America’s National Parks are Reopening: U.S. Travel Welcomes Strategy
National parks are reopening across America offering access to major parks in the country, and park visitors need to know that some areas and facilities may not be accessible as the phased reopening begins. Much like the closures, reopenings are happening on a park-by-park basis.
There are over 400 national parks in the U.S., some of the more popular being Grand Canyon National Park which began its reopening on May 15 and increasing access on this Memorial Day weekend. The Great Smoky Mountainsb which has been closed since March 24 reopened many roads and trails on May 9. Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks reopened on May 18, and Rocky Mountain National Park is beginning its phased reopening starting May 27.
U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement:
“The phased reopening of national parks is a welcome sign that the country is taking further steps toward a reopening strategy that focuses on caution and safety but begins to unshackle the devastated U.S. travel economy.
“Polling data shows that six in 10 Americans are eager to travel again, but that right now they feel most comfortable recreating outdoors and doing their destination travel by car. National parks are ideal for both. The 419 geographically diverse national parks are readily accessible to virtually the entire U.S. population, and less than a third of them charge entrance fees.
“The U.S. travel community is encouraged that as travelers and travel-related businesses embrace proper COVID-19-related health and safety guidance, the ability of Americans to move around and engage in leisure activity need not remain at a complete standstill. It would be fitting if this holiday weekend marked a progress point in the gradual return to a normal way of life in this country, and we thank the administration and the National Park Service for their carefully considered approach to reopening.”