Joshua Tree Closes Campgrounds, Yosemite Limits Visitors as Government Shutdown Enters 12th Day

Park Ranger Rob Evans places temporary barriers off the side of the road near the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park on Dec. 29. (Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Park Ranger Rob Evans places temporary barriers off the side of the road near the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park on Dec. 29. (Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

National park officials are continuing to cut off access to areas in California’s national parks following reports of vandalism, illegal camping and human waste piling up while the government shutdown drags on.

Campgrounds at Joshua Tree National Park are set to close at noon Wednesday, park officials said, citing health and safety concerns over the park’s vault toilets, which are near capacity.

The park has experienced vandalism to buildings, while illegal camping and off-roading have damaged the park habitat, National Parks Service spokesman Andrew Munoz said.

Meanwhile, rangers at Yosemite National Park have set up a roadside checkpoint at the southern entrance to the park along California Highway 41. Only people with reservations for lodging or camping inside the park will be allowed entrance during peak visitation hours between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., park officials announced Wednesday.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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