Should there be any question about how a US government and Hawaii shutdown would affect Hawaii’s National Parks and the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, the National Parks Service has made clear what the impact will be at the top of the homepage of each of its Hawaii destinations.
And there you have it. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Haleakala National Park, and the Pearl Harbor National Memorial would all be shut down. Gates locked. Public access denied. Three of the greatest natural and historical treasures in the United States will be off-limits to its citizens and visitors.
Here at the HAT Blog, we’ll not be bothered to get into a political discussion over who would be to blame. The most important reality is self-evident. Visitors to Hawaii often plan their stays around experiencing and exploring our beloved national parks. That would no longer be possible during a Hawaii shutdown. If you’ve made such plans like that, you’ll be upset, and we will do everything we can to provide an alternative activity.
Hawaii’s military families and most of its many thousands of federal employees would suffer the most. Travelers to Hawaii would suffer because TSA employees will be affected, working without pay for the shutdown duration. Imagine doing an already thankless job under unrelenting pressure to protect travelers from other travelers, being mocked and openly reviled in popular media for doing so, and not getting paid for it.
Hawaii National Park Closures
If there was a Hawaii Shutdown and you hoped to visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial to honor the legacy of a loved one who has served the nation? Sorry. “Park’s closed.” (Chevy Chase’s “Clark Griswold” from Vacation vibes.) Did you reserve a cabin in the crater of Haleakala National Park for a retreat into one of the most quiet and beautiful places on Planet Earth? Yeah, no. That would be canceled. Were you planning to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where the planet continues to remake itself atop the largest mountain on it? Try again some other time.
Oh, and the air traffic controllers that vector your flights into Hawaii will also work without pay. Some, or many, would not bother to show up. That means flight delays not just at Hawaii’s multiple international airports, but also at the many dozens that Hawaii-bound flights come from. Expect delays. Expect harried crews and staff. Expect rude passengers (and please, please don’t be one).
Of course, many Hawaii attractions will remain unaffected by a shutdown of the federal government of the United States. The sun will rise and set. Tides will ebb and flow. The wind will blow and carry with it the song of native bird species trying to recover from near extinction. Hawaii’s beaches (well, most of them) will not be affected. Just don’t expect to experience any of them at Hawaii’s national parks during a shutdown.
We’re not making light of the undeniably wide swath of negative impacts of a federal government shutdown. We’re saddened and angered by them. We’ve muddled through Hawaii shutdowns before. And Hawaii Aloha Travel will be here to help Hawaii’s visitors make sense of it all and plan around it.
We’re here to help, check out our All-Inclusive Hawaii Packages or get help with airfare, picking hotels or activities. If it’s in Hawaii we can make it happen.Get Help With Planning