AP NEWS

Rocky Mountain National Park Restores Some Basic Services, Access During Record Federal Shutdown

January 15, 2019 GMT

Rocky Mountain National Park visitors can again access areas that were closed due to the inability to plow and maintain roads during part of the record-long federal government shutdown.

A limited number of park staff on Saturday began plowing U.S. 36 past the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and U.S. 34 past the Fall River entrance, a park news release stated, and on Monday, both highways were reopened to Deer Ridge Junction.

Trail Ridge Road beyond Deer Ridge Junction to Many Parks Curve also has reopened, and U.S. 34 on the west side is now open to the Colorado River Trailhead.

Snowplows were working Monday on Bear Lake Road, which is anticipated to open sometime Tuesday.

Also on Saturday, a limited number of custodians began cleaning toilet facilities and trash receptacles, which had accumulated unusual amounts of waste during the shutdown .

Entrance fees are not being collected, but entrance stations will be open to provide safety and basic information to visitors, according to the news release.

The services are being funded with revenue from recreation fees, the release stated.

By using Federal Land and Recreation Enhancement funds to bring back limited park maintenance staff to plow roads, clean restrooms and remove trash, the park can restore accessibility for visitors, according to the release.

Most facilities, including Beaver Meadows Visitor Center on the east side and Kawuneeche Visitor Center on the west side, will remain closed.

Visitors can visit the park website at nps.gov/romo while planning their visit to get the latest information on accessibility and available services.

For updates on the shutdown, visit doi.gov/shutdown .

Sam Lounsberry: 303-473-1322, slounsberry@prairiemountainmedia.com and twitter.com/samlounz .