After a 35-day partial government shutdown, federal employees at Big Bend National Park will now return to work. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)
By Carlos Morales
After President Trump’s announcement Friday to temporarily end the partial government shutdown, federal workers across West Texas are returning to work.
At Big Bend National Park that return will be gradual. The 35-day shutdown, which was the longest shutdown in history, affected most of the park’s operations, and even hurt tourism to Boquillas del Carmen, a tiny Mexican village just across the Rio Grande. With the park’s staff able to work, expect previously closed campgrounds and visitor centers to re-open over the next few days.
Currently, there’s still no overnight camping in the park, except for the Rio Grande Village RV camping area. Campgrounds at the Chisos Basin, Rio Grande Village and Cottonwood Campgrounds are closed until Jan. 29.
Park staff will also start issuing backcountry permits on Monday Jan. 28, for use beginning on Tuesday.
Re-Opening Schedule For Big Bend National Park
Sunday, January 27
8 AM: Persimmon Gap Entrance Station
Noon: Panther Junction Visitor Center (Bookstore will be open at 9 AM)
Noon: Chisos Basin Visitor Center
Monday, January 28
8 AM: NPS Business Office (Panther Junction Headquarters)
9 AM: Rio Grande Village Visitor Center
10 AM: Castolon Visitor Center
10 AM: Persimmon Gap Visitor Center
Tuesday, January 29
Noon: Chisos Basin, Cottonwood, and Rio Grande Village Campgrounds.
– First night for backcountry camping permits.
– Permits available from Panther Junction and Chisos Basin Visitor Centers.
Wednesday, January 30
8 AM: Boquillas Crossing Port of Entry Opens.