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Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

Topic: government shutdown

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October 1, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Recreation, economic blows for state as national parks close

You can't go to Mount Rainier National Park, thanks to the government shutdown which has closed national parks in Washington and throughout the country. (Elaine Thompson/AP photo)

You can’t go to Mount Rainier National Park, thanks to the government shutdown which has closed national parks in Washington state  and throughout the country. (Elaine Thompson/AP photo)

With national parks now closed because of the government shutdown, some of Washington state’s most popular scenic drives and outdoor recreation areas are off-limits to the public. And for communities around the parks it’s an economic body-blow with hotels, restaurants, shops and tour companies losing business.

“Our fall shoulder season is huge – usually,” said Mary Brelsford of the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau.  And in Mount Rainier National Park alone, there

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Comments | Topics: government shutdown, mount rainier national park, olympic national park

October 1, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Yes, you can still get a passport

U.S. passports are still being issued despite the government shutdown. (Paul J. Richards/Getty Images photo)

U.S. passports are still being issued despite the government shutdown. (Paul J. Richards/Getty Images photo)

Need a passport? You can still get one, even though the federal government is partially shut down.

The federal Passport Agency (including the Seattle office) is continuing to function and processing applications.  The Passport Agency  is supported by user fees – what you pay to get a U.S. passport – so can keep going despite the federal-budget meltdown.  (Visas also are being processed by Department of State officials.)

The Seattle Passport Agency, in downtown Seattle, remains

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