Joshua Tree National Park reopens after government shutdown

Officials at Joshua Tree National Park announced Thursday that the park reopened in time for what is typically its busiest season.

The park was one of 401 national parks and monuments nationwide that were being opened after the budget deal to end the federal government shutdown.

"We are excited and happy to be back at work and welcome visitors," Joshua Tree Supt. Mark Butler said in a statement.

All park visitor centers -- Joshua Tree, Oasis, Black Rock and Cottonwood -- were opened by noon Thursday, officials said.

Interpretive programs are scheduled to resume Saturday, officials said. Keys Ranch programs that were previously scheduled for this week will be conducted. 

Park officials said any tours that were missed while the park was closed will be rescheduled or refunded. 

All park campgrounds except Jumbo Rocks were opened by 1 p.m. Thursday. 

Jumbo Rocks and part of the park loop road from the north entrance near Oasis Visitor Center to the Cottonwood turnoff were damaged in a September storm. Those areas will remain closed while repairs are underway.



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