Want to visit Half Dome? You can again. Yosemite National Park announced on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 16 that it is open. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SHUTDOWN SYMBOL: While many iconic images remain in the public's mind following the government shutdown of October 2013, one of the most memorable has been the shuttering of the country's national parks and monuments. Tours stopped, boats were docked, trams were parked, and any lingering guests were asked to leave. But with the passing of the debt deal on Wednesday, Oct. 16, many of the closings were reversed. One headline-making one? Yosemite Nation posted five simple words on just a few minutes before 8:30 PST: "Yosemite National Park is OPEN!"
MORE DETAILS: A fuller announcement followed a few minutes later, with a note that facilities and services are now open. "Visitors can access public areas and roads while facilities and public services are brought back on-line," read the Facebook posting. The popular ranger-led programs are expected to gear back up on Oct. 17, as will campgrounds around the park's valley center.
FALL PEAK: Autumn hues can still be found around the national park, including around Wawona Meadows. If you're setting your sights to winter, the Bracebridge Dinner at the Ahwahnee is still to come at the holidays, as is the Vintners' Holidays, which has a November start. And Badger Pass, the park's ski destination, still posts an opening date of Friday, Dec. 13.
NPS WATCH: To keep an eye on all the openings, keep tabs on the National Park Service site.