Yosemite, Alcatraz Accessible During Government Shutdown

The entrances to Yosemite National Park stayed open but visitor centers were closed, National Park Service programs were canceled and campgrounds were not staffed as a partial government shutdown took effect Saturday.

Yosemite, which draws more than 6 million visitors a year, is a popular destination during the week between Christmas and New Year's. Park concessionaires, including hotels, restaurants, stores and gas stations, remained opened and seemed unaffected by the shutdown.

Jade Lezon, a cashier at the El Portal Market near the park entrance, says "It's basically free to get in the park and people are coming and going as they please."

In San Francisco, the company that provides ferry services to Alcatraz Island kept its daytime tours but canceled its behind-the-scenes and night tours.

Visitors with tickets on the tours will automatically receive a refund for those tickets if purchased with a credit card, officials said. People who paid with cash can go to Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing Ticketbooth to receive a refund.

San Francisco's Presidio Trust is also open this weekend, despite the partial government shutdown.

Point Reyes National Seashore also won't be affected during the shutdown, National Park Service officials said Saturday.

Park roads, lookouts, and trails at Point Reyes will remain accessible, but emergency and rescue services will be limited, according to park service spokesman John Dell'Osso.

There will be no visitor services at the national seashore. That includes visitor centers, public information, some restrooms, trash collection, and facilities and roads maintenance.

NBC Bay Area's Kiki Intarasuwan and Bay City News contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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