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The Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora remains accessible to visitors despite government shutdown. James B. Miller, Jr. / Forum News Service

National parks in North Dakota to remain accessible during government shutdown

DICKINSON, N.D. — The impasse continues over government spending, with party lines drawn over funding for President Trump’s proposed border wall.

As the spending bill lapsed, the resulting turmoil has left large swathes of the federal government in shutdown. The affected agencies include the National Park Service, homeland security, law enforcement, tax collection and transportation.

In North Dakota, National Parks will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures during the federal government shutdown due to the appropriations lapse, according to a NPS press release.

Park roads, lookouts and trails at Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site will remain accessible to visitors, but emergency and rescue services will be limited. The Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site will remain mostly closed to visitors.

There are no National Park Service-provided visitor services during the shutdown at North Dakota national park sites including public information, restrooms, trash collection, facilities and road maintenance.

The National Park Service’s media and websites are not being monitored or updated and may not reflect current conditions because of the federal shutdown, and all park interpretive programs have been cancelled.

Hiking trails at the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site are open. Visitor center and earthlodge exhibits will be closed.

The Bodmer Overlook Trail and other trails outside of the fort walls at Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site are accessible, but the fort and visitor center are closed.

At Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the North Unit Scenic Drive is open to the Caprock Coulee Trailhead and will be open to foot traffic beyond the vehicle traffic closure areas. In the park’s South Unit, East River Road and the Scenic Drive are open to vehicles, as long as weather permits. Visitor centers are closed.

The public should be aware that while the parks will remain as accessible as possible, winter weather conditions may change quickly and roads could become impassable. Local road conditions are available at In the event of an emergency, visitors should call 911.

For updates on the shutdown, visit