Greetings from Pinnacles National Park

Spring 2021: This was the first time I’ve travelled to a national park with my mom since the pandemic. After nearly a year of self-quarantine at home, we have finally decided to go and take a breather in the nature.

Eagerly, we packed water and a jacket on the weekend and went off on a 2-hour drive to the park. When we arrived at 7 in the morning, there were already a few cars in the parking lot.

We entered the park from the West side and decided to follow the Chaparral trail that led us to the Balconies Trail. Along the way, we often stopped and compared the sizes of the trees and the rocks. Finally, we reached the Balconies Cave.

Looking up, there was only a strip of light that passed through the giant rock formations that created an arch shape.

Looking down, there were smaller rocks that filled the ground. Each rock had its unique shape, size, color, and texture. After a long strenuous day, I climbed back on the car, still fascinated by the views up high. However, the beauty does not end there. The drive down the road was spectacular and seeing the park from far away was just another breathtaking view. At that moment, I thought of John Muir’s famous saying “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” Now, every once in a while, I scroll through the pictures that I have taken at the park, only to marvel the picturesque scenery again. I am so glad to have such a national park just a couple of hours away. I will definitely return to explore the other trails and caves!


Pinnacles National Park

The jagged rocks at this park formed from the remains of an ancient volcano. This volcano used to be located about 200 miles south of its current location, but tectonic forces along the San Andreas Fault moved these rocks at a pace of a little more than half an inch per year over a period of 23 million years to what is now the national park. Today, these towering spires attract hikers and climbers, as well as falcons, golden eagles and California condors. The park also features grasslands, chaparral, forests and rare talus caves.

State(s): California

Established: 1908

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