Temporary Operational Guidelines

Paicines, CA – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local public health authorities, Pinnacles National Park is increasing recreational access to the park. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning 10/09/20, Pinnacles National Park will open:

  • The parking lots on the east side of the park to vehicles. The shuttle service is not running at this time. Weekend visitors are encouraged to arrive before 10:30 am to get a parking spot.
  • The Park is open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Day-use visitors are expected to enter and depart the park between these times.

In addition, entry fees are waived, and the following spaces continue to be available:

  • The west entrance located outside Soledad, CA is open to vehicles. Visitors are encouraged to come early or in the late afternoon.
  • The campground (accessible through the east entrance) remains open to campers with existing reservations, which can be made online at Recreation.gov before arrival.

With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:

  • Bear Gulch Nature Canter and West Visitor Center remain closed.
  • Shuttle services inside the park remain non-operational.
  • The cave trails remain closed (Balconies and Bear Gulch Caves).

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Pinnacles National Park, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance, and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.

While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.

Frequently Asked Questions

The West entrance (Soledad side) of the park is open to vehicles for day-use. You must enter the park between the hours of 7:30 am and 8:00 pm
The East entrance (Hollister side) is open. All parking areas are open.The hours of operation are between 7:30 am and 8:00 pm, 7 days a week. The official park store is open 9am-4pm, Thursday-Monday. The shuttle is not running at this time.
West Side Contact Station, and Bear Gulch Nature Center are closed until further notice. Bear Gulch Caves and Balconies Caves remain closed unitl further notice. There will be no shuttle service available.
All trails except the caves.

The park book store is now open! Store hours are Wednesday through Monday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The campground store is open 9am to 5pm, 7-days a week. Please call (831) 200-1722 for more information.

All restrooms in the park are open but will be closed more frequently for cleaning. The pit toilet at Scout's Peak is closed.
-The Bear Gulch caves
-The Balconies caves
Due to the confined nature of the caves, both the Bear Gulch caves and Balconies caves are closed until further notice.
The campground is still open to people with camping reservations. No walk-ups are available. You can make a reservation online at www.recreation.gov. You must have a copy of the reservation (either on paper or on a mobile device) to show the ranger on duty at the entrance. You can only enter the park between the hours of 7:30 am and 8:00 pm.

*If your group plans to arrive separately each party must have a copy of the registration confirmation to show the ranger.
Please check all shelter-in-place orders for your state/county as well as any orders for counties you will be passing through on your way to the park for guidance.
We will not be collecting fees for entry into the park until further notice. Campground reservations must be made online and paid before entering the park.

People who choose to visit Pinnacles National Park during this pandemic are encouraged to adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees. As services are limited, the NPS urges visitors to continue to practice Leave No Trace principles, including pack-in and pack-out, to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy.

Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Please check with individual parks for specific details about park operations.

Last updated: October 8, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

5000 Highway 146
Paicines, CA 95043


(831) 389-4486
To contact the Pinnacles Campground, please call (831) 200-1722.

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