SALT LAKE CITY — Visitors planning to celebrate the new year in snowy Arches National Park may need to make other plans.
The park can't pay to plow new-fallen snow because its federal funding is on hold during the partial federal government shutdown, the National Park Service said in a statement Monday. The conditions were too unsafe to keep the park open.
The towering sights will stay off-limits until the snow and ice melt or Arches recoups the money to clear the roads, park officers said.
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory Monday morning that will remain in effect until 9 p.m. It advised travelers in the area to expect "snowpacked and icy road conditions" with 1-4 inches of snow.
Until Monday, the park's visitor center stayed open after the funding lapse began Dec. 22. The Utah Office of Tourism chipped in to keep it running through the last day of the year, according to the statement.
Park officers are urging caution even after the roads reopen, because rangers won't be able to give guidance, address maintenance issues or respond to emergencies until the money starts flowing again.4 comments on this story
"Any entry onto (National Park Service) property during this federal government shutdown is at the visitor’s sole risk," the park service said.
The hiatus largely applies to its social media pages, too, though park managers will share urgent updates on Facebook and Twitter.
Arches, which typically is open 365 days a year, isn't alone. The Park Service is pausing operations nationwide during the shutdown.
Zion National Park will remain open thanks to a donation from a private foundation that will cover basic services through Saturday.