Beautiful and Biodiverse Pinnacles National Park




Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Park Ranger Elizabeth Hudick, who discusses Pinnacles National Park’s incredible ecological biodiversity that ranges from bats to butterflies, California condors to black-tailed deer, wildflowers, ferns and lichen!

Located east of Monterey in central California, Pinnacles National Park is known for it’s geological significance, as well as it’s disparate landscape that stuns visitors with it’s seasonal meadows, meandering creeks, springs and waterfalls, that are all set within a spectacular maze of rock spires, monolithic boulders, cool caves and rolling hills.

Sitting within a crossroads of ecosystem zones, and home to a unique topography and microclimate, the park boasts a diverse blend of vegetation and habitats that range from spectacular spring wildflowers to oak woodlands and chaparral scrub, caves and rock spires. These protected habitats are home and refuge for species representative of the central California coast, including over 140 birds species of birds, 49 mammals, 22 reptiles, 8 amphibians, 71 butterflies, 41 dragonflies and damselflies, more than 400 bee species. According to Western scientific knowledge, Pinnacles National Park has the highest bee diversity per unit area of any place on earth! A major highlight of the Park is that it also manages a release site for captive bred California condors – so keep your eyes open when you visit!

The best way to experience this exquisite biodiversity is to hit the trails! With over 32 miles of hiking trails, there’s something for everyone’s fitness level and interest, including the occasional ranger-led night hikes! There are also picnic and camping sites, a visitor center, shop and a swimming pool for those warm summer days.

Pinnacles is about 50 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean and 140 miles south of the San Francisco Bay area. Learn more about the Park at To plan your visit to the Park’s eastern gateway communities within beautiful San Benito County, visit


JIGSAW PUZZLE: Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview with Park Ranger Elizabeth Hudick while piecing together this online jigsaw puzzle of a swallowtail butterfly in Pinnacles National Park. Use the full screen icon to make it easier. Use your mouse roller or arrow keys to rotate the puzzle pieces and click and drag to put the pieces in place. Use the image Icon to see the picture and the Ghost Icon to set your workspace.



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