There is a lot to see in California, and in fact, the state holds the title for being the state with the most National Parks: nine!
One of these Californian National Parks is the Pinnacles National Park, which is in central California, with a total acreage of around 26,600 acres and altitudes of over 3,300 feet.
So, what makes this park different from the rest throughout the state?
Here are a few fun facts about California’s Pinnacles National Park.
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Pinnacles is the Nation’s Newest Park
Pinnacles became a National Park in 2013, making it the newest National Park in the whole country.
Previously, the Pinnacles was designated as a National monument which earned it federal protection from former-President Theodore Roosevelt since 1908.
Pinnacles are Named for a Volcano
The Pinnacles are named for a now-extinct volcano.
The Neenach volcano is responsible for the unique rock formations and geography of the Pinnacles over the past 20 million years.
The Park Lies on the San Andreas Fault
Did you know that the Pinnacles National Park sits on the San Andreas Fault line?
This explains how and why the Pinnacles is here today.
The San Andreas Fault zone runs approximately 600 miles, from southern California to the northern coast of the state.
The Park is a Geologist’s Dream
It is probably not surprising that this Park offers some unique and unseen rock formations to visitors, due to its intriguing history and volcanic origins.
Remember, though, not to take rocks and stones from the Park home with you- instead, snap a picture!
Visitors Flock to See the Caves
Due to the erosion over the years, the Pinnacles has many caves to explore and hike.
The fault line has caused fractures that have formed mazes of caves, big and small.
When the mountainous cliffs eroded, the canyon beneath became filled with boulders forming the Talus Caves, estimated to be from the last Ice Age.
Pinnacles are Home to Bats
Where there are caves, there are likely going to be bats.
The Pinnacles Park caves are home to over 14 of the 23 bat species that make California their habitat.
On the west side of the National Park, male Western Mastiff bats have taken up residence while the east side is home to colonies of Townsend’s big-eared bat breed.
The Park Releases Rescued Condors
The Pinnacles National Park also rescues endangered and injured California Condors.
These birds were put on the endangered species list in the 1960s when it was determined that there were only ten Condors left in existence.
These birds were often hunted and forced from their habitats, leading to a breeding and rescue program in the 80s that saw an increase in Condor numbers to around 400 birds today.
You may be fortunate to see one of these amazing birds fly by while hiking throughout the park- most particularly, along High Peaks Condor Gulch Trail within the Park.
Pinnacles Park has Over 400 Bee Species
If you enjoy bees, you will love the Pinnacles.
This Park lauds over 400 species of bees in a relatively small, 42 square mile, area of land.
This means the Pinnacles has the biggest concentration of various bee species of any place in the world!
These distinct species have different patterns, habitats, and preferences, so they can thrive among the diverse landscape harmoniously, without crowding or competing with other bee species.
Have you seen Pinnacles National Park yet?
Around 180,000 people visit this attraction each year and its diverse landscape and unique features offer something for everyone.
Plan a trip around a visit to Pinnacles and see for yourself the natural beauty, wildlife, and rock formations that make this destination truly one-of-a-kind.