Pinnacles National Park – West Side

April 8, 2018 at 10:32 am (California, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography)

Pinnacles NP west side, CA (27) copy

My first visit to Pinnacles National Park was about three years ago when I lived in Apple Valley, Calif. I stopped there again on my way to San Francisco a few weeks ago.

Road to Pinnacles NP West side, CA (1) copy

One of my favorite views is on the narrow, winding road from the Salinas Valley to the park’s west entrance, with this particular oak tree leafing out in spring.

Western bluebird male, Calif copy

Western bluebirds were busy in the visitor center parking lot snatching bugs.

Pinnacles NP west side, CA (5) copy

I was enamored with this tapestry of green hues backlit by the mid-day sun.

Pinnacles NP west side, CA (3) copy

The landscape is volcanic in origin, and the west side offers several trails. I chose the short, easy one – The Balconies Cliffs-Cave loop trail.

Pinnacles NP west side, CA (9) copy

The layers of color as I approached the end of the trail fascinated me.

Pinnacles NP west side, CA (20) copy

I didn’t notice at the time, but this rock formation looks like a whale leaping out of the water to swallow the moon!

Pinnacles NP west side, CA (12) copy

Pinnacles is known for having good rock climbing routes, but many can be pretty much walked up, like this one.

Pinnacles NP west side, CA (3) copy

I was too early for the wildflowers there (and the winter rains were late) but I’m guessing the flowers are making a showing by now. I didn’t see the California condors I had seen there last time, but there’s always the option for another visit!

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

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1 Comment

  1. Jet Eliot said,

    I love Pinnacles. We are so fortunate to have this stunning park with its incredible rock formations. It’s been about five years since I last visited, so it was a delight to get a look at it today. Your photos are a joy, Cindy, and you captured so much of the mystery and glory of Pinnacles here. I love the whale-rock reaching for the moon, and the bluebird is wonderful. Great perspectives, loved the “tapestry” too. None of the trails here are exactly easy, so I appreciate your climb here.

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