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COVID-19 Coronavirus - Important Information:

 
Welcome back to Wyoming State Parks
 

Press Releases:

  • State Parks See Record Number of Visitors in April and May

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    Despite the negative impact on the economy nationwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor recreation in Wyoming, and specifically the State Parks, have proven to be not only popular destinations, but also a major economic contributor to the state’s tourism economy and a vitally important asset for people to improve their physical and mental health.

                Wyoming’s State Parks system-wide have proven to be popular opportunities for outdoor recreation and a healthy social distancing alternative. While many industries closed due to the pandemic, fishing, boating, hiking, biking and other outdoor recreation opportunities were still available at Wyoming’s State Parks resulting in increased visitation.

                “We’re proud that in spite of the pandemic, we’ve been able to contribute to the tourism industry and the state’s economy,” Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources Director Darin Westby said. “We were in a unique situation in that we didn’t need to completely close our venues and things like camping were closed only for a short time. We plan to continue to provide Wyoming’s residents and visitors with a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities.”

               GLcamping During April and May, Wyoming’s State Parks saw over 575,000 visitors, approximately 160 percent increase over the five-year average of 225,000. These numbers began to accumulate much sooner than Memorial Day weekend, which is traditionally considered the beginning of the summer travel season.

               “It is no surprise that people have been ready to get outdoors and enjoy the recreational opportunities available at our state parks, particularly during COVID-19, when many indoor activities have been limited,” said Chris Floyd, Manager of the State Office of Outdoor Recreation.  “During the pandemic, Wyoming’s wide-open spaces provide plenty of room for recreationalists to keep their distance from others and stay relatively safe from the virus. We’ve heard from many of our visitors that the ability to visit our parks has been critical to their physical and mental well-being.”

    Most of these visitors were people using the park for day-use activities since the parks were closed to camping from March 30 through May 15. Since reopening to camping, Wyoming’s State Parks weekend occupancy rates ranged from 89 to 98 percent, which is exceptionally high for this time of year.            

                The higher than normal visitation numbers is a trend that is expected to continue through the summer as motorhome and travel trailer rental site “RVShare” has reported a 1,000 percent increase in nationwide bookings since April 1, and dealers report increased sales of approximately 40 percent nationwide. Of course, RVing, camping and outdoor recreation go hand-in-hand.

               “The demand for outdoor recreation right now is at an all-time high in Wyoming and has the potential to help the state rebound from the COVID-19 crisis and other economic challenges,” said Floyd.  “As long as the virus remains a threat, the value of outdoor recreation will continue to grow as people seek safe places to spend quality time with their families outside of their homes.” 

                The Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources now provides additional tourism and educational opportunities with the state’s historic sites reopening on May 29, as well as the Wyoming State Museum and State Archives on June 9.

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    Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails
    A Division of Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources
    2301 Central Avenue, 4th Floor, Cheyenne, WY 82002
    307-777-6323www.wyoparks.org

     

     
  • South Pass City Gold Rush Days Event Canceled for 2020

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    Gold Rush Days, annually the highest attended event hosted by South Pass City State Historic Site, has cancelled the 2020 edition of the celebration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Gold-Rush-Days34The board of the Friends of South Pass and the staff of the historic site felt that site could not provide adequate physical distancing and maintain the quality of the event.

    “Our visitors are accustomed to a fun family event where children run freely and experience all South Pass City has to offer,” Steve Beazley, President of the Friends of South Pass City said. “We felt we were not able to provide this kind of environment this year.  We are all saddened by the cancelation but encourage people to come back in 2021.”  

    Gold Rush Days 2021 is scheduled for July 10 -11.

    Despite the Gold Rush Days cancellation, South Pass City has announced that Carissa Mill Tours will resume this summer. They are scheduled to begin June 20, and will be held each Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. through September 7. Reservations are required. Please call 307-332-3684 or visit www.southpasscity.com for more information.

    South Pass City State Historic Site is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we are asking all visitors to practice social distancing, wear face coverings and respect other visitors.

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    Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails
    A Division of Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources
    2301 Central Avenue, 4th Floor, Cheyenne, WY 82002
    307-777-6323www.wyoparks.org

     

     
  • Non-Resident Camping Now Open in Wyoming State Parks

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    Beginning today, camping in Wyoming State Parks is open to out-of-state residents.  

    To support the overall health of the public, Wyoming State Parks have been open to outdoor recreation throughout this pandemic. Because of a relatively low number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, camping was opened to Wyoming residents on May 15th. The restriction of out-of-state campers was put in place to cut down on the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  

    “Our team is excited to be able to increase our economic impact to the State and local economies by bringing in our consumers from around the country.” Darin Westby, agency director of Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources said. “Our criteria for opening camping to non-residents  has always been when surrounding states opened their camping, and their respective COVID-19 cases began leveling. Now is the time.”

    ML2014095Regardless of residency, all persons interested in camping at Wyoming State Parks must still go through the reservation system to secure a campsite at all locations except Hawk Springs State Recreation Area, some sites on the west side of Boysen State Park, and Connor Battlefield State Historic Site near Ranchester (those campgrounds are still open on a first-come, first-served basis). Visitors can still secure a spot without a prior reservation, but must do so through the reservation system upon arrival at their chosen park. 

    Additionally, headquarters buildings at the various Wyoming State Parks have opened, allowing for the sale of annual day-use and overnight camping permits. Visitors are asked to join staff in adhering to social distancing recommendations whether meeting in offices, recreating at boat ramps, working at fish cleaning stations, or gathering at beaches and other areas.

    Cabins and yurts are available for three-day reservations, Friday through Sunday. This will ensure that each structure will be cleaned and disinfected prior to the next reservation.  

    Wyoming State Parks continues to request that people recreate responsibly so Wyoming State Parks can continue to remain open for all to enjoy.

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    Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails
    A Division of Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources
    2301 Central Avenue, 4th Floor, Cheyenne, WY 82002
    307-777-6323www.wyoparks.org

     

     
  • State Historic Sites to Begin Re-Opening May 29

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    Recreational and educational opportunities in the Cowboy State continue to expand with the majority of Wyoming State Historic Sites opening May 29.

    “State Parks and historic sites are a huge economic driver for local communities throughout Wyoming,” Darin Westby, Director of State Parks and Cultural Resources said. “We’re excited to get them opened back up and introduce our visitors to Wyoming’s rich history. Guests can visit anything from territorial day prisons, to battle sites, to historic forts, to historic mansions within our State Parks and Historic Site system. We’re ramping up and while the majority of sites will be opening on the 29th we have a few that will open shortly thereafter based on staffing and other determining factors.”

    In some instances, hours of operation may be altered. Visitors are encouraged to call specific historic sites for more information. 

    Per Wyoming COVID-19 guidance, no more than ten persons are allowed per building, unless otherwise established, and outdoor venues are limited to a maximum occupancy of 25 people per area.

    Wyoming State Parks and Historic sites continue to ask that you help keep sites open by recreating responsibly and following social distancing guidelines.

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    Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails
    A Division of Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources
    2301 Central Avenue, 4th Floor, Cheyenne, WY 82002
    307-777-6323www.wyoparks.org

     

     
  • Approximately 1,000 Sites Added to State Parks Reservation System

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    With the addition of approximately 1,000 new sites to the statewide system, Wyoming residents wanting to spend time at a Wyoming State Park have an expanded range of opportunities by which to reserve their campsites. 

    To ensure the safety of visitors and staff, all camping at Wyoming State Parks - including Boysen, Buffalo Bill, Curt Gowdy, Glendo, Guernsey, Keyhole, Medicine Lodge, Seminoe, and Sinks Canyon - is currently open only to Wyoming residents and now requires a reservation. 

    The reservation system, operated by Aspira/ReserveAmerica, allows in-state campers to make a reservation, receive instant communication about that reservation, and head into their camping experience knowing that they have a campsite waiting for them upon their arrival. 

    Although campsites are no longer available on a first-come, first-served drive-up basis, there is still the opportuniKH4th-of-july-2016ty for last-minute camping. Visitors can secure a spot without a prior reservation by contacting ReserveAmerica upon arrival at the park. The reservation system is updated in real-time, allowing users to know which campsites are still available and which are not.

    Due to the need to follow social distancing guidelines, not all campsites are available; those that are too close to others will be blocked off until further notice. Only single-unit campsites will be made available, with no more than 10 persons allowed per site. Cabins and yurts can be reserved for Friday, Saturday and Sunday only, thus allowing adequate time to clean and disinfect each structure prior to the next reservation.  

    Fee compliance and reservations will be verified in the campgrounds themselves by staff and law enforcement. 

    For the safety of our staff and visitors, fee booths may be manned for information purposes, but will not be accepting cash payments. Until park offices are allowed to open, annual camping and day use permits will be available only through ReserveAmerica and authorized local vendors. 

    Due to social distancing and CDC guidelines, all playgrounds, group shelters, group campsites, and some indoor facilities will remain closed to the public.

    Wyoming State Parks offers a few suggestions that may enhance the camping experience. Bring a first aid kit, trash bags and hand sanitizer. Also, please remember that fires are restricted to established fire rings.

    Visitors are asked to adhere to social distancing recommendations while recreating at boat ramps, fish cleaning stations, beaches, and other areas where people tend to congregate.

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    Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails
    A Division of Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources
    2301 Central Avenue, 4th Floor, Cheyenne, WY 82002
    307-777-6323www.wyoparks.org

     

     
  • Wyoming State Park Camping Closed to Non-Residents

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    In order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure adherence to social distancing guidelines, Wyoming State Parks has temporarily closed camping to non-residents.

    All existing 2020 reservations for out-of-state visitors will be canceled and all charges will be refunded as soon as possible.

    Wyoming State Parks will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and when deemed appropriate by the Governor and State Health Officer, a plan will be developed to re-open camping to non-residents. The camping situation in neighboring states will also factor into when camping might open in Wyoming to non-residents.

    Please visit our website at Wyoparks.org or Facebook page for the most current information.

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    Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails
    A Division of Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources
    2301 Central Avenue, 4th Floor, Cheyenne, WY 82002
    307-777-6323www.wyoparks.org

     

     
  • State Parks Opens Camping to Wyoming Residents May 15

     

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    State Parks To Open Camping to Residents May 15

    Wyoming State Parks will partially reopen to camping for Wyoming residents beginning May 15. State Parks has remained open to day-use recreation but closed to camping due to the  COVID-19 pandemic. 

    “The busy camping season unofficially starts Memorial Day weekend; however, we are excited to announce that we have been working with the Governor’s office and the State Health Officer to get Wyoming residents camping in just over two weeks,” said Darin Westby, Director of Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources.  

    The decision to reopen out-of-state visitor camping will be continually reassessed by State Park management, and a future plan will be submitted to the Governor and State Health Officer as camping begins to open in surrounding states.  

    To ensure the safety of our visitors and staff, and in an effort to open parks to camping as quickly as possible, all camping will now require reservations.  Not all campsites will be available due to designed social distancing.  This will also ensure that only in-state residents can make reservations, provide instant communication through information on the reservation, and reduce cash handling by staff.  The reservation system also decreases the stress of not knowing if you have a campsite to stay in before you leave your home. 

    Sites will not be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors can still secure a spot without a prior reservation, but must do so through the reservation system upon arrival. For the safety of our staff and visitors, fee booths will remain closed and fee compliance and reservations will be verified by law enforcement.

     

    Additionally, according to the approved plan, only single-unit campsites will be made available. Per Wyoming State Park Rules on camping units, and COVID-19 guidance, no more than 10 persons per site will be allowed. Cabins and yurts will be available for three-day reservations, Friday through Sunday. This will ensure each structure will be cleaned and disinfected prior to the next reservation.  

    Due to social distancing and CDC guidelines, all playgrounds, group shelters, group campsites, and some indoor facilities will remain closed to the public.

    Social distancing recommendations shall also be adhered to while recreating at boat ramps, fish cleaning stations and other areas where people may congregate.

    The public is reminded that this plan is subject to modification at any time due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 situation. This plan will change due to modifications to social distancing guidelines by the Governor and/or State Health Officer. We continue to request that people recreate responsibly so we can continue to remain open for all to enjoy.

     

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    Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails
    A Division of Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources
    2301 Central Avenue, 4th Floor, Cheyenne, WY 82002
    307-777-6323www.wyoparks.org

     

     

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