Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles Nat'l Park, Calif.

Pinnacles Nat’l Park, Calif.

This week marks the 108th anniversary of Pinnacles National Park located in central California, approximately 50 miles inland of Monterey.



Craggy peaks of Pinnacles, Calif.

Craggy peaks of Pinnacles, Calif.

Initially designated as a national monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, the park has expanded in size, upgraded to national park status, and been graced with fortifying legislation by at least five U.S. presidents.  More history here.


Pinnacles entry to Balconies Cave. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Today it is known for being one of four U.S. sites where captive-bred California Condors were released into the wild.  It is also home to 14 of California’s 24 wild bat species. Hikers, rock climbers, birders and outdoor enthusiasts enjoy it year round.


Pinnacles NP, Calif.

Pinnacles NP, Calif.

Pinnacles was created 23 million years ago when the Neenach Volcano erupted in powerful explosions of lava flow.  Lying on the San Andreas Fault, it was then split and moved 195 miles.  It continues to move at a rate of one inch per year.


Pinnacles hiker

Pinnacles hiker

Rock formations, talus caves, and abundant wildlife are just a few of the attractions in this huge (26,606 acres  or 10,767 ha) expanse.  Park info here.


Interestingly, Pinnacles, Muir Woods, and the Grand Canyon were all designated as national monuments on this week in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt.


Pinnacles NP, Calif.

Pinnacles NP, Calif.

What a great week, and great foresight.


Photo credit:  Athena Alexander


50 thoughts on “Pinnacles National Park

    • Oh so great that you have been to Pinnacles, Sharon. Many people have not heard of it, it is a bit overshadowed by Yosemite, Joshua and other Calif. Nat’l Parks. Thanks so much for your kind words and visit. 😀

  1. What a great week that was!….Oh my goodness the US National Parks are indeed sights to behold. I have not visited Pinnacles, but would love to do so….my only problem in life is, time, our most precious commodity. It’s a case of trying to fit everything in:) A thousand stories could be written about Balconies Cave….oh yes. Thank you, Janet.

    • I’m so glad you had the pleasure of Pinnacles, Cindy. I went there a yr or so ago with the intent of finding condors too, but, like you, didn’t find them there. Fortunately I didn’t give up and found a pair near Big Sur the next yr. Thanks so much, my friend. 😀

  2. Thank you, Jet for the wonderful tour of the Pinnacles National Park! Great photos of these spectacular views.
    Thanks to President Theodore Roosevelt’s vision!

  3. We are enamored with the National Park system. Like the birds that we ‘collect,’ we simply must have every one! Hope to get out to California one day when the kids are older so we can get our stamps for Muir Woods, Yosemite, and Pinnacles. Just got a new stamp last week in our passport last week, right here in Texas: Big Bend.

    Thank you for what you do and who you are, Jet. I pinged you in my post this morning ( Thank you for sprinkling joy in my life with your blog in my Reader. Cheers! And Happy New Year. 😀

    • I am absolutely thrilled, Shannon, thanks so much for including my blog link in your post. I have been to all 3 of those NPs (MW, Yosemite, Pinnacles) and they are all really great. I have never been to Big Bend, though I hope to someday. My thanks to you for your kind words and thoughts today — and best wishes for a fantastic new year.

    • How many times in life have we saluted Teddy with a note of appreciation? Pinnacles was mined in its early days…yikes! So glad you enjoyed Pinnacles today, Jim — thank you very much. 🙂

  4. I might have missed this Park, to be honest I’ve never heard of this Park. I’m sorry. 😦 I’ll put this one in my bucket list.

    • I’m glad to know you have never heard of it, HJ. Lots of people, even here in Calif., have never heard of it. It’s a lot less populated than Yosemite, which is why I like it so much. But if you’re ever down near Monterey, it’s worth it to devote a day trip there. There’s also camping there. Thank you so much my friend. 🙂

  5. I wasn’t aware of this park while living in No California. I think I need to include it in one of our trips in the future. I’ve been hearing much about it of late and I DO love the parks that are less loved or discovered.

    • That’s exactly why I like it, Gunta — less populated, less known. Anymore if I go to a popular NP, I will only do a day, then hike/bird somewhere nearby that isn’t in the NP boundaries. They’ve become so crowded, it isn’t much of a wilderness experience. But I am always glad people go because it raises awareness and hopefully prevents future development. Always happy to have you visit here…. 🙂

  6. Next time we go to San Diego we’re going to have to take the turnoff to the Pinnacles! Muir Woods is one of my favorite places – so happy Teddy saved it!

    • Pinnacles is not much like Muir Woods, because it doesn’t have redwoods or coastal influence; it is dry and volcanic and open. But I like them both. I’m so happy Teddy saved them too! Thank you, Jan, as always, for your visits. 🙂

    • No, it’s not still around, but the San Andreas Fault is, and the earth there is still moving. So very glad you enjoyed the Pinnacles post, Resa — thanks for stopping by.

    • I can definitely see you and Mrs. PC camping and hiking around here, Adam. Yes, thanks to Teddy too (I like that). And many thanks to you for stopping by, I am happy you enjoyed Pinnacles. 😀

  7. Great post. My one and thus far only visit was about a week before it was redesignated from a national monument to a national park. The views were great, but it was the hiking that was really spectacular.

    • I’m delighted you’ve been to Pinnacles, Jeremy. The hiking is truly spectacular, challenging; and yes, peaceful views of mountaintops wherever you look. Thanks so much for your comment and visit.

  8. What a wonderful post Jet. I am sitting here treating myself to a big catch up on your blog. All sorts of things have been happening here (not all good) and I have been short on visiting generally although I have done a small bit of posting for fear i would give up blogging entirely! Things are better now by the way! So no worries! What a wonderful landscape this is. I really love the idea it moves……..An inch is a lot. A whole foot in 12 years.!!!Thanks for the lovely read <3Gill

    • I’m honored to have you visit here, Gill, espec. since you’ve had limited time. I am very sorry to hear you’ve had some not good times. I hope things will keep looking up for you, and I am very grateful you didn’t give up blogging. Your posts, your presence, are balm to many. Re Pinnacles, I, too, thought it was cool that it moves so much. I don’t really like going inside caves, so this is a great excuse. ha. Many thanks, my friend — take care.

  9. Wonderful! First time I hear about Pinnacles, lovely captures presenting it to us. Some of the rock I can see in the photos definitely look volcanic, reminds me a bit of the ones on Maui, just not as dark in colour.

    • Pinnacles has rigorous hiking, Inger, I think you and your husband would definitely be up for the challenge of the hikes here. Thanks so much for your visit, my friend. 🙂

    • Yes, Gin, Pinnacles is definitely underrated, no doubt overshadowed by Yosemite some hours away. I’m alright with that though, far less people here. Thanks so much for your visit. 🙂

  10. What a wonderful post dear Jet!I so much enjoyed Athena’s photos and the captivating details you shared with us!Spectacular Pinnacles,can’t believe they were created so back in time.After the eruptions of volcanoes we usually get weird and of rare beauty landforms and mount-shapes.I was so glad to read that the captive-bred Condors were freed in this Paradise-like National Park and live with so many other wildlife species.That’s why I don’t want to miss your posts,I learn so much!Have a lovely day Jet my friend 🙂 *^* xxx *^* xxx

    • How very wonderful that you enjoyed a vicarious trip to Pinnacles, dear Doda. I really like it there and was so happy that we could make a second trip, after over a decade since the first trip. It is a delight and honor to have you join Athena and me there. It was pretty tricky hiking, so you are lucky to circumvent the difficulties. ha. My very best wishes to you, dear friend. {*0*}

      • Travelling with You and Athena,even “virtually”,always gives me great pleasure,dear Jet.So many thanks for your kind and rich replies & my best wishes to you both 🙂 ♥*-* ♥

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