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Pinnacles National Park, Paicines

4.5
#76 of 615 in Nature in California
National Park · Nature / Park
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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 in 2013.

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Pinnacles National Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
588 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We visited in last week of July. It was very warm that day (Upper 80s temp) so we could do only the Bear Gulch cave hike till the reservoir and back. The cave was nice and cool and a must see in the.....  more
    We visited in last week of July. It was very warm that day (Upper 80s temp) so we could do only the Bear Gulch cave hike till the reservoir and back. The cave was nice and cool and a must see in the.....  more »
  • We got here really early to get parking and to get started on the climb to the top. Definitely recommend getting there early if you want to do any of the higher elevation trails. It gets really hot... 
    We got here really early to get parking and to get started on the climb to the top. Definitely recommend getting there early if you want to do any of the higher elevation trails. It gets really hot...  more »
Google
  • Wonderful family friendly hiking adventure! Fantastic and challenging caves, lots of stairs/steps but you will be rewarded with a picturesque view of the reservoir with the Wonderful views of the rocks formations on the backdrop. So much fun!
  • Such an amazing park! We camped for one night and the campground was great, we were secluded from other campers but not too far away from everything. Hiked the next morning and the trails were amazing. The caves were so much fun too! Definitely bring headlamps!

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