- Mandatory Machete Climbing Closure
(posted: Feb 03, 2018)
The southern portion of the Machete Ridge rock formation and access trails are closed to all climbing and off-trail hiking.
Closure of Bear Gulch Cave
posted: May 17, 2011
The upper and lower Bear Gulch cave will be entirely closed from May 15th through July 15th to allow Townsend Big Eared Bats to raise their young. The bats, which are listed by the state of California as a species of special concern, raise their young (pups) and hibernate in the cave. After July 15th, the lower half of the cave will reopen. These dates are tentative depending on the activity of the bats.
When visiting the cave, please remember that it is the home of a sensitive species. To avoid disturbing the bats, please keep voices down. If you happen to see a bat in either of the Park’s caves, please do not disturb it or shine your light directly on it.
The Bear Gulch Cave (closer to the east entrance of the park) and the Balconies Cave (closer to the west entrance) both offer the opportunity to explore a talus cave. Please remember to bring flashlights and wear sturdy shoes. Seasonal streams run through both caves, and the rocks can be slippery when the stream is flowing.
For more information visit the Pinnacles National Monument Web site.