Yosemite National Park: Government Shutdown

We’re fortunate.  We visit Yosemite National Park four or so times every year.  This past weekend, we went to the park to celebrate our ten-year wedding anniversary.  We stayed at a family cabin in Yosemite West, which is in the park, but technically outside the park.  We were allowed to go to the cabin, but we weren’t allowed to stop along any of the roads on our way to the cabin.  All campgrounds were empty.  Any pull-off with a view was roped off.  Park employees were allowed in the Valley, but no-one else.

Again, we’re fortunate.  This wasn’t a once-in-a-lifetime trip we’ve been planning for years.  We saw Australians, Europeans, Asians…. people from all over the world, who had come to Yosemite only to be turned away, or to be allowed to drive on through without stopping.  No hiking.  No camping.  No picnicking.  Nothing.  This is what the most popular view of the park looks like now….

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I can’t imagine the disappointment.  The frustration.  The anger that many park visitors must be feeling.  Not just here, but at Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Alcatraz, at all National Parks across the United States.

Maybe the government wouldn’t let anyone stop to recreate, but at least it can’t prevent visitors from enjoying the gorgeous views…

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Ten years ago this week, my husband and I were married at Glacier Point, in the evening, as the sun set behind us and the full harvest moon rose over the mountains in front of us.  This week, due to the government shutdown, the road to Glacier Point is closed.  We were able to have our dream wedding.  We have the memories and the photos.  I feel for those who had their plans canceled.  No, we weren’t able to sit at Glacier Point and celebrate as we have in past years.  But we’ll be there again.

31 thoughts on “Yosemite National Park: Government Shutdown

  1. Happy anniversary! I was baffled, too, to hear about the government shutdown. How could the elected powers that be go as far in their unwillingness to reach an agreement? But I’m glad it seems to be over now, too…

  2. I am so very frustrated with this shut down! Definitely I agree, there are many visitors will be angry because this is the only place to get bond with families. Hopefully they will finish immediately this shut down so that the vitality of the park and people will also return. Beautiful place! YosemiteRiversideInn.com

    • It’s sad that those who were hurt the worst were those businesses, like yours, that depend upon the visitors to the national parks for their livelihood.

  3. Happy Anniversary, Linda! What a beautiful setting for a wedding.

    There have been 17 previous shutdowns, and I believe this is the first time the government has decided to restrict access to the parks. In some cases it seems as though more money is being expended erecting barricades and guarding entrances than it would have cost to permit access.

    • Thanks, Deb! I was also wondering how much money is being lost daily due to lost revenue from not taking entry fees, camp site fees, etc. Also, for those who had campground reservations during this period, are they receiving refunds?

      • Good point about the lost revenue! I would like to think that campers are getting refunds. But then I just heard today that people who booked a stay at the Yellowstone lodge are actually being admitted, but then told they aren’t even allowed to walk out on the boardwalk to see Old Faithful. If I had a choice between having my stay at Yellowstone canceled vs. getting there and being told that I essentially can’t leave the lodge, I would choose to be canceled.

        Locally in Ohio I’ve been wondering what’s happening at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. People still have homes in there. The federal government bought their property under the condition that current residents could continue living there for the rest of their lives.

        • Residents who live in Yosemite are given access to come and go as they please, as long as they don’t stop on the roads anywhere. It’s probably the same at Cuyahoga Valley.

  4. Happy anniversary! What a fantastic place to get married. The frustrating thing about the shutdown is that it is so unnecessary, so coldly calculated. You handled it very diplomatically in your post, though. I would have gone off on one, I think, but perhaps I’m unnecessarily outspoken. ‘Idiotic’ would have cropped up at least once, I’m sure. Anyway, glad you could eke some pleasure out of the weekend despite the idiotic shutdown. Oops. See?

    • Thanks! I completely agree with you, Matt. Idiotic, coldly calculated, unnecessary, among quite a few other choice words describe the situation perfectly.

    • The national parks, national forests, and national monuments are all managed by the US government. It was the choice of the government to choose our greatest natural treasures as somewhere to cut funding. Of course, people can defy the closure and jump over barriers and head into the wilderness, hopefully with no harmful intent. State and regional parks are not effected by the shutdown, so we still have access to a ton of gorgeous protected nature areas.

  5. LB is right. Our government is an embarrassment. Both parties, fully guilty. Scumsucking leaches who pay themselves a lot to do the worst job anyone could imagine. But what a beautiful park! 🙂

  6. Our government is an embarrassment to the world!
    UGH!!
    As you stated, I can not even imagine coming from far away only to find this gorgeous place closed!
    Happy Anniversary! I hope to get there someday. And on another note: can you imagine what it must have been like to be the first people to stumble upon this amazing place?

    • Agreed! Oh, I do think about the people who lived in Yosemite Valley before the Europeans came. The silence. The raw beauty. It must have been a very spiritual place.

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