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Which California national parks are open and closed? Here's the scoop

Christopher Reynolds and Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Travel News

Most of California's 11 national parks and recreation areas are now at least partly open or about to be.

Those still closed include Yosemite Valley, Alcatraz and Death Valley. Gov. Gavin Newsom is urging Californians to postpone leisure travel until the pandemic eases.

The parks' status could change, depending on the spread of the coronavirus and concerns about widespread anti-racism protests and sporadic vandalism and violence.

Channel Islands National Park. Open. This park never officially closed, but once concessionaire Island Packers stopped running daily boats, visitor traffic dried up. On Monday, Island Packers resumed running boats to the islands but at reduced capacity to give passengers more room. The Santa Barbara Adventure Co. has also resumed kayak tours on Santa Cruz Island.

Death Valley National Park. Closed. This is a difficult time of year to visit the desert, as temperatures frequently surpass 100 degrees. Cars are allowed to pass through the park on California 190 and Daylight Pass Road. Park management has said Death Valley will remain closed until California moves from the current stage 2 to stage 3 in the governor's reopening plan.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Slowly reopening. The area, which includes Alcatraz Island, Muir Woods, Kirby Cove campground, Conzelman Road (overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge) and the Point Bonita Lighthouse, has closed those sites and many others (especially parking areas), while leaving many beaches and trails open. Details are on the NPS website, or check the park's advisory Twitter account @GGNRANPSAlerts. The recreation area's Baker Beach and China Beach in San Francisco are open.

Joshua Tree National Park. Most campgrounds are open, but its visitors centers remain closed. The park gets perilously hot in summer.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The roads, trails, restrooms and picnic areas of Kings Canyon and Sequoia are scheduled to open Thursday, but campgrounds, lodging and all other services will remain closed until further notice.

Lassen Volcanic National Park. Hiking trails are reopened (except Bumpass Hell) as well as the park's 30-mile highway and Butte Lake and Warner Valley roads. Permitted back-country camping has resumed too. Walk-in campgrounds at Manzanita Lake and Southwest have opened. Seasonal campgrounds will open on previously scheduled dates; check Lassen's website. The visitor center and museum remain closed.

 

Redwood National and State Parks. Partly open. Reopened trail heads and parking lots as well as restrooms, though guests are advised to bring soap and hand sanitizer. Visitor centers and campgrounds remain closed.

Pinnacles National Park. Partly open. The west entrance near Soledad opened to vehicles May 30 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The east entrance near Paicines remains closed to vehicles but open to bicyclists and foot traffic 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The campground on the east side remains open; visitor centers are still closed.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Mostly open. The area, which straddles Los Angeles and Ventura counties, has reopened most of its trails, parking lots, overlooks and restrooms. Its two visitor centers remain closed, as is Solstice Canyon, some areas damaged by the Woolsey Fire in 2018, and parking lots along Pacific Coast Highway.

Yosemite National Park. Closed. Park leaders have said they hope to reopen early this month and limit the number of visitors by half to allow for social distancing. Lodgings and some campgrounds would reopen, and day visitors would be required to buy entry tickets in advance of their trips, according to a draft reopening plan presented Tuesday.

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