Blow the dust off winter with blooms gone wild, bike trips, gushing falls, and more
Part of the “wow” moment of rolling up at Pinnacles National Park, about two hours south of San Francisco, is the unexpected contrast. One minute you’re on a grassy country road, then suddenly: a shambling sky-high rock castle. In January 2013, Congress upgraded Pinnacles from national monument to national park, in part because of the park’s condor recovery program and the talus caves and rock spires that beckon climbers. From March into May, poppies and purple bush lupine create a colorful backdrop for hikers and bird-watchers who ascend the spires for views that stretch forever.