No Entry Fee, Fewer Emergency Crews At Grand Canyon During Shutdown

January 22, 2018
Laurel Morales
No one collected entrance fees at the Grand Canyon National Park the last three days as the park operated with fewer employees during the government shutdown.

Congress is poised to reopen the government at least for a couple more weeks. The Senate passed a short-term spending bill that will provide funding through Feb. 8.

Over the weekend, the Grand Canyon National Park operated with fewer employees. 

It was a welcome sight for some people to drive through the gate at the South Rim without paying an entrance fee. No one was there to staff the booths.

But for other visitors attempting to hike through four inches of snow, it may have been a bit scary. Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski, a park spokeswoman, said emergency and Search and Rescue crews were working with reduced staff. 

“Roads are plowed and treated sidewalks are treated,” Shedlowski said. “The trails however probably do have ice so anyone planning on hiking into the canyon should have the appropriate winter weather gear with them.”

Shedlowski said expect delays until the park gets up and running with its full staff.