The earth is covered in multitudes of volcanoes and obviously, you shouldn’t be around one while it’s erupting- since lava and ash will destroy anything and everything in their path. But have you ever wondered what’s left over after they’re done?
Sometimes, a new natural wonder is created. Pinnacles National Park is one of them!
Millions of years ago, several volcanoes erupted and shifted the earth all around. The result is what we know now and appreciate as Pinnacles National Park; a mountainous area, with various caves, cliffs and tunnels to explore. It’s located about 5 miles away from Soledad, California.
Originally listed as a National Monument, Pinnacles became the 59th National Park in 2013.
Things To Do
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Happy Global Climbing Day from Pinnacles National Park! Pinnacles is best known for its massive volcanic spires and shady talus caves, but did you also know that the park has hundreds of climbing routes that attract people from all over? If you decide to climb in the park make sure to have a knowledgeable guide or guidebook and read all posted signs at the trailhead. Pinnacles rock can sometimes be unpredictable so make sure you always wear a helmet and never rely on bolts without inspecting them first. Photo by NPS/ Kurt Moses #globalclimbingday #pinnacles national park #findyourpark #nps #nationalparkservice #rockclimbing
If you love the outdoors, visiting any National Park is a great way to get outside and involved in everything you’re looking for from sunshine to nature to exercise.
However, if you especially love mountain-type activities like caving (also known as spelunking) or rock climbing, Pinnacles is an excellent choice. There are tons of spots to wind in and out of and get lost in the adventure.
Other things visitors typically enjoy are camping and bird watching. The park is a refuge for multiple species of birds, particularly in the raptor family, including eagles, hawks and condors.
Take note: You won’t be able to drive from one end of the park to the other because there isn’t a road that connects the two sides. But, you can get out on foot and hike it. It’s roughly a 5-mile hike with plenty of trails and loops for all different skill types. So, be sure you wear comfortable shoes and pack plenty of water.
Plan Your Visit
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Happy Birthday Pinnacles National Park! 🎈The park was originally designated as a National Monument in 1908, then later approved by Congress to be re-designated as a National Park 5 years ago today. Thank you to the new-comers and long-time visitors alike for supporting the park! 📸: @ian_clazie
Get to the park early, because the parking lots tend to fill up quickly. Head to the Visitor’s Center for information in order to make the most of your time during your stay.
If you are looking to sleep overnight at their campsite, you will need to be on the east side of the park. Again, the roads do not connect and the east side is the only one with an area for camping.
Because you will be doing a lot of walking, the best time to visit would be mid-fall to springtime when the weather is a bit cooler. Summer in California can reach downright excruciating temperatures.
Don’t forget a flashlight for the caves! And in addition to water, consider a backpack with dried fruit and dry snacks to have on hand, because there are no service stops inside the park.
Have a great time!