Take a Hike -- Pinnacles National Monument, San Benito County, CA
Located about a 2-hour drive south of the mid-Peninsula and Silicon Valley, the Pinnacles National Monument makes a wonderful destination for hiking, exploring, and finding peace away from the hustle and bustle of our urban area.
Unlike the cool redwood forests typical of the Santa Cruz mountains, and our nearby grassy oak-studded coastal hills, the Pinnacles is inland, East of Highway 101, West of Highway 152. It is an arid land, with amazing rock formations so rugged that the road dead ends on either side of the park--it's not a long hike from one side to the other, but no road goes through. During the 1930's trails were put in heading to the tops of the Pinnacles, with tunnels blasted through the rock and guard rails heading up steps.
The Pinnacles National Monument is an exciting place to visit, for experienced hikers wanting a challenge, technical rock climbers honing their skills, and families with children who love scrambling through dark caves and over boulders. Bird watchers, too, are fascinated here, with a chance to see the rare California Condors, birds with wing spans up to 9' long. There's no mistaking a condor for anything else!
Best enjoyed in Spring and Fall, The Pinnacles National Monument is very hot in the summer. Think about setting aside a day soon for a nice ride and a great adventure.