This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

As the US government shutdown lingers on, the impacts are being felt nationwide. At airports, the TSA is facing its own problems. For those wanting to visit national parks, the shutdown poses some real risks. In an unusual move, the administration chose to leave the national parks open, but with severely reduced staff or having no staff at all.

National parks aren’t exactly the safest place on the planet to start with. The very nature of the landscapes that attract millions of visitors each year can be dangerous. According to the National Park Service, an average of six people die each week at national parks, although that number includes incidents like car crashes and medical emergencies such as heart attacks.

With the parks remaining open with little to no staff on site, that level of danger has increased. Since the government shut down, there have been three reported deaths at national parks. On Dec. 21, a 14-year-old girl fell some 700 feet at Horseshoe Bend Overlook in Arizona. In California’s Yosemite, a man succumbed to head trauma following a fall in the park. And, in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, a woman died after being struck by a falling tree.

Yosemite Valley, a glacial valley in Yosemite National Park, California, September 1962. (Photo by Harvey Meston/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, California. (Photo by Harvey Meston/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

While the National Park Service has closed off some of the more high-risk areas, the parks themselves remain open. This is a departure from previous protocol, which saw national parks closed during shutdowns. Without proper staffing levels at the parks, visitors have free reign in the parks to disregard park rules and guidelines, with no one there to step in and take corrective actions.

With no staff and extended times for emergency responders to reach remote locations, it’s important that visitors take extra precautions while visiting the parks during the current shutdown. Understand that should something happen, emergency responses will be delayed in reaching you because the staff simply isn’t in place to provide help in a timely manner. With no deal in the foreseeable future on the reopening of the US federal government, these dangerous conditions will persist at national parks across the US.

H/T: The Washington Post

Featured Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.