Skeleton crew of rangers still patrols Joshua Tree National Park despite government shutdown

After a week of a partial federal government shutdown, Joshua Tree National Park’s campsites and parking lots are buzzing with visitors who haven’t had to pay the normal entrance fee.

But while the park’s website says employees are not on duty to provide normal park services, a small group of rangers was circulating around the park Friday, enforcing the laws meant to keep the park’s visitors and resources safe.

On Friday afternoon, two marked National Park Service law enforcement vehicles drove by Hidden Valley Campground, the popular and bustling site for camping and climbing.

Just past the parking lot, a red convertible had pulled off the road and into the dirt, just a few feet away from a picturesque Joshua Tree. A woman posed in front of the car and the Joshua Tree with desert mountains in the background.


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