PAICINES — Due to the federal government shutdown and a lapse in federal funding, Pinnacles National Park will temporarily reduce some of its services while the park remains open to visitors.
“During the lapse in federal appropriations, Pinnacles National Park will remain accessible to visitors; however, services will be reduced as we are unable to fully staff our operations,” according to a National Park Service news release issued Saturday.
As of Dec. 30, the eastern portion of Pinnacles National Park is only accessible to campers with confirmed reservations at the Pinnacles Campground. The western entrance remains open to all visitors.
Park rangers have closed the eastern park entrance at the intersection of state routes 25 and 146 due to impacts from human waste and increased vehicle congestion. They advise that campers should carry a copy of their reservation to facilitate access to the campground.
“It is important that visitors obey posted signs and park regulations,” the release stated.
The Balcony Caves are currently closed due to a recent rock fall, and the area remains unstable and dangerous for visitors. Fire danger remains high as well, so smoking is prohibited on trails.
Visitors are asked to park in designated spots only and avoid parking off road, as hot vehicle undercarriages could ignite dry grass.
“For the health and hygiene of people and park wildlife, visitors should only go to the bathroom in designated facilities, including restrooms located in the campground, portable toilets at Peaks View and Old Pinnacles and pit toilets at Scout Peak and North Chalone Peak. Because restroom facilities are limited, visitors are encouraged to stop and use restroom facilities before entering the park,” the park advised.
Visitors are also encouraged to pack in and out all trash, as custodial services are not available at this time.
Additional facilities and areas may close within Pinnacles National Park at any time for the health and safety of park visitors.