National Parks Now Have a Mask Mandate — Here's Where You'll Have to Wear One
The National Park Service implemented a mask mandate this week, the latest in a series of destinations that are requiring visitors to mask up.
Going forward, all visitors to national parks will be required to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces, regardless of their vaccination status or the level of COVID-19 in the community, according to the NPS.
"Visitors to national parks are coming from locations across the country, if not across the world," NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge said in a statement. "Because of this, and recognizing that the majority of the United States is currently in substantial or high transmission categories, we are implementing a service-wide mask requirement to ensure our staff and visitors' safety."
The NPS said the mandate, which went into effect on Monday, will apply to all park buildings and public transportation systems as well as any outdoor spaces that tend to get crowded like narrow trails or busy overlooks.
Crowds have flooded popular national parks in recent months with several implementing reservation systems, including Yosemite National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Glacier National Park.
The mask rules come as several destinations and businesses have implemented similar indoor mask mandates, including Las Vegas, Disney, and Carnival Cruise Line ships. On Wednesday, the Transportation Security Administration extended a federal transportation mask mandate until January 2022.
The NPS has also introduced an app to make planning a trip even easier, featuring everything from accessibility information and lodging reservations to hike suggestions and audio tours.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.