New trails proposed for Pinnacles’ west side

Proposal for trails on the west side is open for public comment through July 25

The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing to construct two new trails within Pinnacles National Park. Both trails would be built on the west side of the park and would begin at the West Side Visitor Contact Station (VCS). 

Construction of the VCS was completed in 2012 but no associated trails were built at that time. Visitors parking at the VCS currently have no way of hiking to other hiking trails within the park. The road that connects the visitor contact station and Chaparral Area is a one-lane ,curvy road without shoulders that is unsafe for hiking. 

The proposal includes construction of a one mile accessible loop trail with views of the Lyons Homestead, spring wildflowers, and the High Peaks rock formation. Another hiking trail (approximately 1.2 miles) would connect the visitor contact station with the Chaparral Area trailheads. Other minor site improvements and interpretative components are also included in the project.

The initial comment period for the scoping phase of the study will extend from June 25 through July 25, 2015. This phase is called “scoping” because with public and stakeholder input, the NPS will determine the “scope” or overall approach to the study. The NPS is hosting a public meeting to explain the study process, answer questions, gather information, and listen to public ideas and concerns. An environmental assessment is expected to be completed and released to the public in the spring.

The public meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., in the Mission Room of the Soledad High School, which is located at 425 Gabilan Drive, Soledad.  

The public is invited to provide comments at the public meeting, comment online at http://parkplanning/nps.gov/westsidetrails or by mail at: National Park Service, Attn: Karen Cantwell, Pinnacles West Side Trail Project, 333 Bush Street, Suite 500, San Francisco, CA 94104-2828.

For more information:

– Call Debbie Simmons, facility manager, at (831)389-4286
– e-mail Debbie Simmons at debbie_simmons@nps.gov  
– view the project website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/westsidetrails

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BenitoLink Staff