Arizona's 22 National Parks Now Open

By  Stina Sieg
October 18, 2013

With the federal shutdown now history, national parks reopened across the country. That included 22 parks in Arizona.

Gates were unlocked and barricades were removed at parks across the state. Andy Fisher is a spokeswoman for Saguaro Cactus National Park. She says the entire park, including all its facilities and trails, were open by the start of normal business hours.

The morning was busy – but by the end of the day, the stream of visitors has slowed.

Overall, Fisher says attendance was down from a normal weekday. But she says the people who did come were enthusiastic.

"They were all really happy. They were glad we were back. They were glad to be in. And they expressed gratitude and thanks for being there today," she said. "Of course, we were also handing them cake, so they might have enjoyed that as well."

The cake was provided by a nonprofit that supports the park. Fisher says that the park also gave out a few refunds for unused passes. The park was instructed to do so by the National Park Service on a case-by-case basis.