PAICINES — Pinnacles National Park has announced additional modifications to operations to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state authorities to promote social distancing.
As of March 20, in compliance with CDC guidelines and statewide health orders to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the west side of the park located near Soledad will be closed. All visitors must now enter from the east side of the park by way of Highway 25, near Hollister.
The West Pinnacles entrance gate will be shut, and there will be no vehicular access to that side of the park. National Park Rangers will be stationed at the east entrance to direct visitors and answer any questions.
This is in addition to the closure of the Nature Center and Visitor Centers, High Peaks Steep and Narrow, Balconies Cave, Bear Gulch Cave and suspension of shuttle services announced earlier in the week.
While most restroom facilities will remain open, the restrooms at Scout Peak, Chalone Peak and Peaks View will be closed. Park Rangers will be available to answer questions at tables outside and on trails, in accordance with social-distancing protocols.
The campground and the camp store will remain open and operating under local public health guidelines.
“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers and partners at Pinnacles National Park is our number one priority,” said Park Superintendent Blanca Alvarez Stransky. “The National Park Service is working with federal, state and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels.”
For high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, the park asks that they take extra caution and follow CDC guidance for those at higher risk of serious illness.
“We urge visitors to do their part when visiting Pinnacles by following the CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, such as: maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick,” Stransky said. “We encourage visitors to also follow the State of California shelter-in-place orders.”