...what other cool places are there to go see and photograph in Washington, Oregon or even Idaho and Montana?
It's been 42 months and 85,000 miles driving and the journey has included 48 of the 49 National Parks in the lower 48 states as well as tons of National Monuments, Seashores, Historic Sites and such. The last National Park I have to get to is North Cascade NP but I won't get there by Monday (at the Oregon/California border in the Redwoods now) when the parks may shut down.
I'll wait around for a little while for to see if they re-open but while I'm doing that does anyone have any suggestions for cool places to go see and photograph in that area of the country that won't be closed? I'll head to the Olympic coast for a little while because I don't think they can shut down the beaches there but not sure where else to go. I'll need to find places with hostels, cheap campgrounds, or forest service/BLM land to spend the nights and keep the lodging budget near zero so I try to stay away from cities and just stick to landscape and wildlife photography.
Would it be practical to go to the Canadian Rockies at this time of year and see their national parks (Jasper/Banff/Lake Louise) or would the winter weather be kicking in now making road travel and cheap lodging a bit tricky?
Any suggestions much appreciated!
Just got a photo featured on the National Park Foundation Facebook page! The Kayaks At Isle Royale National Park!
Check out state and county parks in the area. They often have camping facilities in them. I do volunteer work at one in Florida (a bit of a drive for you, Adam), Jonathan Dickinson State Park, that has facilities for RVs and tents, plus canoeing, kayaking, hiking, etc.
Most of the Oregon and western Washington beaches are state rather than federally owned. If you are in the Northwest, why not pop over to Vancouver Island? Lots of Canadian parks there and the weather is as mild (and wet) as Washington State.
Drive the Columbia Gorge on Oregon HWY 30. The falls are all state parks and they are spectacular. http://www.historicthedalles.org/columbia_gorge_waterfalls.htm Silver Falls State Park, just east of Salem is also pretty spectacular, especially if you are willing to hike. Further south for a more quiet kind of beauty there is Myrtle Grove State Park just inland from Coos Bay.
My cousin is traveling across American as she does every year photographing. She's in Yellowstone right now and will also be shooting the Grand Tetons this week. She said everyones talking about it today and are very concerned that its going to happen. Hopefully something changes in the final hours. Here are the contingency plans if there is a shutdown which will answer your questions.....like major roads will remain open, for example.. and park law enforcement will still be on duty for another example....
@ Bradley yes I'm pretty sure the National Parks close including Shenandoah Nat. Park. (Skyline drive) which is sad because that is a destination for many of our campers at the campground where I work which luckily is a privately owned campground so will not be closing. This couldn't come at a worse time because this is when all the leaves are starting to turn for fall color and that may impact the campground where I work since we often get the overflow from the Park, in fact we are at the top of their list as where to stay when the park is full. @ Adam as stated above many of the parks in Oregon I know are State Parks so you should be able to go to those but I was reading online today that National Parks would be closed and if you are camping in a National Park at the time of the govt. shut down they give you two days to get out according to the article I read online today.
They give you two days to get out? lol They don't even know who is inside half of the time. The trick I used to use before was to drive in at midnight when the nobody was on the gate. Of course I own a pass now. I wonder if I will get extra days on my pass based on how many days they are closed? Plus there are people actually living inside National Parks.
Currently, inside all U.S. national parks, there are 11,640 pieces of private land. With public monies dwindling, it is feared that someday soon you could hike into a protected valley and come upon a strip mall or a whole neighborhood of homes.
The last threatened shutdown, the national forest campgrounds were slated to be closed, but they said that disbursed camping (at established individual campsites with no services at all) would still be permitted. You have lots of national forests in that area. And the roads stay open.
please keep me informed. this is usually my hike season out there.
I just can't picture that area vacant. there is also some outside access to Shenandoah Natl park. I wonder if it is Closed closed? would that be Trespassing? But I assume rangers would be furloughed so they wouldn't be around.
@ Bradley maybe the National Forest Land would be the good way to go too since those are mostly just roads and you don't see a lot of rangers there anyways as long as the roads aren't closed...good luck.
From the Department of the Interior Contengency Plan link I posted...
"All areas of the National Park and National Wildlife Refuge Systems would be closed and public
access would be restricted."
"National Park Service.
In the event of a lapse in appropriations, NPS would close and secure
all park facilities. A total of 3,266 employees would be excepted including 2,139 to conduct law
enforcement and 1,126 to conduct other activities required to protect life and property. Park
facilities would generally not be available to park visitors. Visitor centers would be closed and
access to park areas denied, including the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Independence Hall,
Alcatraz, and the Washington Monument. Park roads would be closed except when they are
necessary as thruways.
All concession operated services and facilities would be closed unless
they are deemed essential for health and safety reasons, are needed to support on-going excepted
NPS activities or are located in urban areas where full NPS law enforcement coverage is
continued due to the inability to control visitor access. Visitors using overnight concession
accommodations and campgrounds would be notified and given 48 hours to make alternate
arrangements and leave the park. Emergency responders, including fire management, emergency
management services, and law enforcement personnel, not required for essential activities would
be placed on furlough but may be called back to duty if an emergency situation arises.
For the first two or three days of a shutdown, staff would escort visitors from the parks and
facilities and secure facilities. Park superintendents would maintain a list of personnel who
would be excepted from furlough during a prolonged shutdown. A portion of the initially
excepted employees (including the U.S. Park Police) would be continued for the duration of a
shutdown. A cadre of employees at the NPS project management support centers in Harper’s
Ferry, West Virginia and Denver, Colorado, who are necessary for direct project management of
ongoing projects funded by multi-year appropriations would remain on duty. NPS would
furlough 21,379 employees."
I agree with the advice of Silver Falls State Park in Oregon. I was there in June and it is beautiful. But, only if you like waterfalls, lol. As a matter of fact, any of the Oregon State Parks would be a good choice. Oregon does a great job with their state parks. I almost always prefer to visit them over CA state parks even though I live in CA.
@ Phylis I try not to follow politics anymore it just makes me frustrated. ;-) I'm happiest in nature but would be even happier if I could get into the Park to see some more nature! Luckily I live surrounded by nature on our land but I really feel sorry for the people in the Urban areas who come out to our National Park here to seek a peaceful respite from their busy lives.
And I just completed making reservations in VA and NC for leaf looking - certainly glad I got cancelable reservations. You got get all reservations at 30% off - but you couldn't cancel or get a refund for ANY reason. stupid people will take that bet.
I hear ya. I would rather not think about politics and just enjoy nature and art but then this kind of thing comes in and slaps us. ugh! Mu cuz is in Grand Tetons National Park tonight. I guess she'll stay until they kick her out..lol..or moves on to the next location she plans to go to.
I'm guessing what will happen for most National Parks is like what happened back in the Reagan era... The parks just won't be maintained. Back then it was left to normal citizens to take it upon themselves to do what they could to keep them going.
Seabeck south of Seattle is really beautiful. Orcas Island, Whidbey Island. I don't know if any major roads or passes are closed up in the Canadian Rockies but Glacier got 8 inches of snow last night so the 'going to the sun' road is closed. It has been stormy out this way but is clearing up mid-week.
Well its official. My cuz and everyone at Grand Tetons were told they all will have to leave the park..along with everyone at every other National Park in the country. Even the Statue of Liberty will now be closed. Park employees along with a lot of other people not going to work tomorrow. Dang politicians! Grrrrrrrrr
Thanks for all the suggestions! So far, it seems like slowing down to take in more of the Oregon coast is a good start. The sights are awesome and the weather perfect though a little more fog and some clouds in the sky would be nice. Think I'll research a bit of the area south of Seattle, Orcas Island and that type of thing. If the weather looks fairly good, I'm dying to get to the Canadian Rockies - Jasper, Banff, Lake Louise. Those were in the original plan but there are so many things to see all across the country its easy to get a month or more behind schedule.
It amazing how much farther a travel budget will go when you just sleep in your car in rest stops, truck stops and other random places almost every night.
Sure hope the parks re-open before long. Some places like The Wave are almost impossible to get a permit for in the first place and people come from all over the world if they can snag one of those permits. Wonder if people who have permits for things like that while everything is closed will get to pick a new date to hike out there?
Unfortunately this is not the Reagan era... but everything today must have a political side to it. It seems that control of the National Parks and who comes in and goes out is part of that side in this new day. The people cannot be trusted with their own land....
Where I'm located, the land procured (donated to the county or state) for parks is just sitting there not being developed because of other more important "government" priorities (whatever that may be).