Tokopah Falls trail in Kings Canyon National Park, near Sequoia National Park. Photo by Edward Smith.
Written by Gabriel Dillard
Because of social distancing measures and the inability to properly sanitize, Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park will be closed this season and the annual Dark Sky Festival has been canceled.
The Sequoia Parks Conservancy announced that the delicate ecosystem of the second-largest cave in Sequoia National Park prevented the group from properly sanitizing the cave. Annually, Crystal Cave attracts 60,000 visitors a year, according to Gary Rogers, communications director for the Conservancy. It has over three miles of passageways and has had public tours since 1940.
What would have been the seventh annual Dark Sky Festival has also been canceled. Scheduled for Sept. 11-13 this year, the celebration of the night sky lands at a time near fall when moonlight is minimal, so as to maximize starlight. The event garners close to 5,000 people over three days across multiple locations in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, as well as Lake Kaweah. Because of social distancing measures, the events would have had to be too limited to be held, said Rogers.