The Great Smoky Mountain National Park has closed all of their facilities as the Federal Government is still in the partial shutdown. A private group is no longer funding the basic services for the park, which means bathrooms are closed and no trash is being picked up.
The Great Smoky Mountains Association’s funding stopped yesterday. Officials with the park are worried that the park won’t be as safe, accessible or enjoyable now. The Visitor’s Center is closed, but the trails are still open. Park officials say they’re committed to keeping the main roads open as well.
Across the nation, some of the iconic national parks are closing as they deal with overflowing restrooms and vandals during the government shutdown. Many national parks remain open but with skeleton staffs. Officials call it “a nightmare scenario” for human safety, wildlife and historic sites.
Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada was closing some campgrounds and some popular areas. Park officials say with restrooms overflowing, some visitors were relieving themselves along roadsides.
Joshua Tree National Park in the California desert also says it will be closing campgrounds. Park officials say without enough supervision, some visitors are off-roading illegally and otherwise damaging the park.