The reason I cut inland instead of staying on the coast was to get me in the vicinity of Pinnacles National Park.
Approaching the park entrance (after a six-mile stretch of more winding roads), the landscape was burned to a crisp after a fire destroyed 180+ acres in late July. 🙁
Here’s some video I captured on my way in.
The park felt sort of lonely — it was the least populated with visitors that I’ve ever seen at a national park. The visitor’s center wasn’t open yet and I was one of four cars in the visitor center parking lot.
I did the “must do” hike recommended to me by the ranger at the park entrance – an easy 1-mile loop that rewards you with the view that gives Pinnacles its name.
The photo above is unique in that it shows three fault lines:
- The furthest range is the San Andreas fault
- The range in front of that is Chalone Creek fault
- The range in the foreground is Pinnacles fault
It’s this combination of faults that have shaped Pinnacles over the years.
Not to sound like a brat, but this park didn’t really “do” much for me. Scenic to be sure, but it didn’t have the majesty of parks like Zion, Yosemite, or Yellowstone.
As a side note, I’ve been listening to Leave Only Footprints by Conor Knighton (thanks VB for the rec!). The author visited every national park in a year and it’s a really fun listen, especially on my own trip to parks!