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Soledad, CA. On Thursday, President Barack Obama signed legislation making Pinnacles National Monument the 59th national park in the United States. This park, located near Soledad, CA, is the closest national park to the Bay Area. It encompasses 27,000 acres in the Gabilan Mountains, east of Salinas Valley. The park is known for its volcanic rock formations that are popular with climbers and the spring wildflowers draw quite a crowd with approximately 343,000 visitors annually. The park is also one of three release sites for the endangered California Condor and is home to 31 closely monitored birds.
The legislation also designates 16,000 acres of wilderness within the park boundaries, which is known as the Hain Wilderness, named after Schuyler Hain, who made efforts to preserve this area in the late 1800's. His efforts led to the designation of the park as a national monument in 1908.
This summer, we will adventure west to California to check out Pinnacles National Park. What national parks will you seek out in 2013?
From the Northeast...Kate and Tracy