Pinnacles National Park reopens

All trails open at this time, Balconies Cave closed due to a rockslide.

Both sides of Pinnacles National Park reopened to the public Monday, Jan. 28 after being closed for over a month due to the federal government shutdown.

Park Ranger Beth Hudick told BenitoLink it was quiet on the first day back, but the park could have a busy weekend.

“Keep an eye out for hazards, we are expecting more rain,” Hudick said.

Staff “are happy to be back,” Hudick said, and noted they have been busy taking care of a small amount of visitor damage like trash and graffiti, in addition to taking care of rockslides and downed trees felled by recent weather.

All trails are open at this time, though Balconies Cave is closed due to a rockslide. The RV dump station is also temporarily closed, according to the park website.

Because seasonal staff have not been brought in yet, ranger interpretive programs haven’t restarted. The programs consist of popular visitor events such as night hikes and evening programs at the campsite. The park would have been hiring seasonal workers to cover some of these events during the time of the shutdown, Hudick said, and that the park hopes to begin hiring soon.

Hudick said at this time there is no plan for a possible park shutdown on Feb. 15 when there is the possibility of another federal government shutdown. She said staff will take direction from Washington D.C.


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Carmel de Bertaut

Carmel has a BA in Natural Sciences/Biodiversity Stewardship from San Jose State University and an AA in Communications Studies from West Valley Community College. She reports on science and the environment, arts and human interest pieces. Carmel has worked in the ecological and communication fields and is an avid creative writer and hiker. She has been reporting for BenitoLink since May, 2018 and covers Science and the Environment and Arts and Culture.