National Parks are Open
Last updated: 3:47 p.m. MDT, Oct. 17, 2013
Now that the federal government shutdown is behind us, Xanterra Parks & Resorts – the country’s largest national park concessioner – has resumed normal operations of lodges, restaurants, gift shops and activities in parks open year round. Operations in several other parks have closed for the season.
“Naturally, we are very pleased that we can welcome travelers from around the world back to our national parks and that our dedicated employees can get back to work,” said Andrew N. Todd, president and CEO of Xanterra. “During this difficult period, I have been especially proud of the patience and dedication of our employees.”
Fall is a terrific season for traveling to several of the national parks where Xanterra operates, including the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Utah’s Zion National Park and California’s Death Valley National Park.
For more information on park operations, go to www.nps.gov.
Here is what travelers should know about Xanterra’s national park operations:
Furnace Creek Resort
Because Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park is located on private property, it remained open during the shutdown. The park surrounding the resort is now open.
There are rooms and special rates available at the two lodges within this vast desert park. During the shutdown, the elegant four diamond Inn at Furnace Creek opened for the season. The Ranch at Furnace Creek is a year round operation with family-friendly lodging, golf course, three restaurants, saloon and museum.
The 64th annual ‘49ers Encampment celebrating the spirit of the 1849 gold rush wagon trains that crossed Death Valley will take place as scheduled Nov. 6-10, 2013 with a series of events in Death Valley National Park. Furnace Creek Resort – site of most of the event’s activities – will offer a three-night package during the Encampment featuring accommodations, breakfasts, and access to all the activities.
Both the Inn and Ranch also offer special rates and packages, including 30% off on certain dates and Senior rates. Complete information is available at http://www.furnacecreekresort.com/deals-and-packages.
For more information about facilities in Death Valley National Park or to make reservations, call toll free at 1-800-236-7916 or 1-303-29-PARKS (1-303-297-2757) or go to www.furnacecreekresort.com.
Grand Canyon South Rim Lodges
The six lodges featuring more than 900 rooms on the South Rim as well as Phantom Ranch on the floor of the canyon are fully operational. All restaurants, retail stores and activities are operating at their normal hours.
To make reservations or for more information, go online at www.grandcanyonlodges.com or call toll-free 1-888-29-PARKS (1-888-297-2757) or 1-303-29-PARKS (1-303-297-2757).
Grand Canyon Railway
Grand Canyon Railway (GCR) has resumed its daily round trip excursions between Williams, Ariz. and the Grand Canyon Depot. The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, RV Park, restaurant and lounge are all operating at normal hours.
Grand Canyon Railway and hotel offers a variety of multi-night packages that include train travel to and from Grand Canyon National Park, accommodations and some meals. These packages are currently offered at special fall rates.
To reserve train tickets, rooms at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel or packages, visit www.thetrain.com or call 1-800-THE-TRAIN (1-800-843-8724).
The Grand Hotel
The Grand Hotel in Tusayan just outside the entrance to the park is open. This 121-room hotel was built in 1998 and features an indoor pool, hot tub, fitness center, gift shop, coffee shop, restaurant and lounge featuring nightly entertainment.
Room reservations for the Grand Hotel may be made online at www.grandcanyongrandhotel.com or by calling 1-303-265-7000 or toll-free at 1-888-64GRAND (1-888-634-7263).
Zion Lodge in Utah’s Zion National Park featuring 82 rooms, 40 cabins, a restaurant, cafe and gift shop is open and operating at normal hours.
The shuttle in Zion Canyon is operating, but confirmed guests may drive to the lodge by showing a pass at the gate. Guests holding existing reservations have already received their passes in the mail. Last-minute guests will be issued a pass at the visitor center.
Starting Nov. 12, Zion Lodge will offer its Winter Escape package featuring accommodations and breakfast for two starting at $139 per night.
Advance reservations may be made online at www.zionlodge.com or by calling 1-303-29-PARKS (1-303-297-2757) or toll-free at 1-888-29-PARKS (1-888-297-2757).
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
The Carver’s Café and retail operations are open at their normal hours. For more information, go to www.mtrushmorenationalmemorial.com.
Painted Desert Oasis
The Painted Desert Oasis snack bar and retail operations in Petrified Forest National Park are operating at normal hours.
Yellowstone National Park
Operations are closed for the season and will reopen Dec. 18, 2013 with the opening of Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel opens Dec. 20. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel will close for the season March 3, 2014, and Old Faithful Snow Lodge will close March 2, 2014. Both lodges offer numerous special vacation packages including award-winning Lodging & Learning packages.
Operations will reopen for the summer season on a staggered schedule beginning in late April 2014.
For reservations or more information packages, accommodations, restaurants and activities in Yellowstone call (1) 307-344-7311 or toll-free 866-GEYSERLAND (866-439-7375), or visit the web site www.YellowstoneNationalParkLodges.com.
Crater Lake Lodge
Operations in Crater Lake National Park have closed for the season and will reopen in mid-May 2014.
For more information or to make reservations, go online to www.craterlakelodges.com or call toll free
1-888-774CRATER (1-888-774-2728) inside the U.S. or 1-303-297-2757.
Rocky Mountain National Park
The Trail Ridge Road gift store and Café at Trail Ridge are closed for the season and will reopen in late May 2014.
For more information, go to www.trailridgegiftstore.com.