• 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)

Water Quality

Good water quality is important for the plants and animals of the riparian community. Fish, aquatic insects, amphibians, and perhaps endangered species could easily be affected by poor water quality. High bacteria counts have been observed in the Park. In 1972, E. coli counts as high as 16,000 ppm contributed to a die off of several mammal species. The US Public Health Service identified the culprit as infection due to the bacterium genus Arizona (closely related to genus Salmonella).

Riparian areas are the most heavily used by visitors and are where most structures are located. Human impact such as littering and human waste can adversely affect long reaches of stream. Routine limnological surveys of the Park’s surface waters are one potential monitoring solution. Aquatic insects and amphibians may also be utilized as indicator species of overall surface water quality.

Domestic Water Supply
Good water quality is also important for visitor and resident safety. The east side headquarters and residence area is serviced by a well that taps the valley alluvium near the east entrance. That source is reliable and recently replaced a well near the old Chalone Creek campground. The west side offices and residences are serviced by a deep artesian well that requires no pumping. Those sources are treated regularly to guard against public health threats. An analysis of an east side well in 1959 yielded chemical data on a domestic water well. That data showed that the water had a pH of 6.7, moderate hardness, specific conductance was 407, and contained 280 ppm of dissolved solids.

 

Did You Know?

Pinnacles bee photo by Keir Morse

Pinnacles National Park has the greatest number of bee species per unit area of any place ever studied. The roughly 400 bee species are mostly solitary; they don't live in hives.