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California’s Newest National Park

By Linda Tancs

Pinnacles National Park, California’s newest national park as of this writing (designated in 2013), is an old soul at heart. Its cliffs, crags and cave formations arise from volcanic eruptions that took place millions of years ago, sending volcanic matter 200 miles away to the park’s current location in the Salinas Valley. The towering, domed rock structures giving the park its name beckon rock climbers. Divided into an east and west side, climbing routes predominate on the west side of the park. Of course, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy, like bird watching for the park’s signature citizen, the California condor. Or maybe you’d like a hike that includes cave exploration. Camping is also available on the east side year round. You can’t drive through both sides of the park. The west side is accessible from Highway 101; the east entrance is off Highway 25.

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