• Big-berry manzanita and the skyline of the high peaks greet visitors who explore the steep and narrow portion of the High Peaks trail. NPS Photo|Sierra Willoughby

    Pinnacles

    National Park California

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  • CAUTION: Trail Work and Horses Present on Juniper Canyon and Tunnel Trails

    Do not run or make loud noises near working horses. Only approach horses if directed to do so by trail work staff. If Horses are Approaching, find a safe place to step uphill and off the trail. Do not approach horses from behind (April 21 - 25)

Environmental Factors

An image of green grass and rock formations.

A view from the High Peaks in winter.

Photo by Glen Tao.

Geologic forces have created the landscape of Pinnacles, but a climate of hot dry summers and winter rains has also shaped the terrain. The vegetation of the park transforms each year as the rain stops and temperatures climb; hillsides go from vibrant green to golden brown within days. Many of the chaparral plants thrive when fires burn through to make room for new growth. Streams that are dry throughout the summer can flood during the winter and spring rains.

Non-native species and development have also had an impact on the Park. Exotic species of both plants and animals have threatened the native vegetation and wildlife. Roads and trails have created erosion and affected sensitive riparian areas. Park managers are working to limit the damage caused by these factors.

Did You Know?

Juan Bautista de Anza NHS logo

The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail runs 1200 miles from Arizona to central California, passing close to Pinnacles National Park at the town of San Juan Bautista. Explore the trail by foot, or view the Anza Trail Guide online for more information. More...