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National Park Reopening Dates Due to Coronavirus Containment

  General, National Parks, News & Events

June 9, 2020 National Park Reopening Dates Due to Coronavirus Containment

It’s a crazy time in the world right now. I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely wishing for the solitude and peace of mind nature provides. If you’re considering practicing social distancing outside, here are some helpful resources to know what parks are open and what parks are best avoided, as well as some alternative ways to enjoy the outdoors. As of now, to play our part in helping to flatten the curve, think twice when road tripping to small towns that have limited resources and hospital beds, in the event that something come up during your travels.   

National Park Reopening Dates

For the most up to date information, visit the NPS Public Health website. We’ve highlighted the status of some of the most popular National Parks. Last updated 6/9/2020.

State park closures

As of 5/27, the following State Park system campgrounds are closed, delayed opening or are only open for day use to residents: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Army Corp of Engineer campgrounds will begin a phased reopening being May 15.

Tips for traveling this summer

Keep yourself and others healthy by obeying your local directives.

Follow local, state and federal laws and the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines to stay healthy and slow the spread of the virus. 

  • Triple check to make sure visitation is allowed.
  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. And wash them often!
  • Avoid close contact with others. 
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
  • Follow social distancing guidelines if you are around others.

Reference our blog on 11 tips on how to camp responsibly this summer.

Escape Tip!

Buy groceries and gas in a bigger city to preserve those resources in small towns that don’t get shipments as often. Consider visiting a park during its off season or during times of the day when fewer people are out and about, like sunrise!

Dispersed camping or developed campgrounds

As more businesses close, more and more campgrounds close too. Campendium is reporting that 15.6% of US campsites listed on their site are closed as of 3/25. If you live on the road or are still trying to get outside to camp, your safest option is dispersed camping.

Once you are on public lands, you can pick a spot to camp that isn’t blocking a road and isn’t close to water. Some other laws vary depending on what agency manages the land. Check the BLM and National Forest Service websites for more rules. Be sure to double-check your map, make sure you don’t see a “No camping” sign and try to pick a spot someone else has clearly camped recently (I look for tire tracks and/or a fire ring made of rocks). Generally, you cannot stay for more than 14 days. Always remember to pack out your trash and leave no trace!

Support your parks and local businesses 

This virus is hitting businesses and economies hard worldwide. The small towns outside of parks rely on tourism, so visiting and not buying a souvenir can have an impact on local economies. Try ordering takeout at a local restaurant or purchasing a gift card online or via phone. Consider donating to the National Park Foundation. Give the local chamber of commerce or tourism association a call to see how you can help.

4 thoughts on “National Park Reopening Dates Due to Coronavirus Containment”

  1. Are all your locations open still? Portland OR?
    Has your cancellation policy changed if I plan a Escape Camper Van trip to a festival and the festival cancels?
    I haven’t seen what Escape Camper Vans are doing differently to clean vans. Have you guys put out a statement about what your business is doing, like many other companies?
    Thanks.

  2. Hi Scott, thanks for reaching out with your questions, and apologies on the delay in our response! In mid-March, before the rest of the RV/Campervan companies, we created a dedicated page on our site with all the updates that will answer your questions above. We have a new flexible cancellation policy in light of everything going on that allows for late cancellations without penalties. We also have info on our cleaning procedures and status on depot closures/openings on that page as well. We updated it regularly as changes occur. I’ve pasted it below, or you can access it in the footer of our website as well as throughout the site on various pages. Stay safe and healthy!

    https://www.escapecampervans.com/latest-updates-covid-19/

    1. Hi Vic! Try looking up “dispersed camping” in the Angeles or San Bernardino national forests for the rules and regulations. Alabama Hills (BLM) is a great spot too! Make sure to triple check that the specific area and roads you plan on going are open. Be prepared to be self-sufficient and read all posted warnings and signs.

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