President Donald Trump signed a bill late Friday that reopened the federal government for three weeks, but it will take some time before Mesa Verde National Park reopens to the public.
On Sunday, Cristy Brown, public information officer at the park, said in an email to The Journal that the park would reopen at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 4.
“During the shutdown, several large rock falls occurred on the main park road between mile markers 2 and 3, causing damage to the road and guardrail,” Brown said. “Repairing the road damage and replacing the guardrail, along with substantial snow removal, are necessary to ensure visitor and staff safety prior to the park reopening.”
The Visitor and Research Center at the entrance of the park also will reopen on Feb. 4.
Trump signed legislation on Jan. 16 that will provide back pay for federal employees who worked during the shutdown, including U.S. park rangers.
On Sunday, the National Park Service posted a notice on its website stating that it was preparing to resume regular operations, although “the schedule for individual parks may vary depending on staff size and complexity of operations.”
“We would like to thank everyone for their cooperation and understanding during the shutdown, and the extended closure of the park,” Brown said Sunday.
A U.S. park ranger on Saturday morning was posted as the front entrance to turn visitors away, as has been the case since the day after Christmas, when a snowstorm forced the park to close because of a lack of funding for snowplow drivers.