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Government Shutdown 2018 :

Grand Teton National Park, National Elk Refuge, & Jackson Hole Information.

Government Shutdown – Double Déjà vuThe last Government Shutdown occurred on October 1st, 2013 and lasted 16 days. Timing was terrible! It happened to be during peak foliage season so the park was very busy. Most federal agencies seemed unprepared for any sort of shutdown. It took them a couple of days to “close the park”, put up barricades, and inform the public of the details of the closures. The National Park Service and National Elk Refuge were more prepared for the current 2018 shutdown—each with contingency plans.

Fortunately, these Shutdowns occur during a much slower time of the year and less people are affected.


On 1-22-2018, President Trump signed a 17 day CR to end the current Government Shutdown.

On 2-9-2018, Congress failed to come up with a new budget and we are in for another Government Shutdown.


Young Bull MooseGrand Teton National Park’s Shutdown Plan Includes:

  • Park roads will remain open if they are essential to respond to emergencies-this includes most roads that are normally maintained and open at this time of year. Access to all residences will be maintained.
  • Emergency response will generally not be available.
  • Entrance stations will not be staffed.
  • Ranger-led snowshoe hikes will not be available.
  • Grooming of the Teton Park Road will continue through a partnership agreement with Grand Teton National Park Foundation. Grooming is scheduled on Tuesdays and Fridays depending on snow and weather conditions.
  • Teton Interagency Dispatch Center will be available during normal winter hours-6 am to 10 pm daily. Emergency 911 calls outside those hours will be directed to Teton County Dispatch as usual.
  • Park website and social media sites will not be maintained.
  • Concessioners and Commercial Use Authorization holders may continue to provide visitor services after coordination with the park to ensure compliance with government shutdown protocols.
  • Access to Yellowstone National Park’s south entrance will continue, including staging and winter services available at Headwaters Lodge at Flagg Ranch in John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway.

If you would like to read the entire document, click this link: National Park Service Contingency Plan:

Bighorns on the RunNational Elk Refuge Announces Plan for Operations:

The Refuge Road will remain open as a travel corridor and access road to private lands. A Winter Wildlife Viewing Guide for travelers on the Refuge Road or North Highway 89/191 overlooks provides key information to minimize harm to wildlife and will be available at the Home Ranch Welcome Center at 210 N. Cache Street.” The National Elk Refuge Sleigh Rides will be open.

Jackson Hole Area:

For the most part, winter travel & tourism in Jackson Hole is unchanged, including the ski areas, sleigh rides, banks and businesses. National Park and Forest Service offices will be  closed to the public, but the Visitors Center on North Cache will be open. State Parks are open.

Mountain Goat by the RocksOutside the Park: Alternative Places to Visit, Hike, Fish, and Photograph. I created this page for displaced photographers and visitors in October of 2013. Some of the places listed on the page are closed in the Winter, but the page still has good info.

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Note: I’ll try to keep this page updated for anyone interested in coming here during the Government Shutdown.

For now, I’d suggest BYOTP (bring your own toilet papter) if heading into the Park!

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Comments (4)

  1. Craig Knecht

    Thanks for the update on the Government Shutdown. I looks like it will be very different than the 2013 shutdown that was made painful for everyone.

  2. Jan L Gambrell

    My wife and I arrived on 30 September 2013. I arose early the next morning to find that the park was being closed. It was closed in stages as the Moose-Wilson Road was open for a day, and I got some nice black bear pictures. Next day the “Closed” signs were up, and we only had access to the perimeter of the park. I felt sorry for myself, but really felt bad about the Asian tourists who were kicked out of Yellowstone. One couple had saved for years to make that trip.

    Didn’t know about your wonderful website that year. Wish that I would have had access to it then.

  3. Hi Jan, thanks for the comments. I created the Outside the Park post to help people that were in the valley but had no where to go. There are a few comments on the page from readers that went to some of the spots and reported they had a great trip. Hopefully, this shut down won’t impact us like that one did!

  4. Lowell Schechter

    Mike, for now the government shutdown is over and not sure how long it will last. It seems that with a government shutdown, mostly everything is open and not affected but then they shut most of the National Park and last time they were shut, and this time they were basically open with a few places that were shuttered . People were still about to drive through Yellowstone and the Tetons but no park rangers were available . The Parks are the easy targets when the government shutsdown but Trump will not allocate money to upgrade many of the National parks that need funds.

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