Impact of Government Shutdown on Black Hills and Badlands National Parks | Black Hills Travel Blog

Impact of Government Shutdown on Black Hills and Badlands National Parks

  • Impact of Government Shutdown on Black Hills and Badlands National Parks
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
By : 
Black Hills and Badlands

A government shutdown impacts all of us including our national parks.

Government shutdowns play out differently at different parks due to the uniqueness of each site. Many U.S. government-operated sites and offices are fully or partially closed due to the shutdown.

The shutdown began Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018, when Congress and President Trump failed to agree on the timely appropriation of sufficient funds for the 2019 fiscal year.

Here’s an update on how the current government shutdown impacts national parks in the Black Hills and Badlands region of western South Dakota. 

Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Park roads and grounds at Mount Rushmore National Memorial remain open to visitors, but emergency and rescue services are limited.

There are no National Park Service-provided visitor services at Mount Rushmore. That means there is no public information available from the park, some restrooms are closed, some trash is not being collected, some facilities are not being maintained, and some roads are not being plowed.

The concession facilities and services provided by Xanterra Parks and Resorts, the authorized park concessionaire, are open during the government shutdown. These services include the parking facility (fee required), Carver's Marketplace (food, beverages and restrooms) and the gift shop. For operating hours, contact Xanterra at 605-574-2515.

The sculpture lights will not be turned on during the duration of the government shutdown.

For more information, visit

Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park will remain open during the shutdown, but there will be no visitor services. Hazardous or dangerous conditions may exist.

Highway 240 (the Loop Road) and Sage Creek Rim Road will remain open if weather conditions allow. Rangers will close roads if weather conditions are unsafe for travel. Pinnacles Overlook, Big Badlands Overlook, Cliff Shelf and the Notch Trail will remain open, but emergency services will be limited during the shutdown.

For more information, visit

Jewel Cave National Monument
Jewel Cave National Monument is closed, and all facilities are closed. There will not be any visitor services, such as restrooms, maintenance, or snow removal until further notice.

During the federal government shutdown, this website will not be updated.

For more information, visit

Wind Cave National Park
Park roads, lookouts, and trails at Wind Cave National Park will remain accessible to visitors, but emergency and rescue services will be limited.

There will be no National Park Service-provided visitor services at Wind Cave National Park, including public information, restrooms, trash collection, facilities, and road maintenance on roads NPS 5 and 6.

The visitor center and cave are closed. The Elk Mountain Campground remains open, but the National Park Service will not be providing services, including road maintenance or janitorial support. Highways 385 and 87 will remain open and maintained.

For more information, visit

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site is closed during the shutdown.

For more information, visit

Devils Tower National Monument
Access to Devils Tower National Monument is open, but all services (buildings, restrooms, etc.) are closed. Please use caution and be responsible if you choose to visit the park during this time.

For more information, visit

Note: Because of the shutdown, all National Park Services social media pages and websites are not being monitored or updated and may not reflect current conditions.

Please Remember
If you choose to visit a national park during the shutdown, use extreme caution. National Park Services (NPS) personnel will not be available to provide guidance, assistance, maintenance or emergency response. Any entry onto NPS property during the shutdown is at the visitor’s sole risk.

If you plan to visit the parks during the shutdown, or your friends or loved ones do, please have alternative ways to dispose of trash and human waste in case trashcans are full and bathrooms are locked.

Alternative Options
If you're concerned about the effects of a government shutdown, check out some of the wonderful alternatives in the Black Hills and Badlands.

Explore our adventure-rich state parks, including Custer State Park, Bear Butte State Park, Angostura State Recreation Area, Rocky Point Recreation Area, Spearfish Canyon Trails and the George S. Mickelson Trail. All state parks and facilities are open.

Wind your way along some of South Dakota’s best scenic byways for spectacular sightseeing, like the serene Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway or the dramatic Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway.

Visit Crazy Horse Memorial®, the largest mountain carving in progress. It is a privately funded project and all facilities are open. The on-site Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Educational & Cultural Center provide educational and cultural programming.

Black Hills & Badlands is prioritizing safe travel.

Learn more at