4 comments on “Recalling My Pinnacles Condor Encounter

  1. Great post. I went to Pinnacles for a short hike last summer and can’t wait to get back to explore more. I am curious, why do you think it should have remained a National Monument instead of a National Park?

    • If you go back, really try to go in March or April. That is when the park is at its best. Everything is green, there are lots of wildflowers and the creeks are running. A lot of other places in the region you would want to go to are also at there best then.

      With regards to my position on the park/monument issue, it is 100% not a knock on Pinnacles but rather a desire for consistency and mystique of the parks. Historically, national parks have been places of vast or very concentrated beauty (or both). I mean places like Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, or Mesa Verde, Badlands, Bryce Canyon. The former are vast while the latter are very concentrated.

      In contrast, monuments (with major exceptions) have tended to be smaller in scale but still preserving important and very beautiful areas. This is places like Cedar Breaks, Craters of the Moon, Natural Bridges etc.

      I think that Pinnacles fits better into this second category. It is absolutely worth preserving and is an excellent part of the National Park System but doesn’t rise to the same level as the big parks.

      There has been a trend the last few years of elevating places to park status that really should be left with their prior designation. Pinnacles, Indiana Dunes and White Sands are examples of this. Those places, while great, just don’t rise to the same level as the parks. Indian Dunes, in particular, is egregious. With only four national lakeshores, it went from a distinguished category to the bottom of the heap, with little to recommend it compared to just about every other national park. If any of the national lakeshores deserved park status, it is Pictured Rocks.

      I see this trend being political more than anything else. It is a sop to politicians on both sides of the aisle.

      That’s probably more discussion than you may have wanted but it is something I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about. I know. I am weird!

      • Haha, I kinda figured this was your reasoning and I definitely agree on some level. I do plan to re-visit Pinnacles in the springtime. Summer gets brutally hot! Also, booked my first time ever for Big Bend this October. Can’t believe I’ve never been, but I’m remedying that.

      • That’s awesome. Big Bend is a fantastic park and the South Rim is one of the best trails in Texas. Have a great time! I keep hoping to get my family out there some fall but never seem to make it past Arizona and New Mexico. Even so, my favorite part of Texas is the Caprock and will likely get the family there first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s