When the government shut down on Dec. 22, Yosemite National Park remained open but its bathrooms did not. Tourists haven't stopped relieving themselves, apparently alongside the road, reports the Los Angeles Times. Now, two campgrounds, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, and Hetch Hetchy have been shut down over health concerns stemming from the human urine and feces that's been deposited along Wawona Road in the park's south.
"Some visitors are opting to deposit their waste in natural areas adjacent to high traffic areas, which creates a health hazard for other visitors," says a National Parks Service rep. Tourists are being asked to use restrooms outside the park before they arrive, and KFSN reports travelers who haven't already locked in reservations are being advised to plan a single-day trip. A separate LAT article looks at the situation at Joshua Tree National Park, where the waterless toilets aren't being maintained, leaving some volunteers to try to stock them with toilet paper. One such volunteer doled out 500 rolls in roughly five days. (Read more government shutdown stories.)