Skift Take

The recent shutdown has demonstrated that taking national parks out of the mix can devastate both local and state finances. On top of that? They're amazing to experience.

If there is any silver lining to the partial government shutdown that closed 401 U.S. parks, monuments, and cultural sites, it is the public reawakening and appreciation for the beauty in America’s backyard.

This summer the Department of the Interior launched a summer photo project called “Summer in America’s Great Outdoors.” The campaign asked visitors to post their favorite pictures from trips to national parks and public lands.

Just four days before the shutdown closed the attractions, the Interior posted a video to YouTube with the best images. The campaign brought in more than 1,3000 photos from across the country. The photos were also posted to Flickr.

The U.S. government announced on Thursday that it would consider states’ requests to pay to reopen the parks. Utah was the first state to reopen its parks on Friday after the governor wired $1.7 million to the capital.

Click through the slideshow above or watch the Interior’s video below for an inspiring view of some of the nation’s most beautiful attractions…that you still can’t visit.

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Tags: national parks, shutdown2013, usa

Photo credit: A part of Mormon Row a line of homes in the southeast corner of Grand Teton National Park, is seen in Wyoming. adreamwithinweddings / Flickr

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