Balconies Cave is CLOSED
Due to recent rains and high water, the entrance gates to the Balconies Cave is closed. Hikers may bypass the cave area using the Balconies Cliff Trail. The Bear Gulch Cave on the east side of the park fully open. 3/3/2014
Bear Gulch Cave is OPEN!
Park biologists went up to Bear Gulch Cave this morning and found that the Townsend's Big Eared Bat colony has dispersed. The Bear Gulch Cave is fully open. 3/3/2014 More »
Condor Release Events
2009 Condor Release
Join us as we attempt to release up to two California condors for their first flight into the wild.
In park transportation arrangements can be made for people with mobility impairments. Please call ahead.
Daniel cressman/The Pinnacle
2007 CONDOR RELEASE RECAP
Over 400 people made the journey to Pinnacles National Monument to attend this year's condor release event. A special viewing area within sight of the condor flight pen was opened up so that people could watch the condors join the free-flying flock of Pinnacles condors. Unfortunately, the juveniles that were candidates for release didn't cooperate, and no birds ended up leaving the flight pen.
Several of the free-flying Pinnacles condors were flying near the viewing area, though, which gave everyone a chance to see these endangered birds.
During a release, juvenile condors leave the flight pen by entering a double door trap. Once they decide to enter the trap, the inside door is closed and the door to the outside is opened. This minimizes human interaction with the birds, but makes the release events unpredictable.
Photo by Daniel Cressman/The Pinnacle
Biologists had placed carcasses in the double door trap early on the morning of the release to entice the birds to enter it. Although many of the birds entered the trap in the early morning, none ventured back in later on when the release event was underway.
Over the next week or two, biologists will release the five juvenile condors that are living in the flight pen. The viewing area is now closed to the public.
We'd like to thank everyone who joined us for the release event. We appreciate your continuing support of the Pinnacles condors and the Condor Recovery Program.
Did You Know?
National monuments are created by a presidential proclamation, and national parks are set aside by acts of Congress. Other units of the National Park System include recreation areas, seashores, national historic sites, and memorials.