US

Out West, shutdown ruins vacations, huts local economies as national parks are shuttered

Grand Canyon National Park Ranger Jason Morris talks to people on a motorcycle at the closed park entrance on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 in Ariz.  More than 400 national parks are closed as Congress remains deadlocked over federal government funding.  (AP Photo/Brian Skoloff)

Grand Canyon National Park Ranger Jason Morris talks to people on a motorcycle at the closed park entrance on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 in Ariz. More than 400 national parks are closed as Congress remains deadlocked over federal government funding. (AP Photo/Brian Skoloff)  (The Associated Press)

Stop at a cafe in the remote stretches of northern Arizona and southern Utah in the fall, and you're likely to hear a mix of languages as tourists from around the world seek out breathtaking canyons and massive rock formations.

Millions of visitors tour the region each year for what can be once-in-a-lifetime vacations.

Those visitors didn't stop with the government shutdown, which forced officials to close down roads, campgrounds and tourist centers at national parks dotting the landscape. Some visitors initially ignored road blocks and signs to sightsee — particularly at outlooks along a state highway through the Grand Canyon. Officials responded by closing the road and letting the public know law enforcement would be on the lookout.

The impact isn't just ruining vacations. It also has brought local economies to a near standstill.