The National Parks Are in Flux. Here’s What You Can Do in All 63.

What to know before you go into the wild.

Editor's note: We know COVID-19 is impacting travel plans right now. For a little inspiration, we'll continue to share stories from our favorite places around the world. Be sure to check travel restrictions, protocols, and openings before you head out.

Give it up for Pandemic Summer #2! Pandemic Summer #2, everybody! Thankfully, this one is looking to come with a big sigh of relief. As the number of vaccinated Americans rise, the pandemic’s steel grip on the country is loosening—but our revived love of the Great Outdoors promises to make this summer one for the books.

We've been keeping track of the status of all 63 national parks since last March, keeping tabs on what's open, whether you can camp, and what you can do once you get there. We’ve even included the latest and greatest national park (okay, probably not greatest) to join rank: New River Gorge. Use this handy guide before you head out.

Acadia National Park

Maine
Status: Open
Camping: Yes, with advance reservations
Amenities: Yes
After a long winter’s nap, Acadia's trails and roads have reopened to the public—meaning Maine's natural wonderland (and the amazing lobster you can eat in nearby Bar Harbor) is waiting for you. Just keep an eye on closures related to storms, which can cause roads to close with short notice. For current info, check in with rangers at the Bar Harbor chamber of commerce

Arches National Park

Utah
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Limited
Besides a few lingering closures like the Fiery Furnace trails, it’s largely business as usual at Arches. And just in time: with summer tends to come an influx of visitors. We don’t blame them! With the world’s largest concentration of sandstone arches, this 120-square-mile park is truly a sight to be seen.
 

Badlands National Park

South Dakota
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
Slowly but surely, Badlands is reopening to the public. The South Unit of the park remains closed, but the rest of this badass South Dakota icon and its rugged geologic beauty is mostly open for business. Be sure to stop off for ice water at Wall Drug while you're here: Now that all the Smash Mouth fans have gone home, you'll likely find smaller crowds at the scheduled T-rex show. 
 

Big Bend National Park

Texas
Status: Open
Camping: Yes, with reservations
Amenities: Open
Day-use hikes, RV parking, and backcountry camping by reservation (eight to a group, max) are available at this Texas paradise and road tripper magnet along the Rio Grande. (Alas, the hot springs remain closed.) Limited lodging is available too, so stake your claim: It gets deceptively cold here at night.
 

Biscayne National Park

Florida
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
So rafting is still prohibited, but it’s all good: most of Biscayne is underwater, anyway. You can feel pretty ok with paddling around this overlooked gem of a park with minimal risk, provided you pay attention to (and actually respect) the weather.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Colorado
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
Much of this highly underrated western Colorado treasure is open, but some roads and climbing routes are currently closed (Surprise! Not due to the pandemic, but for construction and nesting raptors). Plan ahead, and maybe have a backup plan.
 

Bryce Canyon National Park

Utah
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
With winter slowly giving way to warmer weather, Bryce Canyon’s enormous spires of red rock are open to the public—no permits required. Just keep an eye on their website for potential road and trail closures due to rockslides and melting snow.
 

Canyonlands National Park

Utah
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
This oft-overlooked Utah gem (the least visited of Utah's famous "big five" parks) is back and going strong: You can now hit up the winding roads and endless trails of Canyonlands, then bed down at campsites or in the backcountry, provided you have a permit.
 

Capitol Reef National Park

Utah
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
This International Dark Sky Park combines the best of Utah's more famous national parks into one lesser-visited package of surprises. And it's fully open for all activities, including camping, canyoneering, and loitering in the visitor centers.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

New Mexico
Status: Open
Camping: Limited
Amenities: No
If you’ve had a hankering to go spelunking during the pandemic, have we got good news for you: Carlsbad Caverns is open with reservations. Backcountry camping is also allowed, and the visitor center is open again.
 

Channel Islands National Park

California
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
This breathtaking collection of islands is officially in business, much to the chagrin of the rare birds who had the run of it back when only private boats were allowed to shuttle visitors out to experience the US's answer to the Galápagos.
 

Congaree National Park

South Carolina
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Limited
The nation's oldest hardwood bottomland didn't keep its 500-year-old cypress trees alive through multiple plagues, yellow fever, and the Twilight saga by taking chances. The park is reopening slowly, and most of it's now in play: That means you can hike in most of the park, canoe, and fish, and camp if you scored a spot.
 

Crater Lake National Park

Oregon
Status: Open
Camping: No
Amenities: No
Snowshoeing around the blue waters of America's deepest lake is one of those bucket-list activities too few people experience—maybe because winter closures are still in effect...and it’s currently spring. That being said, amenities in Crater Lake are still limited. The West and South Entrances are open, but the North Entrance, Rim Road, and all lodges and campgrounds remain closed.
 

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Ohio
Status: Open
Camping: No
Amenities: Limited
A peak Midwestern leaf-peeping destination, Ohio's expansive 33,000-acre treasure is open, including the Brandywine Falls viewing deck. The park just asks that visitors prepare accordingly: along with some exhibits at their visitor center, the park’s water fountains are currently unavailable. No cooties here!
 

Death Valley National Park

California
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
America's hottest national park is heating up, and much of the park—including the wildflower fields!—is wide open. Keep in mind that the Texas Springs and Sunset Campgrounds remain closed, as do Bonnie Claire Road and Scotty’s Castle, which are both closed for construction.

Denali National Park

Alaska
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Limited
A few closures will stay in place through summer, and some amenities (including ranger excursions, indoor facilities, bus routes) will remain limited throughout 2021. But with campsites slowly opening back up, those looking to bask in stunning views of the wild landscapes surrounding North America's tallest peak are free to do so. Probably best to check for updates before you go.
 

Dry Tortugas National Park

Florida
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
Seaplane tours, ferries, campgrounds, marine waters, and the gardens outside of one of America's largest 19th-century forts are open. And you're now welcome to enjoy sunrises and sunsets on Loggerhead Key. Basically, there's more open than closed at this point. (Except Bush Key, which is closed through September for bird nesting.)
 

Everglades National Park

Florida
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
Much of the Everglades is currently open. Feel free to camp, kayak, book a tour, canoe, clean fish, get gas, and poop with wild abandon in Everglades' many public restrooms. Some areas are closed due to bird nesting and repairs, so check in regularly before visiting.
 

Gates of the Arctic National Park

Alaska
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Limited
While America's most remote and least-visited national park remains open for the most part, the really hard part is getting there. Even in the beforetimes, this place required a lot of planning to visit: There are no roads to the park, so most visitors access this massive wilderness (roughly the size of Switzerland) by plane. If you're really committed, you’ve probably already jumped through hoops to plan a safe stay.

Gateway Arch National Park

Missouri
Status: Open
Camping: No
Amenities: Yes
The Arch is smack in the middle of St. Louis, and grounds around the architectural icon have been accessible to socially distanced walks and biking all along. Now, the visitor center, museum, cafe, and store are open, and you can take the tram to the top. The Old Courthouse is still closed, and you can't camp. Ever. Because, again, it's in the middle of St. Louis.
 

Glacier National Park

Montana
Status: Open
Camping: Limited
Amenities: Limited
Considered by many to be America's most beautiful park, this mountainous wonderland/UNESCO World Heritage site is taking very careful considerations to keep the local Blackfeet community safe from transmission. In addition, keep a close eye on closures or limited access—for example, Going-to-the-Sun road currently requires advance booking, and amenities including local restaurants and lodges still haven’t opened for the season.
 

Glacier Bay National Park

Alaska
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Limited
Look, if you're hiking around the glacial wilderness of Alaska, you're already pretty socially distant. And if you do happen to see some other folks traipsing through one of the best glacier hikes in America, we're pretty sure you'll be able to abide a six-foot buffer zone.
 

Grand Canyon National Park

Arizona
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
You know what's great? The South Rim of the Grand Canyon. That's good news... because the North Rim is currently closed. But, after a long winter’s nap, the East Entrance is open again at last.
 

Grand Teton National Park

Wyoming
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
In good ol’ Grand Teton, campsites are back in action with advance reservations...as are black and grizzly bears, who will have no reservations about jumping you if you get too close. The rest of the emerging wildlife is a sight to behold, though!

Great Basin National Park

Nevada
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Limited
Great Basin and many of its amenities are open for hikers and explorers, and cave tours will return at the end of May. Huzzah! Plus, now that several campsites are open, the park’s legendary stargazing—some of the best in the US, period—is back in full swing. Visitor centers, however, are still closed.
 

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Colorado
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
This high-alpine sandboarding paradise is back in the swing of things, with trails open and dunes ready to be tumbled down (though you can only rent sandboards in nearby towns). Of note: the Piñon Flats campground requires reservations. For the backcountry set, you can score permits at the visitor center, which is also now back up and running. 
 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

North Carolina, Tennessee
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
The nation’s most popular park (on a technicality, but whatever) allows access to most of its sprawling trails, though this has always been a park most utilized as a scenic drive—so go forth and peep those leaves, but keep an eye on their site for closures. And if you're looking to stay overnight, campgrounds are now open.
 

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Texas
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
The home of Texas' four highest mountain peaks and the world's most expensive Permian fossil reef has re-opened most campsites (except for the group campsites at the Pine Springs and Dog Canyon Campgrounds), along with all trails and roads. You can also hit up the Frijole Ranch area. Welcome back!
 

Haleakalā National Park

Hawaii
Status: Open
Camping: Limited
Amenities: Limited
Maui's massive, ethereal treasure is slooooowly letting visitors trickle back in to hike its stunning overlook trails—all the way up to 10,023 feet in elevation. Watch out for some closures, including the Kῑpahulu and Hosmer Grove campgrounds, the Pools of ‘Oʻheo, and all visitor centers.

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
This ancient, mind-boggling wonder is for the most part open to bikers, hikers, equestrians, campers, and looky-loos. The Kīlauea Crater is back in business, too, as are galleries and Volcano House, in case you need a cocktail with your view.
 

Hot Springs National Park

Arkansas
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
Hot Springs' status as an urban national park means that a lot of the cafes and restaurants in its orbit are currently open, along with trails and outdoor areas. You can now camp and hit up the bathhouses that contain the namesake hot springs. Spas and salons are open too, in case camping isn't camping until you get a blowout.
 

Indiana Dunes National Park

Indiana
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
While one of America's newest national parks remains open "for the most part," it did have issues with crowd control in the age of COVID. Since some areas can get a little packed, the park recommends heading to West Beach for uncrowded trails, wildflower blooms, and as much parking as the eye can see.
 

Isle Royale National Park

Michigan
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
With both seaplanes and ferries back in business, this remote island in the middle of Lake Superior has officially reopened! (Aside from the Minong Trail, which is closed until June 15.) Get ready to check into Rock Harbor Lodge and enjoy a weekend in the wilderness.
 

Joshua Tree National Park

California
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
This gloriously trippy desert playground has reopened its campgrounds with some restrictions on a first-come, first-served basis. Fair warning: some climbing and bouldering routes, including Wall of Biblical Fallacies and Towers of Uncertainty (yup, real names), are currently closed to nesting raptors.

Katmai National Park

Alaska
Status: Open
Camping: Limited
Amenities: Limited
Katmai's more a park for animals than people—seriously, check out these bears just yukking it up—and has less than 5 miles of maintained trails. If you're headed into the wild backcountry, chances are you're pretty well equipped to survive without visitor centers, running water, or, you know, other people.
 

Kenai Fjords National Park

Alaska
Status: Open
Camping: No
Amenities: Limited
This sprawling land where 40 glaciers dot the landscape and green contrasts with the white snow has opened up its public spaces, though don't expect to get inside any buildings. Also, given it's still freezing in Alaska, road closures can happen at any time due to sudden floods, ice flow, and general Alaska-ness.
 

Kings Canyon National Park

California
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
This criminally under-explored park wedged between Yosemite and Joshua Tree is back in full swing. Campsites are open by reservation, lodging and food services are back online, and the park remains as beautiful as ever.
 

Kobuk Valley National Park

Alaska
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: No
You are free to roam the dunes and traipse through the river among the many, many caribou in this Alaskan wilderness, provided you don't want to stop in the main visitor center after you're through. 
 

Lake Clark National Park

Alaska
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Limited
Lake Clark is only reachable by boat and air taxi. (If you're headed here, chances are you didn't just kind of wander out for a scenic drive in the woods, so you probably already know this.) The park is open to visitors—just don’t expect to find any public restrooms when nature calls.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

California
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Limited
Lassen is technically open to hikers, campers, and general nature-oglers—but a good chunk of the park’s roads and trails are still being dug out of the snow, which can sometimes take ‘til June or July to melt. Do with that information what you will.
 

Mammoth Cave National Park

Kentucky
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
The surface world's been open all along, but now folks can resume descending into the world's longest underground cave with reservations. Camping is also now an option, though not inside the cave itself, which horror films tell us is a very bad idea.
 

Mesa Verde National Park

Colorado
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Limited
America's largest archeological preserve and top Colorado attraction has been around since 7,500 BC, and is more or less in full swing at this point, including the cliff-dwellings (but reservations go quick!). Go nuts and feel free to stay overnight, either in a tent or the lodge. 
 

Mount Rainier National Park

Washington
Status: Open
Camping: Backcountry only
Amenities: Limited
Parklands in one of America's oldest national parks are open, though campsites are still closed for cold weather (backcountry campers are still cool/kind of hardcore). But you can book a room at the National Park Inn, which is a pretty great place to hunker down while the ice melts and flowers bloom all across the mountain. Just keep an eye out for road closures.
 

National Park of American Samoa

American Samoa
Status: Open
Camping: No 
Amenities: Yes
The bad news: If you're a mainlander planning to visit this isolated paradise renowned for its snorkeling, beaches, night sky, and solitude, you have to quarantine in Hawaii for 14 days. The good news is, if you're a mainlander planning to visit this isolated paradise renowned for its snorkeling, beaches, night sky, and solitude, you have to quarantine in Hawaii for 14 days. And if you're already in American Samoa, bad news is probably pretty relative, largely because you've been going to the park all along.
 

New River Gorge National Park

West Virginia
Status:
Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Limited
As America wound down a chaotic 2020, one good thing went relatively unnoticed: West Virginia’s New River Gorge officially became our 63rd national park. And as of now, the park—all 70,000 acres of it—is open. Feel free to camp, hike, climb, and explore the eerily beautiful abandoned mining towns scattered throughout.

North Cascades National Park

Washington
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
Why people continue to overlook this spectacular expanse of glorious nature porn near the Canadian border continues to befuddle experts. Keep an eye out for winter closures, which tend to linger through spring, but for the most part, the roads and trails that wind through the mountains are open.
 

Olympic National Park

Washington
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
With mountains, beaches, and rainforests, this ridiculously diverse park needs to be seen at least once by every American. Most of the park is open, but keep in mind that some areas remain closed-off out of consideration to the residents of the Makah and Quileute reservations. (That extends to nearby La Push, in case you were here to reenact pivotal scenes from Twilight.)
 

Petrified Forest National Park

Arizona
Status: Open
Camping: No
Amenities: Limited
The park road, trails, and very hard wilderness areas are now open at this stunning park that suddenly pops up along both sides of Route 66 in eastern Arizona. Even if you're just on an epic old-school road trip, you should make it a point to cruise through.
 

Pinnacles National Park

California
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Limited
The site for this Central California park boasts about it being "Born of Fire," and now that the wildfires have subsided, it's been reborn again. Sleep under the stars, gawk at the rock formations, and find out what you've been missing. Just do it without the expectation that you're getting inside of any of its stunning caves anytime soon.
 

Redwood National Park

California
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Limited
Redwood has spent the last year yo-yoing between various states of closure due to COVID restrictions, billowing smoke from wildfires, and other maladies. For the most part, it's now operating like its former Pete Seeger-baiting self. Just make sure to check in before you plan a visit, and cross your fingers that 2021 is a lot more reliably normal in this magnificent park.
 

Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado
Status: Open
Camping: Limited
Amenities: Limited
Much of America's third most popular park was ravaged by fires this fall, but the healing has begun. Some areas remain closed, but several campgrounds have reopened at last. Use caution, be prepared for potential closures, and be respectful of the recovery process if you choose to visit.
 

Saguaro National Park

Arizona
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
Located right outside of Tucson, this cacti-laden gem is currently allowing campers, though groups are limited to 10, which gives you a good excuse not to invite that one friend who always insists on bringing his fucking acoustic guitar.

Sequoia National Park

California
Status: Open
Camping: Limited
Amenities: Yes
Like its neighbor, Kings Canyon, the densely forested Sequoia is back in business with campsites, lodging, and food service. Now you can have your stunning natural beauty and still grab a hot slice of pepperoni pizza. The system works!!
 

Shenandoah National Park

Virginia
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
Renowned for its fabled Skyline Drive, this national treasure encompassing part of the Blue Ridge Mountains is open once again. All trails are open, but of course, driving is where it’s at out here.
 

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

North Dakota
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
Look, it's not like they named this ultra-underrated park James Buchanan National Park. This is named after the Bull Moose, a place where the prairies and the Badlands converge, forests stand petrified, buffalo roam, and the sky's one big panoramic light show.
 

Virgin Islands National Park

US Virgin Islands
Status: Open
Camping: No
Amenities: Yes
Things are pretty much back to normal. If you're here, go forth and enjoy some of the world's most pristine beaches. As of late October, you can once again take advantage of rental sites and food service at Trunk Bay.
 

Voyageurs National Park

Minnesota
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Limited
Known for its rugged waters and wild landscapes that make it a paradise for kayakers and canoeists, this park near the Canadian border is so underrated it doesn't even make underrated parks lists. And now that Northern Minnesota is thawing out, the things that might land it a spot—sledding, skating, and snowmobiling—are now closed. Oh, how the tables have turned.
 

White Sands National Park

New Mexico
Status: Open
Camping: No
Amenities: Yes
Transitioning from a national monument to a national park in the final days of 2019, White Sands was forced to shut down just a few weeks later due to the pandemic—but hey, it's 99% open now! Backcountry camping and some indoor facilities remain closed. But you’re able to do the most important thing of all: rent a sled and go rocketing down the dunes.

Wind Cave National Park

South Dakota
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
As a massive cave system hidden beneath the prairie, Wind Cave is like the national park equivalent of some ultra-hype speakeasy. And much like a hyped-up speakeasy, you might not be able to get in. The cave tours are taking day-of reservations, but tend to sell out fast. You can now camp and wander the trails of the prairie aboveground, but honestly, you can already do that in the majority of South Dakota without being sad that the good stuff's all under your boots.
 

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Alaska
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Limited

OK, so technically the largest national park—all 13.2 million central Alaskan acres of it—has been open for most of the pandemic, though mostly to folks working on preservation. As of this spring, visitors can camp in sites or in the backcountry and even access the park's remarkably well-preserved ghost town, which has been practicing extreme social distancing for a century.
 

Yellowstone National Park

Montana, Wyoming, Idaho
Status: Open (kind of)
Camping: Limited
Amenities: Limited
The majority of Yellowstone's campsites are set to reopen between mid-May and mid-June, with the exception of the Fishing Bridge RV Park and Norris, which’ll be closed through 2021. (Backcountry camping is business as usual!) Amenities are still pretty limited for those who opt to visit.
 

Yosemite National Park

California
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Limited
Good news: Yosemite is largely back to normal! You’ll just need to make reservations to enter the park every day from May 21 through September. Keep an eye on their site for the most current information.

Zion National Park

Utah
Status: Open
Camping: Yes
Amenities: Yes
One of America's most beloved parks has eased back into public life: the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive and park trails are currently open, and shuttles have resumed regular operation.

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Jay GentileAndy Kryza, and Tiana Attride contributed to reporting for this story.