Pinnacles National Park Plan Calls For New Trails, Camping Opportunities

The country's newest national park is now operating under a new general management plan, a document that guides development within park boundaries over the next 10 or 20 years. After years of scoping and public input, Pinnacles National Park officials on Friday wrapped up its planning and drafting process, which led to the priority of connecting people to the land's resources.

That means expanding ranger programs, constructing new trails, improving picnic facilities, adding a new campsite, and considering backcountry camping.

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Although Pinnacles currently has 32 miles of trails, all trailheads pretty much lead to the same place: its namesake peaks in the Gabilan mountain range. New trails developed over the years could range from short accessible loops and interpretive paths to routes that bring hikers deeper into wilderness, which there is 16,000 acres worth. The historic bottomlands, McCabe Canyon, and the west side of the park are all eyed for new trail construction.

As for camping, a small 10-site walk-in tent campground will be added to the west side of the park to replace one destroyed by flooding. Additionally, park staff are now directed to look into the possibility of backcountry campsites. There currently is only one campground in the whole park, located on the park's east side with over 130 spaces.

Pinnacles was created as a national monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908 before earning national park status earlier this year.

Also
- A Brief History of Pinnacles National Park
- California Now Has More "National Parks" Than Any Other State

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About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCET's Director of News, Region and State, working on digital and on-air news products that relate to Southern California and beyond.
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