Pinnacles National Park: What 23-Million Years Can Do

May 14, 2024

CindyT_epod_2024 February 15 -  California Pinnacles National Park High Peaks Trail View

2024 February 15 - California  Pinnacles National Park  Tunnel Trail  Condor (Juvenile)

Photographer: Cindy Todd
Summary Author: Cindy Todd

The Pinnacles National Park is a beautiful and fantastic place to hike! Hiking to the High Peaks and Tunnel trails here, if the weather cooperates, can provide once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities. This impressive park is made up of primarily volcanic rocks -- part of the Pinnacles-Neenach Volcanic Field.
 
About 23 million years ago, the San Andreas Fault split a volcano, and over time the Pacific Plate moved half of this ancient volcano 193 miles (311 km) north, creating the Pinnacles National Park. Of course, wind and water erosion are constantly changing the landscape of this park. In addition, earthquakes have formed Talus Caves, which are home to bats. Note that the other half of the volcano, near present day Lancaster, is still in the original area. 
 
In 2003, Pinnacles National Park joined the California Condor Recovery, and now condors can on occasion be seen flying above the high peaks. I was very fortunate to see a juvenile condor sitting on a rock about 10 feet (3 m) from me. It was an amazing experience! Photos taken on February 15, 2024.