We will be going on the Feb 2-11 tour of the Southwestern deserts and parks starting in Tucson. Wondering how Parks closure will effect this trip.

We are on the southwestern tour of deserts and national parks arriving in Tucson on Feb 2 and departing from Las Vegas on Feb 11.
  • Check this website for park by park information. www.nps.gov/.../index.htm The information can change daily and not sure if website keeps up. I was in Yosemite in 2013 when they shut down. They did not allow in new visitors, park programs were cancelled and roads were closed. We staying in the park and were given a few days to vacate the park before the lodge closed. Again every federal shutdown and park is different. I was on a 7 National Park tour and ended up going home and trying again the following year. Road Scholar did provide transportation to airport for return home.

    I hold my breath every year as my goal is National Parks. Shut downs have become so common it is always in the back of my mind when choosing dates.

    Guessing hard for RS to keep you posted as it changes daily and NP's could be up and running by then. Very hard decision on both sides of the coin.
  • Fingers crossed things will have reopened when you travel.

    I looked quickly at your itinerary. Saguaro West looks to be open and the Sonora Desert Museum is a private foundation so remains open. It is excellent and to be honest, I could spend the whole day there! https://www.desertmuseum.org/

    Joshua Tree NP is having issues and is closing Jan 10 for cleanup. Some visitors have been jerks - going off road, bathrooms are an issue, garbage is an issue. Hopefully it will be reopened by the time you are there. If not, there are plenty of alternatives in the area for the guide to take you to.

    www.nps.gov/.../joshua-tree-national-park-to-temporarily-close-for-cleanup-and-repair.htm

    Death Valley looks to be open so should not be an issue even if the government is still shut down.

    Be sure you've got sunhats/sunglasses/sunscreen/sunshirt. I've gone to AZ a couple of times in winter and it's hard to remember those things when you're up to your armpits in snow, lol. Sonoran Desert Museum has a few excellent gift shops, lol.

    I agree that it's a nail-biter every year. I got caught last year on a birding trip to SW FL. Fortunately I had gone in a few days early and birded the place that was closed during last January's shutdown. With birding there is almost always an alternative so it worked out fine.

    Good luck!
  • Hello, Road Scholar is monitoring the situation and closely working with our partners on the ground. At this time your program is scheduled to operate as planned. The safety and well-being of our participants remains our primary concern, and we will continue to closely monitor the situation. Be assured that we are prepared to make immediate changes either prior to departure or during the program as circumstances warrant. In the event of any changes to your program we will contact you immediately with the details. Best, Rachel