News Release

Crowds Visit While Death Valley’s Services are Limited

Cars are parked in spaces and along edges of Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes Parking lot on December 23.
Two days into the partial government shutdown, cars are parked in spaces and along edges of Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes Parking lot on December 23.


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News Release Date: December 23, 2018

Contact: Abby Wines, 760-786-3221

Contact: Hilary Clark, 760-786-3276

DEATH VALLEY, CA – Large numbers of people are visiting Death Valley National Park this week in spite of the limited services due to the partial government shutdown.

The Oasis at Death Valley, Stovepipe Wells Resort, and Panamint Springs resort are privately operated and are remaining fully open with lodging, camping, fuel, and restaurants available.

Most roads and hiking areas in Death Valley National Park remain accessible to the public. Emergency and rescue services are limited. Two areas, Salt Creek and Natural Bridge, have been closed for resource protection.

Due to the lapse in federal appropriations, the National Park Service (NPS) is not providing visitor services such as trash collection, restrooms, facility maintenance, or public information. Due to the lack of services, visitors are advised to use extreme caution when entering the park. Visitors are also asked to take trash with them and help keep their park clean. 

The winter holidays are one of the busiest times in Death Valley. Parking lots at popular destinations such as Zabriskie Point, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, and Badwater are overflowing with cars. By the end of Sunday, two days into the shutdown, piles of trash surrounded trash cans.

The NPS will not be providing services for NPS-operated campgrounds, including maintenance, janitorial, bathrooms, check-in/check-out, and reservations. However, visitors in NPS-operated campgrounds will not be asked to leave unless safety concerns require such action. Visitors holding campground reservations should be aware that there is no guarantee their reserved campsite will be ready and available should they arrive during a government shutdown.

For updates on the shutdown, please visit

Death Valley National Park is the homeland of the Timbisha Shoshone and preserves natural and cultural resources, exceptional wilderness, scenery, and learning experiences within the nation’s largest conserved desert landscape and some of the most extreme climate and topographic conditions on the planet. About two-thirds of the park was originally designated as Death Valley National Monument in 1933. Today the park is enjoyed by about 1,300,000 people per year. The park is 3,400,000 acres – nearly as large as the state of Connecticut. Learn more at

Last updated: December 23, 2018

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P.O. Box 579
Death Valley, CA 92328


(760) 786-3200

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