In an ideal world, those of us on a trip to a park could take off our watches, never glance at the time on our electronic devices, and not even care what day of the week it is, much less the hour of the day. That's unfortunately not always the case, of course, so it's important to know there are some parks where the answer to "What time is it?" may not be what you expect.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Recent years haven't been kind to boaters at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, with lowering water levels in Lake Powell hampering use of boat ramps and increasing hazards to navigation. Now, thanks to higher-than-expected runoff from last winter's snows, lake levels are rising to levels not seen since November 2012.
Keeping quagga mussels in, not out of, Lake Powell at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is the new strategy after years of trying to prevent the non-native species' spread into the reservoir have been declared a failure.
To help boaters avoid a long excursion to reach the main arm of Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah, the Castle Rock Cut has been deepened to an elevation of 3,580 feet.
“Running on empty” unfortunately is a very apt description of the Colorado River Basin, which long has had its water overcommitted. Today, the vast watershed that stretches from the mountains of Colorado to the Gulf of California and helps nourish some 30 million residents in the Southwest and Mexico is mired in a long-running drought that threatens to dramatically recast the already-arid region.
Dropping water levels at Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area have revealed a much greater infestation of quagga mussels in the reservoir than previously thought.
Castle Rock Cut is a popular short-cut route on Lake Powell that allows boaters to shorten the trip between the major Wahweap Marina and destinations uplake by a distance of 12 miles. Years of drought and falling water levels for the lake have made this shortcut unusable by boaters, so work is getting underway at to lower this channel by another twenty feet.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area often conjures up watery visions of touring Lake Powell, but there's a dryland component to the park, too, and NRA officials are working on developing a management plan for off-road vehicles.
Though located in the arid landscape of the Colorado Plateau, the area around Canyonlands National Park attracts a lot of birds and provides valuable habitat for species such as the Mexican spotted owl. As such, the area has been identified as a "Globally Important Bird Area" by the National Audubon Society
Wondering which national parks have been able to reopen with state funding? Here's a list, and the dates the parks are to remain open...barring some resolution in Washington or more funding from the states.