• High Peaks and Big Berry Manzanita. NPS Photo|Sierra Willoughby

    Pinnacles

    National Park California

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  • No Fires - Fire Danger EXTREME - No Fuego

    No Fires in the campground, no smoking on the trails. Observe these rules to protect park resources. No se permite fumar en los senderos, tampoco se permite las fogatas en el campamento. Proteja los recursos del parque y respete las advertencias. More »

  • Fee Increase at Pinnacles National Park

    On August 1, 2014 the 7 day entrance pass for Pinnacles National Park will increase to $10 for passenger vehicles and motorcycles; bicycle and pedestrian entry will increase to $5.00. The Pinnacles Annual Pass will increase on August 1 to $20.00. More »

Butterfly Counts

Participants in the 2006 count

The 2010 Pinnacles Butterfly Count Weekend will be on June 5-6. Join us on Saturday for a ranger-led walk and an evening campfire program. On Sunday, we invite you to participate in our annual butterfly count.

Each year around the first weekend in June, right about at the peak butterfly season, Pinnacles National Monument holds a butterfly count. We spend the day counting all the butterflies we can find within a 15-mile diameter circle centered in the Monument.

The 2009 Pinnacles Butterfly Count tallied 38 species and 2146 individual butterflies. For seven of those species, Pinnacles had the highest number of individuals of any count in the nation. Look at our table of butterfly count results for more information. Thanks to everyone who participated! The information gained from these counts helps to monitor butterfly populations within the monument as well as across the continent. This is one of the many ways that we protect the Natural Resources of Pinnacles National Monument for the enjoyment of many generations to come.

Have you ever seen hundreds of butterflies in a day? Or 25 different kinds of butterflies in a day? We invite beginners and experts alike to join us for the annual butterfly count. Those who know butterflies can lead groups to areas we wouldn’t be able to survey otherwise. Those who don't know butterflies can help by recording data and spotting butterflies for others to identify. We spend the entire day hiking and counting butterflies. It is hard work, both mentally and physically, but ultimately it is rewarding and inspiring. Your participation can make a difference.

You can prepare for the butterfly count by looking at field guides to familiarize yourself with the species listed in the Checklist of Butterflies of Pinnacles National Monument. Although more than 60 species are found here, pay special attention to those that are most common in May and June. And, of course, you can take a visit to Pinnacles to get some practice before the count. If you would like information about participating in future counts, please contact Paul Johnson at e-mail us or (831) 389-4486 ext.271.

Did You Know?

The Five Sisters rock formation, as seen from the Bear Gulch Reservoir

Pinnacles National Park began as a volcanic field that originated about 195 miles south of its present location. It has traveled northward along the San Andreas Fault, and currently moves at a rate of about 3 - 6 centimeters per year.