Tourists Turned Away at Crater Lake National Park

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Tue, October 8 2013 at 7:12 PM, Updated: Tue, October 8 2013 at 7:46 PM

As a result of the government shutdown, national parks across the country - including Crater Lake - have closed. The move is leaving thousands of people out money and out of luck.

It was a disappointing scene that greeted five men who flew in from all over the United States for a look at the beauty of Crater Lake.

"It really sucks man because we planned this trip over a year ago," said Dave Toro, who's from Florida.

The men are all family and were on a "guys only" road trip through Oregon.

"This is our only day man," explained Toro to a park employee.

"I'm from Florida, he's from Colorado, Texas," he said as he pointed to his family members.

The government shutdown shutting them and others out of national parks.

"The trip, just among all of us, rentals, travel food, we're over $10,000 into our whole vacation," said Jonathan Cortez, who flew in from Texas.

For tourists who think they might still be able to move the cones and drive in...think again.

"It's up towards $500 per person for crossing that barricade," began Jacob Kotchpowell, a shuttle driver inside the park.

"It's a big chance to take if you're gonna go in there," he said.

However, one couple did have the guts to bypass the barricade for a peek at Crater Lake. They said it was beautiful and quiet when they got to their destination and they're happy they weren't slapped with a citation.

"I'm relieved I didn't know about it because I probably wouldn't have gone," laughed Jennifer Slate who was visiting with her husband from Washington state.

Other visitors like the Cortez men weren't so lucky. But still, even while at the end of their trip...

"We're still gonna let the good times roll," said Matthew Cortez from Beaverton, Oregon.

One of the park employees we spoke with says there is another way to get into the park without crossing the barricade...that's by hiking.

He said taking the Pacific Crest Trail to Dutton Creek Trail will lead people to Crater Lake.

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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