10/24 -- 10/25/2020
Because of its distinctive geological features, Pinnacles was set aside as a national monument in 1908 and was proclaimed national park since 2013. The park's namesakes are the eroded leftovers of the western half of an extinct volcano that has moved 200 miles (320 km) from its original location on the San Andreas Fault to the southeast. Massive monoliths, sheer-walled canyons, and boulder-covered caves define millions of years of erosion, faulting, and tectonic plate movement. The national park is divided by the rock formations into East and West Divisions, connected only by foot trails.
Our last trip to the Pinnacles (East) was more than 10 years ago (in 2009) when it was still in national monument status. We chose to go to the western part of the park this time to explore the high peaks and canyons. With less than 2 hours of driving, Pinnacles National Park is a nice weekend retreat especially during this COVID-19 pandemic time.
It looks daunting for those almost vertical stairs
carved into the rocks in the "Steep and Narrow" section, but it is actually
easier than it looks.
Although we could not fully explore the west side of Pinnacles this time because of the cave closure due to COVID-19, it was still a nice short weekend retreat for us to get out and visit this little nature gem, the newest national park in California. Instead of having long trips to far away locations, we may start to have more short trips to enjoy our nearby attractions in the Bay Area.
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