At 12:01 AM, October 1, 2013, the federal government shut down. While we wait for Congress to do the right thing, National Parks are officially closed to hiking and camping. I’ve got many friends who had plans for visiting nearby National Parks, and for now, those plans are dashed.
Here’s what this means to hikers and outdoor lovers throughout Southern California, with the best details I can provide on where you can and cannot hike. I’ll keep this updated, but if you have new information, let me know in the comments.
All National Parks are effectively closed. Hikers in the backcountry with wilderness permits are allowed to finish their hike, but new permits won’t be issued. In southern California this includes:
- Channel Islands National Park
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
- Areas that fall into State Park jurisdication may be open
- Death Valley National Park
The general consensus on National Forest is that it’s still open, but there will be no ranger services or permits, and hunting will not be allowed. It’s not clear whether any they will have enforcement agents to check for Adventure Passes at trailheads requiring them. Local National Forest areas include:
- Angeles National Forest
- San Bernardino National Forest
- Cleveland National Forest
- Los Padres National Forest
Still Open For Hiking
All of the State, county, regional and local park systems remain open. This includes:
- Crystal Cove State Park
- Catalina Island
- Griffith Park
- Laguna Coast Wilderness
- Whiting Ranch
- And many more remain open
I know we all hope this is resolved quickly. Our National Parks are not just wonderful places for us to visit and hike, but the visitors they attract help support entire cities surrounding them. Write your congressman and tell them to take care of business.