What a day!
We left our hotel this morning to drive the 2ish hours to Pinnacles National Park. It was fun as we left the city to see the rolling hills. They were lush green and picture perfect! Many had cows on them just munching away their day.
Finally we made it to the park! Pinnacles National Park is the 59th park.
It just became a national park in 2013. Before it was a national monument. We had fun getting a picture by the sign. The landscape was so unique, from green and trees to dry and outcropping rocks. There are lots of hiking trails that you can take, but the most popular one is Bear Gulch Cave Trail that connects with Rim Trail to take you back. This was the one for us! From the bit of reading I had done about it I knew for sure that I wanted to do the cave. I brought my headlamp just for that! The plan was for Dad and I to hike through the cave and then meet Mom and Kristin at the reservoir.
At the visitor center we were warned that there was lots of water in the cave right now. Dad and I prepared to enter. Raincoats on, headlamps on! This is my kind of adventure! It was amazing. Right away we encountered the water on the path. There was a guy trying to jump rock to rock. Dad went first and I guess decided that it wasn’t that deep so he tested his waterproof shoes and walked right across! Too funny! Once in the cave, there was much more water to be found. The water was entering the cave and waterfalls were everywhere. There was the constant sound of rushing water. We had to talk at a louder level just to talk over it. I loved shining my light on a waterfall and watching it glimmer.
At one point we had a split in the path. Out to the path or on to the upper caves. We were told by another couple that it was really flooded at a point so they turned around. I said well let’s give it a try. That is what we did. Even though the water was swiftly moving and we were crunched into silly positions and scared we might get stuck, we kept on. Finally we got to a part that the water looked to be about 8 inches deep and there were no rocks that we could jump to and from. Dad and I were not willing to flood our shoes. We turned off out lights to see if we could seen an opening on the other side and we could just run through, but alas, it was pitch black. No light at all. With a sigh we turned around and headed back the way we came.
Finally we meet up with Mom and Kristin. Kristin is did a fantastic job hiking through wet rocks and very narrow steps. She said she was shaking by the time she got to the top. I’m so proud of her. Mom even said there were nice people who gave a helping hand to them as they made their way.
We had a wonderful day hiking and taking in all of the natural beauty. This is definitely a place I would want to come back to. There is still another trail I want to do (it is a bit more of a challenge than we were up for on this trip)! As for now I will cross this park off my list. Grand total 44/59 National Parks! Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.