Pinnacles National Park: what makes it stand out
(Photo: Phil Stoffer, USGS)
It's official: The new Pinnacles National Park is America's 59th national park. Here's what you should know about this natural treasure:
— The park was already a popular tourist destination in California as Pinnacles National Monument. The park, which boasts caves, an ancient volcanic landscape, and plenty of rock climbing, has been "elevated" to national park status.
In a statement to celebrate its newest park, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said, "Like other national parks across our country, Pinnacles not only takes visitors’ breaths away with its natural beauty but it also provides opportunities for outdoor recreation and supports economic growth and jobs in the local community.”
— Pinnacles is the ninth national park in California. First declared a national monument by Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, the park already draws 343,000 visitors a year, many of them rock climbers. With the elevation of the monument to a national park, National Park Service officials are hoping to boost park attendance.
Pinnacles is home to the endangered California condor. (Photo: National Park Service)
— The park is known for its spectacular rock formations from an ancient volcanic field. With 30 miles of trails, it's a popular site for adventurous rock climbers. Located near the San Andreas Fault in the Gabilan Mountains, east of central California's Salinas Valley, the park includes 27,000 acres of wild lands.