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Pinnacles National Park, Paicines

#79 of 609 in Nature in California
Must see · National Park · Nature / Park
Pinnacles National Park is an American national park protecting a mountainous area located east of the Salinas Valley in Central California, about five miles (8.0 km) east of Soledad and 80 miles (130 km) southeast of San Jose. The park's namesakes are the eroded leftovers of the western half of an extinct volcano that has moved 200 miles (320 km) from its original location on the San Andreas Fault, embedded in a portion of the California Pacific Coast Ranges. Pinnacles is managed by the National Park Service and the majority of the park is protected as wilderness.

The national park is divided by the rock formations into East and West Divisions, connected only by foot trails. The east side has shade and water, the west has high walls. The rock formations provide for spectacular pinnacles that attract rock climbers. The park features unusual talus caves that house at least 13 species of bats. Pinnacles is most often visited in spring or fall because of the intense heat during the summer. Park lands are prime habitat for prairie falcons, and are a release site for California condors that have been hatched in captivity.

Pinnacles was originally established as a national monument in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt, and was redesignated as a national park by Congressional legislation in 2012 that was then signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 10, 2013.

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Pinnacles National Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
560 reviews
  • First, kudos to all fellow reviewers - it allowed us to make good decisions for our day visit to Pinnacles. It was utterly’s what we did. Arrived East Gate 7:55am. Just in time - cars.....  more »
  • An incredible hike at Pinnacles National Park. This pretty easy track from Bear Gulch nature center is absolutely worth the visit. You'll adventure through desert, forest, mountainous boulders, and...  more »
  • It's beautiful. Simple scenery but still awesome. Easy trails so family can enjoy. Definitely worth a visit. Can't wait to go back and explore other trails
  • Great for day hiking. The trail to Bear gulch caves is spectacular. The park has clear dark skies so great for stargazing too.

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