Pinnacles National Park

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Overview: About this Audio-Described Brochure

Welcome to the audio-described version of the Pinnacles National Park official print brochure! The print brochure is presented in English and Spanish, usually with the Spanish version printed directly below the English. This brochure is available in Braille and text-only, as well as this audio-described version of the brochure.

Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Pinnacles National Park visitors receive. One side is a panoramic photo of Pinnacles rock formations and accompanying photos of park wildlife and history. The other side is a map. The brochure explores the history of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about 48 minutes and 55 seconds which we have divided into 7 sections, as a way to improve the listening experience. Section 1 presents an overview of Pinnacles National Park and details park accessibility offerings. Sections 2 through 4 cover the front of the brochure. Sections 2 and 3 provide an overview of Pinnacles history and landscapes. Section 4 describes some of the wildlife that live in the park. Sections 5 through 7 cover the back of the brochure, which features a large map of the park. Sections 5 and 6 provide an overview of the map and navigation in the park. Section 7 describes where to find more information on Pinnacles and the National Park Service. 

If you would like to access a specific section of the brochure, please navigate back to the Table of Contents and select the section desired. 

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Overview: Front Side of Brochure

The front side of this brochure contains text and images on the nature, history, and wildlife of Pinnacles National Park. The front side of the brochure is centered around a large image of the Pinnacles rock formations, with text and images above and below the landscape image. At the far right is a vertical column of wildlife images. There are also some additional images along the upper and lower brochure edges with text adjacent . At the far left is a black vertical bar that reads "Pinnacles."

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Image and Text: Anna's Hummingbird

Describing: This is a color photo of a hummingbird in flight, in profile facing left, against the blue background of the brochure.

Synopsis: In the Amah Mutsun creation legends hummingbirds bring fire to the people.This Anna's Hummingbird is male, as shown by the red head and iridescent white body.  His long beak is pointed to the left, and the outspread wing and short tail are on the right. Only a tiny bit of his legs are visible, as they are tucked into his white body feathers. 

The female Anna's hummingbird has bight green feathers above and dingy grey on the underside. 

In-depth Description: This male hummingbird is small, about 4 inches (10 cm), in length. It's long, skinny, black beak is just about the same size as his head, approximately one third of the body. Most of the head is bright red with black markings around the eye. The black eye is rimmed with white. The body, wing, and tail have white feathers with a bit of grey shading. Black feathers edge the topmost part of the of the wing, the wing tips, and the very end of the tail.

Anna's Hummingbird is named after Anna Massena, 19th century Dutchess of Rivoli, whose husband was a renowned amateur ornithologist.

Caption: Blended Heritage

Credit: [Credit goes here]

Related Text: Hummingbirds, like the Anna’s hummingbird below, are part of Chalon and Amah Mutsun creation stories.

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Image and Text: Modern basket

Synopsis: This is a color photograph of a tan natural fiber square basket with decorative pieces attached

In Depth Description:

This photo image is of a woven basket. It is about the size of a dinner plate. The background behind it is blue. The basket has a tightly woven pattern made from a tan colored natural fiber. It is square in size and shallow in depth. The top of the basket is square but gradually becomes rounder as the weaving pattern becomes circular towards the bottom of the object. On the outside of the basket, on the left side, are two small round white decorations that are attached. The one is slightly bigger than the other. There is also a metal piece attached to both of the decorations that go to the bottom of the bowl. They appear to be decorative metal clips. On the bottom right are three smaller objects that are attached as well, made of the same material, possibly bone or white porcelain.

Caption: Modern basket

Credit: NPS / Richard Moorer

Related Text: The purpose of the bowl is for decoration to put on a wall or it could be put on a shelf to hold small items. It does not appear to be used to hold food or water.

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Overview: Pinnacles National Park

Describing: Overview of Pinnacles National Park. 

Synopsis: Pinnacles National Park is a unit of the National Park Service that is located in Central California. The park is located about 110 miles (177 km) southeast of San Francisco and about 40 miles (64.4 km) inland from the western coastline of California. The park encompasses 16,721 acres (6,767 hectares) of diverse mountainous landscapes. Around 23 million years ago, multiple volcanoes erupted, flowed, and slid to form the unique landscape of Pinnacles National Park.  Present-day visitors to Pinnacles National Park can experience what those ancient volcanoes created-- towering rock spires, unique caves, and deep canyons. Pinnacles National Park is named for the collection of towering stone formations named the Pinnacles. The Pinnacles are a series of towering rock columns that jut out of the ground and reach towards the sky. Some of the best examples of the Pinnacles in the are located in the High Peaks and Balconies areas. This park, established as a national monument in 1908, became a national park in 2013. Each year, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to enjoy the unique experiences that only can be had at Pinnacles. We invite you to explore the park's unique natural features and diverse wildlife. Trek through the damp talus caves that house a large colony of Townsend's big-eared bats. Pause and listen to the chattering birds outside the visitor centers. For those seeking to learn more about the park during their visit, informative Braille and text-only guides are available the two visitor contact centers in the park.  To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, visit the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.

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Overview: Accessibility

Describing: Accessibility Access Information

Related Text: We strive to make facilities, services, and programs accessible to all. For information go to the contact station or nature center, ask a ranger, call, or check the park website.

Facilities - The visitor contact centers on both the east and west sides of the park are fully ADA accessible. Restrooms at the West Pinnacles Contact Station are also fully accessible. Parking areas have marked handicap spaces convenient to facilities. Picnic areas can be wheelchair accessed with assistance.

Park Brochures are available in a variety of formats, including Braille brochures, the audio described tour on the UniD app, and text only brochures. Some Park Rangers in Pinnacles are trained in audio description. To find out more about park brochure formats or any other accessibility concerns in Pinnacles, please speak with a Park Ranger at the Bear Gulch Nature Center or at either of the visitor contact stations near the entrances to the park. 

Trails - Because much of the park's terrain is steep and rocky, trail access for visitors with mobility impairments is limited. A section of the Bench Trail has recently been hardened and graded for wheelchair access. This gently rolling trail passes through oak woodlands and offers views of the High Peaks rock formation. The trailhead is at the Peaks View Picnic Area near the east entrance of the park.

On the west side, the Chaparral area near the west entrance offers views of Pinnacles’ most spectacular geological formations directly from or near the parking area. A new accessible trail called the Prewett Point Trail leaves from the West Pinnacles Contact Station. The trail is just under a mile in length and offers panoramic views of the High Peaks and the Balconies Cliffs.

For more information on navigating in Pinnacles National Park, please proceed to the Map description of this brochure.

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Image: NPS Black Banner

Describing: A black bar with a color NPS logo.

Synopsis: This is a black vertical bar that runs along the entire left side of the brochure, with white text inside the bar. The text is turned 90 degrees counter-clockwise so the text runs from the bottom of the brochure to the top. 

Detailed Description: This is a black vertical bar that spans the entire left edge of the Pinnacles brochure. Within the black bar is white text and a color version of the National Park Service (NPS) logo. The text is turned 90 degrees counterclockwise, so readers would need to tilt their heads to the left to read it. The text begins at the bottom of the black bar.  The bottom quarter of the black bar reads "Pinnacles" and the next quarter above that is left blank. The third quarter of the black bar reads "Pinnacles National Park, California." The last quarter at the top of the black bar reads "National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior." Near the top of the black bar is the NPS Arrowhead logo, which is also turned 90 degrees counterclockwise. The NPS logo is a brown arrowhead logo with the point down. Inside the arrowhead on the top right, is white text reading "National Park Service." On the left side of the arrowhead is a tall tree. At the bottom center of the arrowhead, a white bison stands on a green field which ends in a distant tree line, with a white lake on the right. A brown snow-capped mountain towers behind the line of trees. 

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Opening Text

Pinnacles National Park offers an unexpected refuge—for people, animals, and plants. Just a short distance from urban activity, it is a wild place surrounded by rural working landscapes. The park’s namesake pinnacles reach toward the sky in stark contrast to rolling hills. These remnants from distant volcanoes create a striking, varied landscape that has attracted people for thousands of years and supports diverse life. It is rugged country, full of opportunities for exploration, escape, and wonder. Which will you choose?

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Image and Text: The High Peaks and the Balconies of Pinnacles National Park

Describing: Full page color photograph

Synopsis: This is a panoramic photo of the rock formation of high peaks and balconies at Pinnacles National Park as seen in late afternoon light.

In-Depth Description: This image has been photo-captured at exactly the right time, late in the day, to reveal the towering rock formations. Several peaks are visible, cast into sharp relief and shadow by the late afternoon light, temporarily coloring the rocks with an orange tinge. The rocky mountain landscape is interspersed with green trees and brown bushes. Some are tucked into jagged valleys and clinging to the various shaped rocks. One triangular rock stands out in the front center of the photo with other craggy rocks and boulders of various sizes and shapes surrounding and framing it. Some rocks are round and smooth, others have jagged angles and are sitting on rock balconies. The rocks themselves are shades of brown and black as shadows overlay the brighter color as the dusk begins. The weather is clear, the sky is blue and there are no clouds.

Caption: Pinnacles National Park Mountain Scene

Credit: Joe Parks

Related Text: Most of the High Peaks rocks are rhyolite breccia, angular fragments  ejected from volcanoes and cemented by ash and mud.

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Image and Text: Schuyler Hain

Describing: A small, black-and-white photograph 

Synopsis: This is a historic black and white photo of six men leaning against a rocky ledge on a hillside. Most of the men face the camera with slight smiles on their faces. The man second from the right has his hands folded on top of a slender cane and is identified as Schuyler Hain, the homesteader who helped to protect the Pinnacles wilderness in the early 1900s. He appears to be gazing off in the distance to the left. 

In-depth Description: This is a low resolution black and white image with edges that fade to white. The image features Schuyler Hain and five other people who appear to be middle-aged white men in a bright outdoor landscape. The people are all of similar height and similar build and are leaning against a rocky ledge, with their bodies facing slightly left. All of the people are turning their heads towards the camera and slightly smiling, except for the individual second from the right who is Schuyler Hain. Schuyler Hain stands out as the only person gazing off into the distance, resting his hands atop his slender cane, and the only one with a moustache. All of the people are wearing early 1900s clothing, while Schuyler Hain is dressed the most formally with a dark jacket, tie and tall hat. Everyone in the photo is outfitted with long-sleeve shirts, jackets, hats, and heavy pants tucked into knee-high boots. Behind the people is a ridgeline that climbs upward from the left side of the image towards the right. There is a rock in the foreground that is obscuring the lower half of the person at the far-right side. On the ground in front of the two people at the far left is a small square metal box about the size of a toolbox.  

Caption: Schuyler Hain (second from right)

Credit: NPS

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Text: People Have Come Here

The following paragraphs of text are formatted in a horizontal bar beneath a row of four images:

People have come here for millennia, drawn by the grandeur of the pinnacles. They sought resources, a home, adventure.

Native people harvested abundant plants and hunted wild animals. They used fire to increase plant yield for basket-weaving and many other purposes. In the late 1700s and early 1800s they were decimated by diseases unwittingly brought by the Spanish when they colonized Alta (Upper) California. Survivors were forced to assimilate, convert to Christianity, and live in mission compounds.

In the late 1800s homesteaders built farms in the valleys. The area’s spectacular geologic features tempted settlers to come play. Homesteader Schuyler Hain gave tours of Bear Valley and the caves. He ran a grassroots campaign to protect the area, eventually leading President Theodore Roosevelt to establish Pinnacles National Monument in 1908. From 1933 to 1942 Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers built facilities and improved trails. You can still find their work in the Bear Gulch area and stone work on many park trails. Pinnacles became a national park in 2013.

Stewardship continues today with the help of partners. Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and Chalon Indian Nation members participate in habitat-restoration projects. Ranchers and other landowners help protect the entire region, which aids in the preservation of Pinnacles National Park. What will you do to help?

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Overview: Blended Heritage

Describing: A section of images and text. 

Synopsis: This section contains text and images that trace the blended heritage of Pinnacles National Park. The section is centered at the top of the brochure with a bright blue background that fades into the sky of the main image of "The High Peaks and Balconies of Pinnacles National Park." 

In-depth Description: At the far left of this section is the title "Blended Heritage" with text and an image of a hummingbird below it. This first portion takes up less than one-fifth of this section. The rest of this section is divided into 3 horizontal portions, separated by horizontal black lines. The top section shows four images in a row: a modern basket, a homestead, a picture of Schuyler Hain, and a picture of CCC workers. Below the images in the middle horizontal area is the English text titled, "People Have Been Here." The bottom section is the Spanish translation of the English text. 

The entire section is backed by a brilliant blue color that fades into the light blue sky of the image described in the section "The High Peaks and Balconies of Pinnacles National Park."

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Image and Text: Homestead

Describing: A small, black-and-white photograph

Synopsis: This is a black and white image. A landscape is shown with a large rock outcropping in the background. In front are layers of lower rolling hills with a pasture in the foreground. A path runs up the middle of the pasture to a small homestead house on the far left. There are no people or animals pictured.

In-Depth Description: This is a low resolution, but otherwise intact, black and white image with blue tinting of the lighter elements. A distant landscape is shown with a large rock outcropping prominently centered in the background. In front of the outcropping are a few layers of lower rolling hills. The foreground shows a pasture that is approximately split in middle by a path.  The path is slightly larger on the right side than on the left. The left side shows a small homestead house with a single peaked roof. The season cannot be discerned from the image and it appears to be a clear day. There do not appear to be any people or animals pictured.

Caption: Homestead

Credit: NPS

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Image and Text: CCC Workers

Describing: A small, black-and-white photograph

Synopsis: This is a portion of a black and white, low-resolution group photo of CCC workers. There are dozens of individuals shown in 1930s work clothes. Most of the men are sitting on a long platform or standing near it. All appear to be in their 20s and in good physical condition. Many ethnicities are represented.

In-Depth Description: This photo has the lighter parts of the image tinted blue to match the overall background of the brochure. The image shows a group photo of CCC workers. There are dozens of individuals shown in varying types of workman clothes to include long sleeve shirts, and white sleeveless shirts. A few of the young men are shirtless. In the front, three to four rows of workers are sitting on a long platform and the back rows are standing. The low-resolution image makes it difficult to make out the age or ethnicity of the workers, but they appear to be in their 20s, a variety of ethnicities, in good physical shape, and all pictured are men.

Caption: CCC Workers

Credit: NPS

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Images and Text: Wildlife in Pinnacles National Park

Describing: A column of color photos on the right edge of the brochure.

Synopsis: This is a column of photos showing some of the kinds of wildlife you might see in Pinnacles National Park. For detailed descriptions of the wildlife contained in this column, proceed to the next component.

Detailed Description:  This is a column of seven wildlife images, stacked one on top of another, with only thin, dark, shadowy lines to separate each photo. Between the column of photos and the right border of the brochure is a thin black bar. Each animal has a small part of their silhouette that extends beyond the edge of the photo to give it a three-dimensional effect. Each animal has an accompanying caption of its common name and scientific name.

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Image and Text: Gabilan Mountains slender salamander

Describing: A small, colored photograph.

Synopsis: This photo features the tiny dark brown Gabilan Mountains slender salamander which only ever reaches 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) in length, which is about one inch (2.5 cm) shorter than the average pencil. The salamander is standing on a flat rock with its head facing left and slightly down. The snake-like body has several curves. Its body is curving back behind the head and two front legs, and curving again after the back legs. The tail curls back towards the face. 

In-depth description: This photograph shows a close-up of a tiny dark brown Gabilan Mountains slender salamander that is facing left, while standing on a brown and black flat rock. The slender salamander looks like a little dark brown snake with big black hooded eyes and little legs. Only two of its four legs are clearly visible in this photo, but the salamander appears to be using all four legs to stand on the flat rock. The salamander is facing left, with its head angled towards 8 o'clock.  The salamander is a shiny, dark brown color with small white spots across its whole body. There is also a scattering of dark orange dashes down the body. In this image, the salamander’s head, and a small portion of its body near the tail, extend beyond the image, making it look more three-dimensional.  

Caption: Gabilan Mountains slender salamander

Credit: Kenneth Paul Wray III

Related Text: The Gabilan Mountains slender salamander is named after the Gabilan mountain range that runs along the western side of the San Andreas Fault. The Pinnacles are located within that mountain range, near the southern end. The Gabilan Mountains slender salamander is a member of the Plethodontidae family, commonly called the Lungless Salamanders family. Lungless salamanders respirate through their skin and the tissue inside their mouths. This means the salamanders have to live in damp environments to breathe. The Gabilan Mountains slender salamanders live in the forests and chaparral landscapes within Pinnacles, often burrowing in the soil and forest litter to breathe. One of the defense mechanisms of this slender salamander is its ability to coil itself up into a little pile for protection. This little salamander is endemic (native) to the Pinnacles region and is considered a sensitive species by Pinnacles National Park. 

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Image and Text: Acorn Woodpecker

Describing: This is a square color photograph on the right border of the brochure.

Synopsis: A white, black and red woodpecker faces left while holding an acorn in its beak. The Acorn Woodpecker is about 8 inches long (21 cm). The bird is upright while clinging to a large diagonal branch which blocks the viewer from seeing the lower half of the woodpecker. The branch takes up about a third of the photo.

In-depth Description: Most of the Acorn Woodpecker is black and white. From left to right, the bird's head has a black beak and black feathers just behind the beak. Next come some white markings. Finally, there is a black comma of feathers around the white and black eye. The black feathers extend downward to cover the bird's shoulders like a hood. Sitting like a cap on the topmost part of the head, are brilliant red feathers. The woodpecker is holding a skinny tear-shaped orange acorn in its beak, with the larger part of the acorn closer to the throat. The rest of the bird's body is white. One gray claw can be seen clutching the gray and brown branch. At the top of the photo, there is a weathered metal horizontal pipe behind the woodpecker's head. The background is blurred green with blotches of dull gold.

Caption: Acron woodpecker

Credit: NPS / Gavin Emmons

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Image and Text: Green metallic sweat bee

Describing: This is a square color photograph.

Synopsis: A tiny brightly colored bee covers most of the yellow center of a white daisy-like flower head. The Green Metallic Sweat Bee is about one third of an inch in length and is shown from the side.

In-depth Description: The iridescent Green Metallic Sweat Bee is shown with the head to the right. The bee has three main parts: the head, the thorax (the midsection,) and the abdomen. Both the head and thorax are brilliant green. The head has two black antennae which arch outward. Connected to the back of the thorax is the bee's abdomen. The oval-shaped abdomen is a little larger than the thorax and is striped with horizontal bands of black and yellow. On the thorax, three of the bee's six legs can be seen. The legs are black near to the body and yellow on the ends, where they stand on the yellow center of the flower. Two shiny transparent wings are connected to the upper back of the bee's thorax. The wings have tiny webbing lines. The wings cover the entire back of the body.

The white flower has one ring of slim white petals circling the yellow center. The blurred background is a mixture of brown and rose colors.

Caption: Green metallic sweat bee

Credit: NPS / Paul G. Johnson

Related Text: Most sweat bees are attracted to human sweat, hence the name. However, the Green Metallic Sweat Bee is not attracted to human sweat.

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Image and Text: Coyote

Describing: A small color photograph

Synopsis: This is a photo of an alert coyote facing right, while standing in foliage (plants). 

In-Depth Description: This photograph captures an alert coyote that is facing the viewer but looking just over the viewer’s right shoulder. The coyote looks like a dog with a thick, mottled white, brown, and grey coat. The coyote’s narrow muzzle is brown on top with a black, shiny nose at the end of its snout, and white fur below the nose. It has sharp yellow eyes with a thin black line of skin surrounding each eye, like eyeliner. Atop the coyote’s head are two, tall brown pointed ears with white fluffy tufts of fur lining the inside of each ear. The ears are just barely smaller than the coyote’s face and the coyote has one ear pointing to the right, as if listening for a sound in that direction. The coyote’s neck has a triangle of white fur just below the coyote’s muzzle, almost like a beard. The lighter white fur blends into a grey color before transitioning into a darker mix of grey, brown, and white all down the coyote’s body that is angled slightly left from its head at the right. The coyote’s legs and tail are obscured by the red foliage that the coyote is standing in. Despite coyotes growing up to two feet (61 cm) tall at the shoulder, the red leaves of the bushes around the coyote come up to the coyote’s chest. 

Caption: Coyote

Credit: Tom Ingram

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Image and Text: Blainville's horned lizard

Describing: A small, color photograph

Synopsis: This is a color photo of the Blainville's horned lizard, a tiny lizard with spikes all over its body. 

In-depth Description: 

This photo shows a Blainville’s horned lizard standing on a dark green rock, facing the left. Blainville’s horned lizards are very small, with adults measuring between 2.5 and 4.5 inches (6.5 to 11.4 cm). That is small enough to hold in your hand! This lizard appears unpleasant to touch though, with spikes covering almost its entire body. Spikes adorn the lizard's skin from the tip of the tail to the edge of its jaw. Most of the spikes appear to have the same color and texture as the surrounding skin, except for on the lizard's head. Larger horns emerge from the back of the lizard's head, pointed directly backwards. The head of the lizard is like a tall, rounded, wide triangle with one eye visible from the lizard’s profile facing left. At the front of its face are two small nostrils and a line of beige spikes along the lizard’s jawline, pointing towards the ground. Unlike the rest of the lizard, the top and sides of the lizard’s head are covered in flat, dark scales. It seems to have a very short neck joining the head and the body. 

The body of the lizard is a flat, oval shape that looks almost like a turtle shell covered in lines of spikes on all sides. The most prominent detail of the lizard’s body is the combination of colors and spikes. There are wide bands of alternating dark brown and beige stretching across the lizard’s back, stretching from shoulder to shoulder. Within each band of dark brown or beige are spikes in the same color, looking like little mountains emerging across the lizard’s whole back. There is a thin strip of pale skin with no spikes that traces the lizard’s spine from its neck all the way down to its tail. Along the side of the lizard’s body there is a line of little white spikes that stretches from the shoulder of the front leg to the start of the back leg joint. Each leg looks like it belongs to a dragon, with a scale pattern of spikes covering the whole leg, with tiny sharp scales over their five-toed feet.

The lizard’s tail is widest where it connects to the body and quickly tapers to a thin point. The tail continues the same alternating pattern of brown and beige-spiked bands. Both the bands of color and the spikes shrink proportionately in size as the tail thins. The thin point of the tail extends past the edge of the image and into the black brochure border on the right side to give the creature a more three-dimensional look. The lizard stands on a dark green rock with more green-colored rocks in the background.

Caption: Blainville's horned lizard

Credit: Spencer Dibdahl Riffle

Related Text: The Blainville's horned lizard used to be called the Coast horned lizard. The Blainville's horned lizards were identified as a unique species in 1839 until 1933, when they were classified as a subspecies of Coast horned lizards. Studies in 2006 and 2009 proved they truly were a unique species and the lizard is once again known as the Blainville's horned lizard. The lizard is named after French zoologist, Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville. Blainville was a contemporary of the zoologist who first discovered this lizard in 1839, John Edward Gray. 

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Image and Text: California quail

Describing: A rectangular color photograph

Synopsis: Covering the left half of the photo is a California Quail, seen in profile, head to the right. Most of the quail is grey-blue with black and white markings on the head. The head has a red brown plume extending from the bird's forehead to hang over the face. The plump bird is about ten inches (25 cm) long.

In-depth Description: The California Quail stands upright upon a piece of wood. The quail faces to the right with the left leg forward. The grey-blue body ends in a short, pointed tail. Contrasting with the grey, are some white tipped feathers on the quail's wings and belly. The white feather tips look like spikes and create a white pattern against the darker color. 

The head of the quail has a black face with an edging of white. Its distinctive dark red brown topknot is also edged in white. The topknot comes from the back of the head and hangs over the face.

The background is blurred but still visible are blades of tall green grass.

Caption: California quail

Credit: Andrej Chudy

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Image and Text: Townsend's big-eared bat

Describing: A small, color photograph

Synopsis: This is a photo of a Townsend's big-eared bat with its wings folded into its sides. 

In-depth description: A Townsend’s big-eared bat faces the camera while it rests on sharp, rocky terrain, held up only by its folded bony wings. Townsend's big-eared bats are small, only reaching a body length of 4 inches (10.2 cm) long, or about the width of your hand. Its wings expand to about 13 inches (33 cm), but this bat only weighs as much as one or two marshmallows, making it a lightweight little bat. The most distinctive features on this tiny bat are the big ears for which it is named. The bat’s ears are about three times as large as its head. The ears stand tall and alert above its head, even extending beyond the top of the image to look three-dimensional. The bat’s ears are brown on the exterior and pale pink inside. The skin over the bat's ears appears to be almost translucent, with some veins visible through the back of one ear. The interior of the ear also reveals little red veins and has many thin white line markings climbing up the center of the ear. These lines curve more the closer they get to the base of the bat’s ear. Each ear connects directly over the bat’s tiny black eyes, with the ear canal located barely above the bat’s left eye. 

Compared to the bat’s ears, the bat’s face is tiny and squished. The bat’s face is dominated by a flattened, wrinkly nose that hides the bat’s right eye in this image. The bat’s body is round and covered in fuzzy fur that is a mix of light and dark browns. Its body is tucked up behind the bat’s face, showing no distinct features as it appears to be in a resting position. To hold itself up above the blocky sharp rocks below it, the bat uses its dark brown wings to prop itself up, very similar to a human propping themselves up with their elbows and knees. In fact, the bat’s wings look less like wings and more like bony legs, with only its right wing showing some of the thin, taut skin that makes up the wing. The bony limbs look more like spider legs in this image, holding up the light body of the small bat. The bat appears to be at rest among a series of rocks with sharp corners. Only rocks pictured in the rest of the background. 

Caption: Townsend's big-eared bat

Credit: Minden Pictures / Michael Durham

Related Text: Bats at Pinnacles find refuge in the caves, cliffs, and trees. There is currently a colony of Townsend's Big-eared Bats in the Bear Gulch Cave and a colony of the Western Mastiff bat in the Balconies cave area.

Out of the 23 species of bats in California, 14 species are known to occur within Pinnacles National Park. All of the 14 species at Pinnacles and 41 of the 44 North American bats eat insects, spiders, and their kin. 

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Image and Text: Condor

Describing: A cut out photo image superimposed on the lower left of the front of the Pinnacles brochure

Synopsis: The black California Condor is facing left towards the lower left edge of the brochure. It has markings of white and red. The condor is seen from below and is soaring with outstretched wings.  Its featherless head is dull red orange. The California condor has a black fan shaped tail. The wingspan is about nine and a half feet (2.9 m).

In-depth Description: The jet-black condor soars with wings outstretched, and its white legs tucked up beneath the fan shaped tail. The body is covered with black feathers but has one red patch on its breast. The bald head is a faded red orange with a white upper beak. Its eye is red. 

Near the upper wing edge, each wing has a white triangular marking. The widest part of the triangle is next to the body and tapers to a point near the wing tip. The pinion feathers on the wing ends are extended like fingers outstretched.   This California Condor has a blue and white tracking tag attached to its left wing.

Caption: California Condor

Credit: NPS / Gavin Emmons

Related Text: Endangered California condors (left), once down to 27 individuals, soar again over the High Peaks. The park is within their historic home range—Amah Mutsun stories tell how the wasaka (condor) escorted spirits of deceased relatives to the next world across the sea. Pinnacles is one of six release sites for captive-bred birds. Today North America’s largest land bird nests here. Condor numbers are increasing, but they are not out of danger yet.

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Image and Text: Night Sky Over Ranch Buildings


A turn-of-the-century barn type structure with brown and white weathered wood panels and a dark grey roof is serenely featured framed by the night sky in in the center foreground. On the left side of the photo, a light from a source outside the frame highlights it and a large, towering tree with green leaves which dominates the left side of the picture. It is much taller and larger than the structure and is growing outside the top of the frame of the picture.

The background of this photo is a starry night sky filled with stars and wispy white clouds mid-sky. Just below the clouds, a forest is located behind the barn and the large tree. The forest background appears as  a dark silhouette shadow visible above the barn.

Synopsis: A weathered barn is framed by a large tree, a dark forest tree line and the starry night sky.

Caption: The park’s remote setting provides unforgettable views of the night sky, like this one over Bacon Ranch.

Credit: NPS / Cosmo Diskan

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Overview: Back Side of Brochure

The back side of the brochure includes one large map that takes up most of the brochure. There are two smaller maps of Pinnacles National Park on either side of the large map. The text around the map gives context for exploring Pinnacles and about the wild nature within the park. There are also sections about contact information and accessibility.

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Text: Explore Pinnacles

Describing: Block of text on the upper left part of the park map

Text: Explore Pinnacles

No Road Connects The West And East Entrances Of The Park. The shortest route from one side to the other is through King City on US 101 (see inset map).

Find lodging, camping, food, and gas in nearby towns. In the park, camp only in the designated campground.

West Side

Entrance open 7:30 am to 8 pm. Take US 101 to CA 146 and follow signs to the park. Warning: CA 146 from Soledad is steep and narrow. RVs, trailers, and large vehicles should avoid this entrance.

West Visitor Contact Station

Find exhibits, information, a film, and a bookstore. Open year-round. Schedule varies; check the website.

East Side

Entrance open 24 hours; no overnight parking except in campground. Take CA 25 to East Entrance Road.

Bear Gulch Nature Center

Find exhibits, information, and a film. Open seasonally. Schedule varies; check the website.

Pinnacles Campground

Open year-round. The campground has tent, RV, and group sites; tent cabins; hookups; and showers. Reserve at or call 877-444-6777. For information call 831-200-1722.


Camp store: Open 9:30 am to 5 pm daily. Park store: Find books, maps, educational souvenirs, and more. Schedule varies; check the website.


Some of the park’s most popular activities are listed here. Check the website for more things to do.


Over 180 species are found here. Look for California condors and peregrine and prairie falcons in the High Peaks area.

Cave Exploration

Balconies and Bear Gulch caves offer a respite from the heat. Be prepared for low ceilings, uneven footing, and scrambling over rocks. Use a flashlight or headlamp. Bear Gulch Cave is closed seasonally to protect bat colonies. Check the website for current closures.


Explore hundreds of climbing routes from easy to extremely difficult. Check the website for safety and general information. Use climbing guides for route descriptions and grades.

Ranger Programs

Programs are offered seasonally. Check the website for schedules.

Safety and Regulations

Be prepared. Cell phone service is limited. In summer and fall daytime temperatures can reach over 100°F (37.8°C). Check the website for more safety information and regulations. Carry and drink plenty of water. • Wear loose-fitting clothing, a hat, and sunscreen. • Wear sturdy, non-slip shoes or boots with ankle support. • Be careful where you sit, step, and place your hands: Poison oak, stinging nettles, and rattlesnakes are found here. • Pets and bicycles are prohibited on all trails. • Feeding, approaching, or hunting wildlife is prohibited. • Federal laws protect all natural and cultural features in the park. • For firearms regulations check the park website. • Using remotely piloted aircraft like drones is prohibited.

Emergencies contact a ranger or call 911


Over 30 miles (48.3 km) of trails range from easy to difficult. Carry and drink at least one liter of water per person per hour.

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Map: Pinnacles National Park and its Trails


This is a large color way-finding map of the center of Pinnacles National Park showing the roads, trails, and other major features of the park as well as its topography.


The Pinnacles National Park map shows the park in its entirety. The map highlights two main entrances, the East Side from Highway 25 and the West Side from Highway 146. Both the East Side and the West Side roads lead to dead-ends. There is no road that goes through the park. The map includes way-finding information like roads and trails and geographic features like mountain peaks, valleys, creeks, and canyons. Symbols and labels identify trail names and their ratings, parking areas, facilities such as campgrounds, park store, nature center, and safety and accessibility information. The map has 2 inset maps in the lower right corner. The two inset maps are Hain Wilderness, and an area map orienting Pinnacles to central California driving roads. 

In-depth Description: 

This is a relief map that covers the entirety of Pinnacles National Park and the area around it. The map has shades of tan that show the contours of the area. Outlined in green, are the edges of the park boundary that fades into a lighter cream color from the park boundary. North is oriented to the top of the page.

The map encompasses the 26,000 acres of Pinnacles National Park located in Central California. Pinnacles National Park is east of the Salinas Valley in Central California, about five miles east of Soledad and 80 miles southeast of San Jose. A small section on the upper right corner of the map, above California Highway 25, shows the relative closeness that Pinnacles National Park has to the San Andreas Fault Zone.

The key for this map is in the middle top right corner of the page. Trails are indicated by black dashes, while trail distances are indicated by small black triangles marked on the map at trail intersections. Trail distances are shown in miles and kilometers and can be found above each trail name, along with their trail rating. 

Creeks, springs and gulches are identified with blue dashed lines. Balconies, canyons and mountain peaks are identified in all caps. Also identified in the key are Ranger Stations, Picnic Areas, Campground, Wheelchair Accessible, Restrooms and Drinking Water.

The map highlights two main entrances, the East Side via Highway 25 and the West Side via Highway 146. Both the East Side and West Side roads are indicated by a bold red line. Both roads are dead-ends. There is no road that goes through the park. 

From the East Entrance Station you can access points of interest like Bacon-Butterfield Ranch Trail, Camp Store and Park Store, Pinnacles Campground, Bench Trail, Peaks View Parking Area, and Manzanita Parking Area. Bench Trail is wheel-chair accessible. Picnic areas, wheel-chair accessibility, restrooms, and drinking water are all available at Peaks View Parking Area. East Entrance Road comes to a fork. Going right at the fork of East Entrance Road takes you to a water station and ends at Old Pinnacles Parking Area. Taking a left at the fork takes you to Bear Gulch Nature Center and ends at Moses Spring Parking Area, where there are restrooms and drinking water available. A Ranger Station, Picnic area, wheel-chair accessibility, restrooms, and drinking water are all available at Bear Gulch Nature Center.

From the West Visitor Contact Station you can access points of interest like Prewett Point Trail, Jawbone Parking Area and ends at Chaparral Parking Area. Prewett Point Trail is wheel-chair accessible. A Ranger Station, picnic area, wheel-chair accessibility, restrooms, and drinking water are all available at West Visitor Contact Station. A picnic area, wheel-chair accessibility, restrooms, and drinking water are also available at Chaparral Parking Area.

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Map: West Entrance Road

Describing: The far west side of Pinnacles National Park.

Synopsis: The west entrance of the park is located on California Highway 146. It dead ends at a parking area and contains less amenities than the east side of the park.

In-Depth Description: The west entrance of the park is located on California Highway 146, which is a narrow single-lane road not suitable for large vehicles. Highway 146 turns into the West Entrance road near the park entrance, and dead-ends at Chaparral parking lot; It does not complete through the park to the East side. Upon becoming the West Entrance Road just before the park gate, the road first drives over the cattle guard railings that help keep feral pigs and wandering livestock outside the park's boundary. The Pinnacles National Park welcome sign is immediately on the right, and a quarter-mile down the road is the entry fee booth and, on the right hand side, is the West Visitor Contact Station and parking lot. From this parking lot, the store and nature center inside the West Visitor Contact Station can be accessed, as well as the trailhead for the 1 mile Prewett Point trail, which is a mostly-flat wheelchair-accessible trail that follows a gentle ridge overlooking the Pinnacles rock towers. The West Entrance road continues 2.5 miles further from the West Visitor Contact Station, passing the Jawbone parking lot and terminus of the Jawbone trail, before finally dead-ending at the Chaparral parking lot 0.5 miles further. While the Jawbone parking lot is gravel and not wheelchair-accessible, the Chaparral parking lot is paved, with a mobility-accessible bathroom, place to fill up water, and picnic tables and charcoal grills that are usable when fire restrictions are not in place. The main trails beginning from the Chaparral parking lot are the Juniper Canyon trail to the High Peaks, and the Balconies trail.

Credit: NPS

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Map: East Entrance Road

Describing: The east side of the map of Pinnacles National Park.

Synopsis: The Pinnacles Campground, Bear Gulch Nature Center, four other parking areas, and several hiking trails can be accessed from the East Entrance Road.

In-Depth Description: The east park entrance is located along California Highway 25. The city of Hollister is located 30 miles (48 km) to the northwest of the eastern park entrance along Highway 25. King City is located 30 miles (48km) southeast of eastern park entrance. The San Adreas Fault Zone where the North American Tectonic Plate meets the Pacific Tectonic Plate can be seen from California State Highway 25. Turning off Highway 25 into the park on the East Entrance Road, the East Entrance Station building will be the first ranger station encountered. About x miles from the East Entrance Station is the Pinnacles Campground loops located on the left side of the road. The campground has restrooms, water, and wheelchair-accessible facilities available. A Camp Store and Park Store can be found near the entrances to the campground with picnic tables and drinking water available. The easy Bacon-Butterfield Ranch Trail can be accessed from the northeast side of the campground road loops, and the easy wheelchair accessible Bench Trail can be accessed from the southwest side of the campground.

Continuing past the campground turn off on the East Entrance Road (about x miles), the Peaks View Parking Area is on the left with restrooms, water, picnic tables, and wheelchair-accessible facilities available. This parking area can be used to access the wheelchair accessible easy Bench Trail. Opposite the Peaks View Parking Area on the right side of the East Entrance Road is the Manzanita Parking Area. Continuing past the parking areas, the East Entrance Road splits in two. The north split continues to the Old Pinnacles Parking Area which has water. The moderate Old Pinnacles Trail can be accessed from the Old Pinnacles Parking Area. The southeast split of the East Entrance Road continues x miles to the Bear Gulch Nature Center on the left, which is a ranger station with restrooms, water, picnic tables, and wheelchair accessible facilities. The difficult Condor Gulch Trail and moderate Sycamore Trail leave from the nature center area. Continuing past the nature center, the East Entrance Road dead ends at the Moses Spring Parking Area where restrooms and water are available. The easy Moses Spring Trail, moderate Bear Gulch Cave Trail, moderate Rim Trail, and difficult High Peaks Trail leave from this parking area.

Credit: NPS

Credit: NPS Map

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Map: Legend and Scale

Describing: The map legend, north arrow, and scale.

Legend: The map legend is located in the upper center portion of the map and features black and white icons and a road and trail paths. Easy trails are marked with green circles. Moderate trails are marked with blue squares. Difficult trails are marked with black diamonds. Unpaved roads are open to bicycles and pets and are shown by double dashed lines. Maintained trails are represented by short single dashed lines. Unmaintained trails are represented by long single dashed lines. Trails through caves are shown by single dotted lines. Trail distance indicators are represented by small arrows with the both the mileage and kilometer distance. A black line with two dots on either side represents a locked gate. A black and white icon of a building with a flag represents a ranger station. A black and white icon with a picnic table represents a picnic area. A black and white icon with a tent represents a campground. A black and white icon with a wheelchair indicates wheelchair accessible areas. A black and white icon of two people on either side of a line represents restrooms. A black and white icon of a drinking glass represents drinking water. 

Scale: The scale is located in the bottom center of the map. It is a black line with intervals for both miles and kilometers. It shows that one and five-eighths inch of map space is equivalent to a half mile or 0.75 kilometers. 

North Arrow: To the left of the scale is a simple compass with the north arrow pointed towards the top of the map. The compass is a small open black circle with an arrow pointing upward in the center of the circle.

Credit: NPS

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Map: Area Map

Describing: This is a small area map.

Synopsis:  This map of central California shows the location of Pinnacles National Park in relation to major cities and highways. It covers an area of roughly 100 square miles (259 km). It is oriented with north at the top. Pinnacles National Park is shown in green near the center of the map. Soledad is the nearest city to the park located on the park’s western side along US Highway 101. Soledad is 10 miles (17.7 km) from the western park entrance. The western park entrance is accessed by driving California Highway 146.

In-depth Description: A scale in the upper right corner of the map shows five sixteenths of an inch is equal to 10 miles (2.5 cm is equal to 16 km). In the lower left corner of the map is the Pacific Ocean continuing up to Monterey Bay. California Highway 1 follows the coast with the city of Monterey located along the highway south of Monterey Bay and the city of Santa Cruz located on the north side of the bay. North of Santa Cruz in the upper left corner of the map is the city of San Jose. US Highway 101 leaves the city of San Jose heading south through the cities of Salinas, Soledad, and King City near the bottom center of the map. California Highway 25 parallels US Highway 101 running north/south on the east side of Pinnacles National Park and passing through the city of Hollister directly north of the park. On the eastern side of the map Interstate 5 runs northwest/southeast.

Credit: NPS Map

Related Text: Pinnacles National Park, 5000 East Entrance Road, Paicines, CA 95043-9770


Follow us on social media.

Use the official NPS App to guide your visit. Select “save this park” to use offline.

Pinnacles is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. Learn more at

National Park Foundation. Join the park community.

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Map and Text: Wild Country

Describing: Small color wilderness map in the lower right corner of the back of the brochure.

Synopsis: This is a small green inset map showing the entire boundary of Pinnacles National Park and the Hain Wilderness Area. The park boundary is roughly oval shaped and is 26,606 acres (108 square km) large. The entire center of the map is a darker shade of green and labeled as the Hain Wilderness. Two roads enter from the both the east and west side of the map. Both roads are dead ends and separated by high peaks in the center of the park.

In-depth Description: On the western side map is a short road with a marked dot showing the West Visitor Contact Station at the park boundary. On the eastern side of the map is a longer road that splits in two near its end at the center of the park map. A marked dot on the southern section of the eastern road split shows the Bear Gulch Nature Center.

Credit: NPS

Related Text:

Wild Country

Step into the wilderness for an entirely different experience. Look up at the night sky for stunning views of the Milky Way. Listen to wind funneling through canyons or tickling native grasses. Enjoy vistas of otherworldly spires, enticing crags, and shrub-covered hills. Congress has protected 16,000 acres (65 percent) of Pinnacles National Park as wilderness under the 1964 Wilderness Act. Here you can get away, find solitude and peace, or challenge yourself in the spirit of adventure that has been part of this area for so long.

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Image and Text: Powerful Forces at Work

Describing: Block of text and graphic on the upper right part of the park map.

Synopsis: Two gray arrows point in opposite directions separated by the words "San Andreas Fault Zone." The two arrows are diagonal. The top arrow points to the southeast and is labeled "North American Plate." The bottom arrow points to the northwest and is labeled "Pacific Plate."

Related Text: Powerful Forces at Work

Evidence of nature’s power surrounds you here. The rocks are two-thirds of an ancient volcanic field; the remaining third is found 195 miles to the southeast. This split occurred as the Pacific Plate moved north along the San Andreas Fault, creating the Pinnacles Formation. The Neenach Formation was left behind. Weather, water, and wind shaped these rocks, formed 23 million years ago, into distinctive spires and towers. Boulders fell from cliffs and wedged in slot canyons below, forming talus caves. With cooler temperatures and sometimes precious running water, the caves shelter unique species and beckon the adventurous.

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Overview: More Information

Pinnacles National Park

5000 East Entrance Road

Paicines, California, 9 5 0 4 3 dash 9 7 7 0

Phone number area code (8 3 1), 3 8 9, 4 4 8 6

Follow us on social media.

Use the official NPS App to guide your visit. Select “save this park” to use offline.

Pinnacles is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. Learn more at

National Park Foundation. Join the park community.

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