Sunday, March 29, 2020

Redwood National and State Parks Close Parking Lots, Recommend Virtual Tours

Posted By on Sun, Mar 29, 2020 at 4:22 PM

If you've been scanning the list of Redwood State and National Parks to see which ones still have open parking lots, you can stop now. They're all closed, effective immediately. Hikers, walkers and cyclists are still welcome, just not their cars. Also, campgrounds, visitors centers and bathrooms remain closed.

According to a press release, the closure of parking lots is an effort "to support federal, state and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)." Even in the great outdoors, it turns out, the parks, their lots and trails were getting crowded, making it difficult or impossible for visitors to maintain the necessary 6 feet of physical separation recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
click to enlarge Still from a virtual old growth tour. - YOUTUBE
  • YouTube
  • Still from a virtual old growth tour.
Instead, the release states, "The National Park Service and California State Parks encourage people to take advantage of the many digital tools already available to explore Redwood National and State Parks on our webpage." This includes links to YouTube for virtual tours of old growth groves and more that you can scan your way around as a friendly guide tells you all about the environs. We looked at them and the tours provide effective virtual forest bathing for stress relief but may not fool your fitness tracker.

Read the full press release below:


Redwood National and State Parks Is Modifying Operations To

Implement Local Health Guidance



Crescent City, Calif. – Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP), in collaboration with a state parks order issued on March 28, 2020, is announcing additional modifications to operations to support federal, state and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) and California State Parks (CDPR) are working with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic.



Effective immediately, all Redwood National and State Parks parking areas are closed to vehicles. In addition, Davison Road, Howland Hill Road, and the Newton B. Drury Parkway are closed to vehicular traffic. Coastal Drive and Bald Hills Road remain open and accessible. The parks remain open to day-use walkers, hikers and bicyclists. Visitors should be prepared to practice Leave No Trace principles—including pack-in and pack-out—to keep outdoor spaces safe and healthy. Most facilities are closed, including campgrounds, visitor centers, day use areas, and restrooms.



The National Park Service and California State Parks encourage people to take advantage of the many digital tools already available to explore Redwood National and State Parks on our webpage https://www.nps.gov/redw/learn/photosmultimedia/index.htm and social media channels Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Explore your parks and remotely experience the redwoods through virtual reality tours with a ranger, home learning programs, educational and classroom materials, Google tours of national parks, videos and photo galleries. We provide live home learning, VR tours, educational videos, and lesson plans so you can remotely experience the redwoods.


During this pandemic, visitors are asked to adhere to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors and employees, including maintaining social distancing, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and staying home if you feel sick.



If you are considering visiting a park during this time, remember that services are extremely limited, please adhere to the following guidance:

Most importantly, stay home when you are sick in order to avoid exposing others.
Venture out only with people in your immediate household.
Always maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more when recreating in the outdoors.
If you cannot maintain physical distancing, leave the park.
Do not congregate in parks.
Be prepared to bring your own soap for handwashing or use alcohol-based sanitizers. Restrooms are closed and water may not be available.
Be prepared to practice Leave No Trace standards.

We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website https://www.nps.gov/redw/index.htm and social media channels. Updates and more information about NPS operations be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Updates about California State Parks operations will be posted on https://www.parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve Please check these webpages regularly, as they will be updated with new information as it becomes available.
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Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

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Jennifer Fumiko Cahill is the arts and features editor of the North Coast Journal.

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