It is day five of the partial government shutdown, non-essential government services remain closed and more than 400,000 federal employees continue without pay, but many visitors of the national parks are surprised to find out the closure is affecting parts of their trips.
The visitors of the Joshua Tree National Park did not expect to find it closed during the busy holiday season.
Kevin Sampson visited the national park with his family a day after Christmas, he said, “The visitor’s center is part of the experience of visiting the park so yea, I was kind of surprised.”
Sampson was one of many tourists who were unaware of the park’s closure.
Jennifer Liu is another tourist from Los Angeles who did not realize the overarching effects, Liu said, “We thought about it because of the government shutdown but didn’t realize it really closed.”
President Donald Trump and congressional lawmakers have not agreed on a spending bill which led to a partial shutdown of the government and left nonessential sectors of the government unfunded.
The visitors of the Joshua Tree National Park had access to the park, although there were no rangers on site nor restrooms that were open.
Linda Zhong was one of the visitors at the park who found the lack of restroom facilities inconvenient.
Zhong said, “I want to check out the bathroom because we need to use it and unfortunately it is closed to our surprised so it’s very disappointing.”
While some were disappointed by the lack of services, others plan to make the best out of their trip.
For the most part, the plans from visitors remained unchanged from the government shutdown while hundreds of thousands of federal employees still do not know when they will be able to return to work.