National Park

Pinnacles National Park asks hikers to avoid trails in hot weather – KION546

PAICINES, Calif. (KION-TV) — Labor Day weekend is upon us, and escaping the heat won’t be easy. Some people might leave town or stay closer to home.

Eric Petersen is an experienced hiker who comes to the park often.

“I’ve hiked almost every trail here,” said Petersen of Salinas. “[Prewett Point Trail] is easy to walk. The other trails are a bit more difficult which is a good thing when you can do them.

Petersen just left Prewett Point Trail for his regular hike. He uses the trail to prepare himself and prepares to face the most trying trails.

“The longest hike I’ve done here was about 12 miles, but that was a few years ago when I was in better shape,” Petersen said. “But I plan to do the same hike within a year.”

Even in hot weather, Petersen makes sure he’s prepared. He brings a backpack with water, a jacket, and emergency food, to name a few.

But even if people come prepared during days like high heat, it can still catch people off guard.

“It’s really extremely important that people understand the risk that 110 degrees of direct sunlight and heat can pose even to people prepared for it,” said Pinnacles National Park ranger and volunteer coordinator Chris Symons.

Pinnacles National Park staff stepped in to save people suffering from heat exhaustion, which can affect staff.

“This time of year in the summer at Pinnacles, we often have a rescue every week,” Symons said. “If not one, two or three rescues in a week.”

Due to the hot weather, the park recommends people avoid the trails this weekend. But for people still planning to go, the park urges people to be aware and prepared for changing conditions.

Park staff also recommend that people wear appropriate clothing for hiking. This includes wearing clothes that are not tonight and have long sleeves. Park staff are also urging people to take a map, pack plenty of water, and eat snacks high in sugar and salt.

Pinnacles National Park is expecting a lot of people due to the long weekend and will be increasing its numbers.

With severe heat forecast for this weekend, the National Weather Service recommends people avoid going outside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.