Pinnacles National Park - Our 44th National Park
After driving miles and miles through central California’s agricultural and ranching country, we arrived at our 44th National Park-Pinnacles. We were traveling in a convoy with the Lukes and the Findleys as we drove from our last campground in Porterville, CA which was a 158-mile drive.
Our motorhome convoy
Pinnacles has a unique landscape of spires, huge boulders and towering peaks and after riding through the rolling hills of the surrounding areas, it was a refreshing view. The temperature was in the mid 70’s during the day and in the 50’s at night. We entered the park on the eastern side and stayed at the campground right inside the park.
Condors Gulch Trail
This trail ranks as one of the most popular hikes in the park. We stopped at the first overlook after hiking about a mile. Ken, Linda, and Tracey decided to wait there while the rest of us continue to the High Peaks Trail. The hike was 3.4 miles roundtrip that was mostly uphill getting there and downhill returning. We were hoping to see the endangered and protected California condors flying around at the top but our luck did not prevail.
The California condor has a wing span of 9 feet or more. By the 1980s the population of this magnificent bird had dropped to fewer than two dozen, making it one of the world’s most endangered birds. Breeding and conservation efforts have increased the number of captive and wild birds to more than 460, with nearly 100 condors reintroduced in southern California. The first nest of a condor was found at Pinnacles in 2010.
Dillion and Tom took an adventurous side hike on higher ground met us further up the trail.
The midway overlook
A view from the top
Woodpecker holes filled with chestnuts
We didn’t see any condors during that hike, but we saw 5 or 6 n the evening from the campground flying high above the ridge above the mountains across from us.
Moses Spring-Rim Trail Loop
Our favorite hike of the day, this trail was only 1.4 roundtrip and offered the most diverse scenery and obstacles that we’ve encountered on a trail. The trail winds beneath massive boulders that have fallen into gorges and wedged above the valley floor, forming narrow passageways and through natural tunnels and up 50 man-made to the reservoir at the top.. We hiked up to the reservoir, a scenic pool surrounded by tall rock formations.
Ben doing a few chin ups on the rock.
We spent two nights at the Pinnacle Campground where we had a 30 amp electric hookup, but no water or sewer hookup. Luckily, we have large gray and black tanks, so that wasn’t; a problem. There was a pool at the campground also, but it was too cold for swimming. Tom was the only one to take a quick dip which he was using as his shower for the night.
The first evening we met in the Findley’s motorhome where all nine of us played Catch Phrase. The second night the adults came to our motorhome where we played Cadilac and 99. The boys were in the Findlley’s motorhome for games and TV.
This is the only campground where we have ever stayed where the sewage dumped was locked. Finleys needed to dump before we left the campground so we had to wait until the dump was unlocked at 9:30 in the morning. Plus, each person using it had to go get the key, report how much they needed to dump, dump and then return the key. What a needless hassle.