Pinnacles National Park

I am embarrassed to admit that Pinnacles National Park was in my backyard as a youngster and I never visited or hiked it until last week.

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70 miles from Santa Cruz to PNP

It was first established as a National Monument in 1908 and five years ago President Obama signed legislation declaring it a National Park.  This park is of  special interest to us because there is also a Pinnacles NP in Western Australia that we plan to visit in February.  We look forward to comparing the two parks.

There are two entrances at Pinnacles with a mountain range between.  It is important to note that it’s not possible to navigate from one entrance to the other.  The campground is located at the east entrance so plan ahead if you choose to camp at this park.  Our Vistabule is in storage until mid March so camping was not an option for this visit. The park is situated near Soledad, California and is named for the eroded leftovers of an extinct volcano. As you approach the park,  beautiful vineyards and gently rolling hills are in the distance and then abruptly the landscape changes to jutting rounded spires and rocky cliffs.

It is a stunning landscape with the spires glowing against the blue sky.  We hiked up the mountain, passed through tunnels, held fast onto guide rails and marveled at the beauty. Our visit was short and only whet our appetite. We’d like to return with the Vistabule as I’m certain that hiking and cave exploring would entertain us for several days.

We spent another day in early January walking around the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco. Our weather app predicted a sunny day so we left our rain coats at home. This was a big mistake!  The fog was so heavy we were dripping wet and could hardly see through our glasses.  The Golden Gate Bridge was hidden but I was able to photograph Stephen at the famous labyrinth in an area known as  Lands End.

After two hours of soggy hiking we  finally gave up and found a warm and inviting french pasty shop where we gobbled up freshly baked chocolate croissants.

We’ve enjoyed a month of  warm weather and time spent with our families.  I still marvel at daffodils blooming in January and lemon trees laden with fruit.  We depart for Perth this week and look forward to, among other things, a visit to  Pinnacles National Park down under. We’ve got 40+ hours of travel ahead of us navigating airports and airplanes but I’m focusing on the adventure ahead.

Cheers Mate!

5 thoughts on “Pinnacles National Park

  1. We did get to the Pinnacles once as a family but it was hot and there was a lack of interest to hike much. You saw much more of it.

    Have a great trip to NZ and Aus. Merit just got back from both places and said she loved New Zealand.

    Marvin

    On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 6:32 PM, Queen Bed and a Kitchen wrote:

    > queenbedandakitchen posted: “I am embarrassed to admit that Pinnacles > National Park was in my backyard as a youngster and I never visited or > hiked it until last week. It was first established as a National Monument > in 1908 and five years ago President Obama signed legislation decl” >

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  2. Yet another beautiful park! It’s just amazing how many breathtaking places there are to visit, and so wonderful that you and Stephen are getting to visit so many of them. Safe travels to Australia! 🙂

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  3. How interesting these peaks are! You two have covered a lot of ground this trip. We’ll be looking forward to you journaling your Australian adventures!
    Safe travels! Dee Dee

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  4. We’ve lived in the Santa Cruz area for 49 years and have never been to Pinnacles! Currently Dick’s back doesn’t allow him to walk very far so I doubt if we’ll make it. Thanks for the pictures and have a wonderful time on your next adventures Down Under.

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  5. We were at Land’s End in September…and didn’t know ANYthing about a labyrinth…boo! Enjoyed a walk along the beach, though. Debbie was especially fond of the latex-suited surfers!

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