Homes are closing in California parks, with a few exceptions

As part of the Gavin Newsom government new home stay order, overnight stays in most California state and national parks are now prohibited. Accommodations, including campgrounds, are closed in Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Point Reyes National Coastline, Death Valley National Park, and Channel Islands National Park, as well than all state campgrounds in California.

Somewhat confusing, there are a few exceptions. These include Redwood National and State Parks and Lassen National Park, which are located in northern California (where there is no stay-at-home order yet), National Park Joshua Tree, where “wilderness hiking” is still permitted, and Pinnacles National Park, where the park manager has chosen to keep accommodations open to essential travelers.

“We are obviously following the governor’s order, which basically means leisure travel is prohibited,” said Grant Cunningham, the owner of the dealership operating the campground and park store. “If people come, we have them certify that they are essential travelers, whether they work in the area or have nowhere to go. “

While opportunities for camping in California parks have been drastically curtailed in the latest round of closures, park officials are encouraging Californians to recreate outdoors with members of their household during the day, while staying close to at home and respecting COVID-19 guidelines such as wearing face coverings and social distancing. As the new regional stay-at-home ordinance calls on Californians to stay at home as much as possible and with the closure of campgrounds in affected areas, the state also recognizes that outdoor activities are essential for the community. mental health and physical health, ”said Armando, director of parks for California. Quintero said in a statement.

In response to extremely low hospital capacity levels in California last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new plan has divided the state into five regions and made a stay-at-home order mandatory for any region where critical care capacity is. less than 15%. Although the Bay Area region remains above that threshold, five of its counties – San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, Contra Costa and Santa Clara – have chosen to follow the order ahead.

For Point Reyes National Seashore, that means overnight stays at campgrounds will not be allowed, according to Christine M. Beekman, the park’s public information officer. “We closed our camping activities as of [Tuesday] at noon when the order goes into effect, ”Beekman wrote in an email. “This includes Wildcat Campground and all of our boat accessible campsites on Tomales Bay. Glen, Coast and Sky campsites [which were previously shut down due to the Woodward Fire] will continue to be closed.

All of California’s national parks remain open to day visitors, including Yosemite, which ditched its reservation system last month and now welcomes guests from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. of any kind are prohibited, according to the website.

In Joshua Tree National Park, established campgrounds are closed for overnight guests, but day hikers have access to facilities in the Indian Cove and Blackrock campground sections. Meanwhile, roads, parking lots, trails, bathrooms, nature hikes and visitor center bookstores and information desks remain open, according to park information. website.

Death Valley National Park, on the other hand, has closed its campgrounds “in support of the regional stay-at-home ordinance” which applies to both serviced campsites and to the hinterland, depending on the park. website.

Despite the availability of camping in northern California parks and confusion over whether backcountry camping is explicitly prohibited in southern California parks, a state travel advisory continues to ” encourage California residents to stay in their own areas.

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