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Lower Bear Gulch Cave Opens at Pinnacles National Park

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Lower Bear Gulch Cave.

| Photo: laura.and.michael/Flickr/Creative Commons License

A portion of a popular talus cave in Pinnacles National Park reopened this morning after biologists found that a colony of protected bats had left. That means hikers can go in, explore the lower portion of Bear Gulch Cave, and exit on the other side toward the Moses Spring Trail and Bear Gulch Reservoir.

Townsend's big-eared bats are considered a "sensitive species" by California, which requires the park to protect them. Every year, a colony, considered the largest between Mexico and the Bay Area, uses the cave to winter and raise their young into the summer.

The lower cave tends to be open about 10 months of the year, with the upper portion opening up for a couple weeks or months in the fall and spring. As always, things can change in an instant and it's recommended to check with rangers before you go.

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