Greetings from Pinnacles National Park

Last weekend, my family and I visited Pinnacles National Park for the first time. I barely knew anything about the park, only having recently learned of its existence, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Our journey began like most: circling a parking lot on a busy Saturday afternoon. Much to my surprise, the scenery along the Blue Oak hiking trail was stunning. The rock formations jutting from a green landscape on one side of the trail contrasted with barren, rocky hills on the other. The day was hot, yet under the cool shadows lay patches of perfectly white snow.

Further up the trail, we saw the rock formations Pinnacle is famous for. At first, we only saw a stray pillar or two along the sides of the mountains. Once we got higher up, however, we saw groups of rocks: clustered like statues as they silently gazed down at the travelers below. As we passed from the Blue Oak to the High Peak Trail, we had fun guessing what the shapes of the Pinnacle formations reminded us of; some seemed human, others, we decided, were animals. 

We ended the day by looping back to the parking lot. It was amazing witnessing not only the rock formations but also the stunning views along the way. I encourage anyone who has not had the opportunity to visit Pinnacles National Park to do so; it’s a wonderful way to unplug and reconnect with nature. 


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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