Cali Lovin’: Pinnacles National Park

Over the Fourth of July weekend, my friends and I explored some of the lovely nature that California had to offer.

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Bear Gulch Reservoir

The first stop on our trip was to Pinnacles National Park. Pinnacles National Park is one of the less well-known national parks located in Central California. It was established as a national monument by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1908 and signed into law as a national park by President Obama in 2013. It is also known for its efforts to protect and conserve the California condor population, although we sadly didn’t spot one. 

After talking with some friendly park rangers, we took the Bear Gulch Cave Trail and Moses Spring Trail to the Bear Gulch Reservoir. I definitely recommend this trail as it is fairly easy (about 1.5 miles) with little changes in elevation. We felt like Indiana Jones, going through caves and exploring different terrains from forest-like areas to huge boulders in desert-like areas. And the payoff is amazing! We ended up just chilling by the reservoir for over an hour, taking pictures and enjoy the view.

On the way down the trail, we bumped into one of our friends we were supposed to meet up. Is that serendipity or what? We decided to tackle the High Peaks Trail to Scout Peak.  This trek was a bit more rigorous with steep inclines and longer length, especially as we didn’t plan for it – we did not have enough water or snacks for this portion! (Please don’t attempt hiking without enough water – it was extremely hot and many people get heat exhaustion or heat stroke from being underprepared.) Once again, the view was breathtaking (although our breaths were literally taken away from the hike itself haha!).

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View from Scout Peak. Makes you think about just how vast the world is and your problems disappear! 

This trip came at a much needed time for me. Time and time again, nature supports me, reminding me of the wonders of the world, wrapping me in awe. My worries seem insignificant whenever I am surrounded by mother nature, inhaling the pollution-free air. I would highly recommend this national park for nature lovers for its cool rock formations, a chance to see condors, and the fairly clean campgrounds. (Please note that at the time of our trip, campfires were prohibited due to the danger of wildfires.)

Does the great outdoors bring you all the same joy? If so, where? I’m always open for suggestions about the next places I should explore!

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