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Death Valley campgrounds now open for visitors

As cooler temperatures descend upon the Southwest, officials at Death Valley National Park recently announced the start of camping season.

As stated in a park news release, Texas Springs, Sunset, Stovepipe Wells and other individual campgrounds have all opened as of Thursday, Oct. 15.

The release also stated that the park’s 762 individual campsites are limited to no more than eight people and two vehicles, while the park’s five campsites for large groups remain closed.

Reservations, according to the release, can be made for Furnace Creek Campground beginning this month through April 15, while all other campgrounds are on a first-come, first-serve basis only.

Sunset Campground, according to park officials, has 270 sites and rarely fills, even on holiday weekends.

“Lodging, food, supplies, and fuel are available within the park at The Oasis at Death Valley, Stovepipe Wells Resort, and Panamint Springs Resort,” the release stated. “Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Death Valley National Park is increasing access for camping. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service-wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, while using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.”

Additionally, the release noted that the health and safety of visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount.

“At Death Valley National Park, our operational approach continues to be centered on examining each facility function and service to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and are regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public areas and work spaces are safe and clean. A safe and enjoyable park experience begins at home.”

The National Park Service also encourages visitors to plan their visit by checking the park’s website and social media for current conditions and travel tips.

“The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases,” according to the release. “We ask the public to be our partner in recreating responsibly by following CDC and state and local guidance, such as social distancing, and wearing a face covering when social distancing cannot be maintained.”

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on the park’s website at nps.gov/deva and social media channels.

Updates about park operations are posted on nps.gov/coronavirus.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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