Pinnacles National Monument

Hollister, California

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Pinnacles National Monument is a unit of the National Park system. It is often referred to as the “unknown” park, because it is in a little-visited part of California—unknown that is, except for rock climbers and wildflower enthusiasts who jam the park on weekends and holidays, especially in spring. The best-known features of the park are its two cave systems, formed when massive boulders fell off the surrounding cliffs and jammed the narrow gorges below, creating intricate passageways. If there is much water in the streams, the caves are impassable. Specialty birds: Resident—Golden Eagle; Prairie Falcon; California Quail; Greater Roadrunner; Northern Pygmy-Owl; White-throated Swift; Acorn and Nuttall’s Woodpeckers; Say’s Phoebe; Hutton’s Vireo; Steller’s Jay; Yellow-billed Magpie; Oak Titmouse; Bushtit; Rock and Canyon Wrens; Western Bluebird; Wrentit; California Thrasher; Phainopepla; California Towhee; Rufous-crowned and Sage Sparrows; Western Meadowlark; Lesser Goldfinch. Summer—Western Wood-Pewee; Pacific-slope and Ash-throated Flycatchers; Black-headed Grosbeak; Lazuli Bunting; Lawrence’s Goldfinch. Winter—Goldencrowned Sparrow. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, a detailed map, and helpful general information.

Pinnacles National Monument Professional Review and Guide

"Pinnacles National Monument is a unit of the National Park system. It is often referred to as the “unknown” park, because it is in a little-visited part of California—unknown that is, except for rock climbers and wildflower enthusiasts who jam the park on weekends and holidays, especially in spring. The best-known features of the park are its two cave systems, formed when massive boulders fell off the surrounding cliffs and jammed the narrow gorges below, creating intricate passageways. If there is much water in the streams, the caves are impassable. Specialty birds: Resident—Golden Eagle; Prairie Falcon; California Quail; Greater Roadrunner; Northern Pygmy-Owl; White-throated Swift; Acorn and Nuttall’s Woodpeckers; Say’s Phoebe; Hutton’s Vireo; Steller’s Jay; Yellow-billed Magpie; Oak Titmouse; Bushtit; Rock and Canyon Wrens; Western Bluebird; Wrentit; California Thrasher; Phainopepla; California Towhee; Rufous-crowned and Sage Sparrows; Western Meadowlark; Lesser Goldfinch. Summer—Western Wood-Pewee; Pacific-slope and Ash-throated Flycatchers; Black-headed Grosbeak; Lazuli Bunting; Lawrence’s Goldfinch. Winter—Goldencrowned Sparrow. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, a detailed map, and helpful general information."

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Hollister
Trail Type: Several options
Best Times: Best Spring, fall, and winter.
Local Contacts: Pinnacles National Monument.
Local Maps: DeLorme Northern California Atlas & Gazetteer.
Driving Directions: Directions to Pinnacles National Monument

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May 2018