Pinnacles National Park: Part 1

This unique, and new, National Park began in 1908 as Pinnacles National Monument (established by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt). Its current status as a National Park is compliments of President Barack Obama (2013).

The park's namesakes are the eroded leftovers of the western half of an extinct volcano that has moved 200 miles from its original location on the San Andreas Fault, embedded in a portion of the California Pacific Coast Ranges. The uniqueness of these rock formations add to the beauty of this park.
We arrived on a date whose temperatures were 109° in the shade. Wanting to hike, we waited until 7 PM when it had cooled to 96°.
Our goal was to see condors. Since 2003, this park has been the location of a California condor re-establishment program. The first nest, since reintroduction, was built in 2010 and Pinnacles now manages a population of 25 free-flying condors. What better place to try to see one of the largest birds in North America than a hike to the Condor Gulch Overlook.

For a brief moment, we caught sight of these soaring, majestic birds. It was a wonderful reward for our hike.

Some 23 million years ago multiple volcanoes erupted, flowed, and slid to form what would become Pinnacles National Park. What remains is a unique landscape. Travelers journey through chaparral, oak woodlands, and canyon bottoms. Hikers enter rare talus caves and emerge to towering rock spires teeming with life: prairie and peregrine falcons, golden eagles, and the inspiring California condor.

This is truly a unique and interesting place worthy of exploration. So much so that we will awake at 4:45 AM tomorrow to begin again before the temperatures rise. We can't wait to see what we will discover.
“Of all the paths you take in life,
make sure a few of them are dirt.”
-John Muir

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Karen Booth said...

Hooray for the condor sighting! Absolutely lovely clouds.

Nick and Deb's Excellent Adventure said...

The sights of Ca never cease to amazing me! There is so much beauty there!

Aquí Ahí Allá said...

I so want to go here! Love it! I take it that it wasn't too hot?
Great pictures.

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