Big Bend Announces Possible Reopening GuidelinesPress Release
BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, TX – Big Bend National Park announced on Wednesday officials are working on a plan to reopen the park for employees, visitors, and the local community after being closed for 10 weeks.
“After what will have been 10 weeks of being closed, we look forward eagerly to being able to serve the public once again. Visitors may see some of the improvements that National Park Service staff, volunteers, and partners have been working on while the park has been closed," said Big Bend National Park Superintendent Bob Krumenaker. "These include cleanup of the 2019 Castolon Fire debris, painting of the Panther Junction Visitor Center, and extensive clearing of brush in campgrounds and along roadsides."
According to CBS7, the reopening could happen as early as early June. In a press release, the park outlined the facilities and operations that could be the first to open.
“Our reopening will be gradual, and closely linked to the experts' recommendations on safety and health. We appreciate the patience of everyone who loves Big Bend, and in particular, those whose economic lives have been adversely affected. Re-opening the park safely will be a huge boost to community morale, and to the economy of West Texas,” said Krumenaker.
According to the press release, one of the main concerns officials are facing is distance and access to medical facilities.
"Big Bend National Park is 100 miles from the nearest hospital, and while the park community has fortunately been disease-free, the public health consultants we are working with remain concerned about the vulnerability of employees, residents, and visitors should anyone become symptomatic with COVID-19 while in the park.”
The following facilities could reopen as soon as June 1st:
- Scenic driving and bicycling along all paved park roads
- Selected front-country trails for day hiking
- Rio Grande day float trips from paved road access points
- Panther Junction Gas Station and camp store
- Chisos Mountains Lodge restaurant for take-out meals only
- Fossil Discovery Exhibit
- Restroom facilities
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