Obama creates Pinnacles National Park in California

Condor Gulch Trail
Miguel Vieira - flickr
If seeing the national parks is on your bucket list, it's time to take note and add another park to the list. Pinnacles, the dramatic volcanic-spired national monument in central California, is now Pinnacles National Park.

President Obama signed legislation to upgrade the monument on Jan. 10, 2013, making it the nation's 59th national park.

The new status is expected to fuel California’s tourism economy and provide additional resources for stewardship and management of Pinnacles.

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The bill signed by Obama also renames the current 16,000-acre Pinnacles Wilderness in the park as the Hain Wilderness after Schuyler Hain, a conservationist whose efforts led to the establishment of the monument.

What is Pinnacles known for?

  • Pinnacles is named for its volcanic spires - the remnants of an ancient volcano. Oak savannas and chaparral hills add to it's unique terrain.
  • Pinnacles’ 26,000 acres are popular with rock climbers and hikers.
  • Tremendous biological diversity, including threatened species like the California condor and the red-legged frog.

Pinnacles and the California Condor

  • Condors are a popular tourist sight at Pinnacles. Since 2003, Pinnacles has been part of the California Condor Recovery Program and it manages about 30 of the birds which are tagged but fly freely.
  • These magnificent birds were almost extinct 25 years ago, but now there are about 200 living in the wild, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Pinnacles also boasts many other birds of prey, including falcons, kestrels, eagles, hawks and kites.

The Wilderness Society applauds President Obama on the signing of this legislation. We also want to recognize Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Sam Farr (D, CA-17) for their years of dedicated efforts to introduce legislation and build support for it.

Take a photographic tour of Pinnacles National Park