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Bear Gulch Cave Opens

March 01, 2005
For Immediate Release
Carl Brenner, Resource Education (831) 389-4485

Opening of the Bear Gulch Cave

The Bear Gulch Cave at Pinnacles National Monument will be completely open for the month of March. After March 31st, only the lower half of the cave will remain open for the remainder of the spring.

The cave is open each March and October for at least one and up to four weeks, depending on the presence of a colony of Townsendís Big-eared bats. 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.

The entire cave will be closed from May 15th through July 15th to allow the bats to raise their young. 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 Parkís 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 please contact the Bear Gulch Visitor Center at (831) 389-4485 ext. 0 or visit our web pages.

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