Open Or Closed?

2013-10-12 17:20:31.000 – Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

A guest this afternoon looks over a sea of clouds.

Reading over our Facebook comments and emails, there seems to be some confusion concerning our operating status as well as others directly around us during the Federal Government Shutdown we (the United States) are currently experiencing. So, let me hopefully clear up some of that confusion by pulling together all the available resources I can find for the summit and surrounding mountain community – most of which remain open amid the Federal Government Shutdown.

Let’s start with us – we are open and are not affected by this shutdown. The Mount Washington Observatory is a private, nonprofit, membership based organization. It generates funds through several methods: membership fees, educational program fees, museum admissions and Museum shops sales, scientific research projects, the National Weather Service contracts, daily radio shows and scientific or educational grants, all of which contribute to administrative and operating expenses. We also are grateful for corporate support from such organizations as Eastern Mountain Sports, Subaru of America, the Mt. Washington Auto Road, The Mount Washington Cog Railway, Vasque and other companies. Much of our support comes from individuals who join us as Observatory members. Except for compensation for services rendered, or as a component of special, specific projects, the Observatory receives no Federal or state support.

Next up, the Mount Washington Observatory leases space within the Sherman Adams building of New Hampshire State Park. The New Hampshire State Park system, like most state parks around the country, is not part of the government shutdown. The Mount Washington State Park, as of this weekend, remains open to the public. Some parks within their system are closed due to the season and not because of Federal funding. For a complete rundown of the operating schedules within the New Hampshire State Park system, you can check out their website here.

Next up, motorized transportation up to the summit. Regarding the Federal Government Shutdown, the Mount Washington Auto Road home page states, “As a completely private entity, we will remain open and unaffected by the shutdown.” So, for their operating schedule, you can head here. Similarly, the Cog Railway’s home page states, “The Cog Railway is OPEN – Not affected by shutdown – All scenic byways, dramatic vistas, and Mount Washington summit are OPEN!!” So, for their operating schedule, you can head here.

As far as trail, hut, AMC visitor centers, lodge, campgrounds, etc. information, the Appalachian Mountain Club put together a great blog article, similar to this one, outlining what is affected and what remains open during this shutdown period. It can be found here. Additionally, they have been updating a list of what remains open or closed amid the Federal Government Shutdown. It is available here. The only information that appears to be missing from that page is the status of the trails and facilities of the Randolph Mountain Club. While a statement about the Federal Government Shutdown wasn’t readily available on their website, you can refer to their website for more information and for further contact information.

So, hopefully this and the available links above help clear up some confusion during this period of Federal Government Shutdown. If I happened to miss anything, my advice would be to check out the website for any given location, organization, etc. and don’t assume something is closed. So hopefully some or all of this information will provide a bit of assistance so that you can still get out and enjoy the outdoors this holiday weekend and beyond.


Ryan Knapp,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

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