The Pinnacles National Park ranger station is just ten miles inland from the sleepy agricultural town of Soledad, hunkered along US Highway 101 (One hundred and forty miles south of San Francisco). The realm of the Pinnacles is mostly wild California chaparral—Blue oaks, leaning gray pines and Manzanita. But discordantly frozen in mid thrust, rising out of the rolling hills are the sharp and craggy, fingerlike volcanic-spires and domes—the Pinnacles’ namesake. 23 millions years ago, 190 miles south of Soledad, an eight thousand foot-tall volcano formed, smack in the midst of the San Andreas Fault, with the Pacific Plate on one side and the continental plate on the other. The Pacific Plate sheared northward and brought with it the western half of the volcano—the remnants of that volcano comprise present day Pinnacles. Join correspondent, Tom Wilmer at Pinnacles National Park where he visits as he hikes with Ranger, Lupe Zaragoza. Congress created Pinnacles National Monument in 1908. In January 2013, the 26,000-acre site officially gained National Park status.
There are two entrances to Pinnacles National Park (140 miles south of San Francisco)—as no roads transit the breadth of the Park. West Pinnacles entrance is 10 miles (8 minutes) east of Soledad, Ca. East Pinnacles entrance is 29 Miles (45 minutes) northeast of King City. East Pinnacles maintains the only tent and RV campsite, general store, and showers. Transit time from West to East Pinnacles is approximately two hours. Pinnacles Day-Use fee is $5 per car–extra charge for overnight camping.
Check out this episode on NPR.ORG Podcast site: Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer”