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Aztec Ruins

Capulin Mountain

Casa Grande

Chaco Canyon


Craters of the Moon

Devils Tower


El Morro

Fossil Cycad

George Washington Birthplace

Glacier Bay

Gran Quivira



Lewis and Clark Cavern

Montezuma Castle

Muir Woods

Natural Bridges


Petrified Forest


Pipe Spring

Rainbow Bridge

Scotts Bluff

Shoshone Cavern





Yucca House

Glimpses of Our
National Monuments


Pinnacles National Monument.
Photo by H. C. Ryker.

The spires, domes, caves, and subterranean passages of this extraordinary area of California are awe inspiring and are well worth a visit by tourists and lovers of nature in its primitive state.

The name is derived from the spirelike forms developed from rocks of volcanic origin which rise from 600 to 1,000 feet above the floors of its several canyons. They form a landmark visible many miles in every direction. Many of the rocks are so precipitous that they can not be scaled. A series of caves, opening one into the other, lies under each of the groups of rocks. These have been connected by trails with other vantage points so that the visitor may now get a comprehensive view of the monument.

The wild life on the reservation is not only protected by Federal authority but by special State laws, having been also created a State game preserve in 1909. Aside from its geological and scenic interest, it is important as one of the last strongholds and breeding places of the California condor, the largest and one of the most characteristic birds of the State. The other bird life is abundant, due to the protection given. A species of black-tailed deer, first described by Dr. C. Hart Merriam in 1898, is often seen in bands of 50 or more.

There are now 2,980 acres in the monument, which was first set aside January 16, 1908, and subsequently added to in 1923 and 1924. The original reservation embraced a patented tract of 160 acres at the extreme northern end of the monument, the owners of which, having improved it for camping purposes, charge each person entering thereon a fee of 50 cents. The Department of the Interior desires it to be known that, while some of the natural formations are on this privately owned tract, the main scenic attractions of the area are a considerable distance away, and it is not necessary for visitors to cross any private lands where fees may be exacted by the owners in order to view the Pinnacles National Monument. No fee is charged visitors entering the monument lands, and camping space is available without charge.

The monument is reached from Hollister or King City and is about 35 miles distant from either town. In each case the road is macadam for the first 31 miles, then 3 miles of good dirt road. The last mile is under control, machines entering during the first 20 minutes of each hour.

The main entrance is through Bear Gulch, a beautiful canyon with a stream of water. There are two systems of trails within the monument, one through the caves, the other to the highest pinnacles.

The services of authorized guides, under the direction of Ranger Z. N. Marcott, are available for parties desiring to make the many interesting trail trips into the monument.

W. I. Hawkins, of Hollister, Calif., is custodian of the Pinnacles National Monument.


Last Modified: Thurs, Oct 19 2000 10:00:00 pm PDT

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