With two iconic national parks on the near horizon (John Muir territory: Sequoia and Yosemite!) it would be so easy to overlook smaller, seemingly less important parks.

That’s why I’m so glad we are consistently producing content — taking pictures, creating videos, and seeking out topics for articles — for each and every park, big or small. Even though it seems like a chore sometimes, this accountability really helps us to search for what makes a park unique. We can’t just skim the surface of a park.

Pinnacles National Park, the newest in the system at only three years old, would be easy to skim. It’s pretty one-dimensional for the typical traveler: unless you are a climber, you will be hiking. It was easy to cover almost the entire park in three day hikes.

But because we are on a mission to not only visit the parks, but experience them, we stopped and looked around a lot more than usual. And what we saw (including the endangered rare California condor) was a lot more than mediocre.



Check out a few of the sights we saw in our Pinnacles National Park video below:


Don’t miss our Pinnacles feature post on lessons from the National Park or our People of the Parks.

Written by Elizabeth

  • NYC NPS Fan

    Loved this video! I’m going to have a day in Pinnacles in late May, which of the longer hikes (8-10) would you recommend? Based on your video, I think I’ll prioritize getting out to the Talus Caves.

    Also, just wanted to say thank you for the site. I’m workong on visiting all 59 parks over a few years, and I love the content on the site because it gives me great ideas about what to do next, and reminds me of the wonderful experiences I’ve had. Keep it up!

    • Thank you so much! The trails at Pinnacles are great because you can loop them easily in different ways. Here’s a route I’d recommend (look at a map of Pinnacles, –> https://www.nps.gov/pinn/planyourvisit/maps.htm to see what I mean): start at the Bear Gulch day use area, hike to Bear Gulch Cave, then towards the High Peaks (do the part the map calls “steep and narrow” — that was the coolest .6-miles of the whole park!), then loop around along the High Peaks trail and back down via the Condor Gulch Trail. This might only be 6-7 miles, so if you want to add on, there are options. High Peaks is where we saw condors! Have fun in Pinnacles!

      • NYC NPS Fan

        This is great! Thank you.

  • You are doing such a fantastic job of bringing each of your experiences to those of us who will; sadly, not ever see the parks in person. A great BIG T HANKS and Blessed Easter to each of you. Love you guys!

    • Thanks, Aunt Janelle! We feel blessed to have this opportunity to share! Happy Easter!

  • Tim Humm

    How cool to see the Condor! Also interesting to learn about how the Talus Caves were formed. Do you find yourself feeling isolated sometimes? It seems the Parks are typically your personal Parks since tourists aren’t really around this time of year.

    • Cole

      Thanks, Tim! If we did feel isolated before, we definitely got over it in Yosemite! SO MANY PEOPLE. I kind of like the balance. Some of the big-park amenities mixed in with the small-park solitude. I think that’s what we’ll be seeing up until summer hits.