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Pinnacles National Park Celebrates it’s 5th Annversary

Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park, located east of the Salinas Valley in Central California, protects the western half of an extinct volcano that has moved 200 miles from its original location on the San Andreas Fault, embedded in a portion of the California Pacific Coast Ranges. Some 23 million years ago multiple volcanoes erupted, flowed, and slid to form what would become Pinnacles National Park. What remains is a unique landscape.

Pinnacles National Monument was established in 1908 by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and was created from the former Pinnacles National Monument by legislation passed by Congress in late 2012 and signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 10, 2013.

Pinnacles has a lot of interesting terrain — boulder-covered caves, towering rock spires, massive monoliths and sheer-walled canyons. And Pinnacles National Park has some interesting creatures, too, including California Condors, bats and tarantulas! The park’s unusual talus caves house at least thirteen species of bat and park lands are prime habitat for prairie falcons, golden eagles and are a release site for California condors that have been hatched in captivity.

Travelers journey through chaparral, oak woodlands, and canyon bottoms. Hikers enter rare talus caves and emerge to towering rock spires teeming with life. Pinnacles National Park offers a variety of climbing routes that range from easy top ropes to the multi-pitch climbs along Machete Ridge. The majority of routes here involve steep, bolt protected face climbing.

To celebrate, you can save 25% OFF by using coupon code SAVE25 when you check out!

You can see the new Pinnacles National Park Poster here:

And see all of the posters at:

Remember to use Coupon Code: SAVE25 at checkout to save 25% OFF your entire order!

From the Pinnacles National Park web site…

Volunteering is a great way to support Pinnacles National Park and spend time in one of the nation’s most breathtaking national parks. Volunteer opportunities include habitat restoration projects, condor monitoring, nature center assistant, artist residencies, and more.

Short-term, recurring, individual, or group volunteer opportunities are available, and all serve vital roles in protecting the unique resources of Pinnacles National Park.

If you’re interested in volunteering, but don’t see a position listed here that would be a good fit, feel free to drop us a line or call Pinnacles Volunteer Staff at (831)389-4486 ext 242.

Current Volunteer Opportunities

Nature Center Assistant (Pinnacles National Park – CA)
Conservation Education, Tour Guide/Interpretation, Visitor Information, General Assistance

California Condor Monitoring Assistants-LOCAL (Pinnacles National Park – CA)
Computers, Conservation Education, Visitor Information, Fish/Wildlife, Science, Back Country/Wilderness

Ranger Corps Intern (Pinnacles National Park – CA)
Trail/Campground Maintenance, Tour Guide/Interpretation, Visitor Information, Back Country/Wilderness, General Assistance

MLK Jr. Day Service Project (Pinnacles National Park – CA)
Botany, Conservation Education, Historical Preservation, Trail/Campground Maintenance, Weed/Invasive Species Control

Habitat Restoration Intern (Pinnacles National Park – CA)
Botany, Science, Weed/Invasive Species Control

Pinnacles Monthly DAYS OF SERVICE (Pinnacles National Park – CA)
Trail/Campground Maintenance, Science, General Assistance, Weed/Invasive Species Control, Other

Trails Intern (Pinnacles National Park – CA)
Construction/Maintenance, Trail/Campground Maintenance, Science, Back Country/Wilderness

To view more NPS volunteer opportunities, go to or

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Wind Cave National Park Celebrate’s its 115th Birthday

Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park is one of the oldest parks in the National Park system, and was established on January 9th, 1903. It was the first park created to protect a cave anywhere in the world.

Known for its displays of the calcite formation called boxwork, some 95 percent of the world’s discovered boxwork formations are found in Wind Cave. Considered a three-dimensional maze cave, it is recognized as the densest — most passage volume per cubic mile — cave system in the world. The cave is currently the sixth-longest in the world with 140.47 miles (226.06 km) of explored cave passageways, with an average of four new miles of cave being discovered each year. Above ground, the park includes rolling hills, pine forests and the largest remaining natural mixed-grass prairie in the United States.

Wind Cave Boxwork Formation

The Lakota, Cheyenne, and other Native American tribes had known about the opening to Wind Cave and the winds that move in and out of it for centuries. The indigenous people who lived in the Black Hills region of South Dakota, spoke of a hole that blew air, a place they consider sacred as the site where they first emerged from the underworld.

Wind Cave Natural Entrance

Typically, air continually moves into or out of a cave, equalizing the atmospheric pressure of the cave and the outside air. When the air pressure is higher outside the cave than in it, air flows into the cave, raising cave’s pressure to match the outside pressure. When the air pressure inside the cave is higher than outside it, air flows out of it, lowering the air pressure within the cave. Wind Cave, with only a few small openings “breathes” more obviously than a small cave with many large openings. Rapid weather changes, accompanied by rapid barometric changes, are a feature of Western South Dakota weather.

Wind Cave Prairie

Wind Cave National Park protects a diverse ecosystem with eastern and western plant and animal species. Some of the more notable animals include elk, bison, black-footed ferrets, pronghorn and prairie dogs. The Wind Cave bison herd is one of only four free-roaming and genetically pure herds on public lands in North America. The other three herds are the Yellowstone Park bison herd, the Henry Mountains bison herd in Utah and on Elk Island in Alberta, Canada.

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