Pinnacles in a day

Just before New Year’s Eve, Stephanie and I returned to Pinnacles National Monument to go hiking. We’d previously traveled there on one of our first trips together, and had a great time. Turns out the place really left a mark on Stephanie—she’s wanted to go back ever since.

The park has two entrances that don’t connect (for cars), so you have to decide about an hour away which side you want to enter on. The last time we came in from Soledad on the west side, so this time we drove down from Hollister to enter on the east. Also, last time we got there kind of late in the day, which only gave us time for a short hike. This time we got there early enough to get a significant hike in.

We planned a loop that took us through the Bear Gulch “caves,” up to the High Peaks, and then around back to where we started, about 6 miles in all.

Pinnacles National Monument trail map for the High Peaks

It was also one of the first chances I had to put my new camera through its paces outdoors, including the new wide angle lens my parents got me for Christmas. Unfortunately the low winter sun and morning cloud cover didn’t make for the best light, but I got a few good shots.

Pinnacles National Monument, sign reads: Caution, flashlights required, low ceilings, slippery when wet

Pinnacles National Monument pathway through the rocks

Pinnacles National Monument giant rock suspended above a staircase

Stephanie on a staircase at Pinnacles National Monument

Justin in wide angle at Pinnacles National Monument

View from the High Peaks of Pinnacles National Monument

Justin and Stephanie at Pinnacles National Monument

Here are some cool macro focus shots:

Red streaks in manzanita bark

Colorful lichens

Waterdrops on a leaf

· Outdoors