give them some tips. Thank you again.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 187
27. Re: Government Shutdown

Arrived Badlands NP on Oct 2 and left on Oct 3 morning because of the weather not the shutdown. Yes the loop road was closed and so were the lodge and campground at Cedar Pass. The lookouts were cordoned off with cones. The park gates were not staffed but there was NP law enforcement vehicle patrolling the area to tell tourists not to go beyond the cones. The road to Interior and Old NE Road were not closed. We stayed in the private campground in Interior which was pretty much empty.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 7,967
reviews: 29
28. Re: Government Shutdown

Thanks for the update Wiffy. Good to know the road through the park is open, even if they have the overlooks closed.

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
posts: 4,451
reviews: 35
29. Re: Government Shutdown

Yes, Wifty, thanks so much for providing an update. I hope you don't mind, but I am going to copy and paste your words citing you as the poster in a new thread so others can benefit from your first hand knowledge. Thanks again!

30. Re: Government Shutdown

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:17 am, October 08, 2014