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Pinnacles National Park, Calif.
This haven near the
San Francisco Bay Area is America's newest national park, officially signed into existence by President Obama in January 2013. The remnants of an ancient volcano make Pinnacles' craggy landscape popular among hikers and rock climbers, while talus caves carved into cliff sides allow for subterranean exploration — and perhaps a peek at one of the 14 bat species that dwell within. Unlike some other parks and monuments, Pinnacles is best visited in the cooler months of spring, when wildflowers and other flora are in bloom.
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)