Kings Canyon National Park
Kings Canyon National Park is an American national park in the southern Sierra Nevada, in Fresno and Tulare Counties, California. Established in 1890 as General Grant National Park, the park was expanded and renamed to Kings Canyon National Park on March 4, 1940; the park's namesake, Kings Canyon, is a rugged glacier-carved valley more than a mile deep. Other natural features include multiple 14,000-foot peaks, high mountain meadows, swift-flowing rivers, some of the world's largest stands of giant sequoia trees. Kings Canyon is north of and contiguous with Sequoia National Park, the two are jointly administered by the National Park Service as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks; the majority of the 461,901-acre park, drained by the Middle and South Forks of the Kings River and many smaller streams, is designated wilderness. Tourist facilities are concentrated in two areas: Grant Grove, home to General Grant and Cedar Grove, located in the heart of Kings Canyon. Overnight hiking is required to access most of the park's backcountry, or high country, which for much of the year is covered in deep snow.
The combined Pacific Crest Trail/John Muir Trail, a backpacking route, traverses the entire length of the park from north to south. General Grant National Park was created to protect a small area of giant sequoias from logging. Although John Muir's visits brought public attention to the huge wilderness area to the east, it took more than fifty years for the rest of Kings Canyon to be designated a national park. Environmental groups, park visitors and many local politicians wanted to see the area preserved. After President Franklin D. Roosevelt expanded the park in 1940, the fight continued until 1965, when the Cedar Grove and Tehipite Valley dam sites were annexed into the park; as visitation rose post–World War II, further debate took place over whether the park should be developed as a tourist resort, or retained as a more natural environment restricted to simpler recreation such as hiking and camping. The preservation lobby prevailed and today, the park has only limited services and lodgings despite its size.
Due to this and the lack of road access to most of the park, Kings Canyon remains the least visited of the major Sierra parks, with just under 700,000 visitors in 2017 compared to 1.3 million visitors at Sequoia and over 4 million at Yosemite. Kings Canyon National Park, located on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada to the east of the San Joaquin Valley, is divided into two distinct sections; the smaller and older western section centers around Grant Grove – home of many of the park's sequoias – and has most of the visitor facilities. The larger eastern section, which accounts for the majority of the park's area, is entirely wilderness, contains the deep canyons of the Middle and South Forks of the Kings River. Cedar Grove, located at the bottom of the Kings Canyon, is the only part of the park's vast eastern portion accessible by road. Although most of the park is forested, much of the eastern section consists of alpine regions above the tree line. Snow free only from late June until late October, the high country is accessible via foot and horse trails.
The Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness encompasses over 768,000 acres in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, or nearly 90 percent of their combined area. In addition to Sequoia National Park on the south, Kings Canyon is surrounded by multiple national forests and wilderness areas; the Sierra National Forest, Sequoia National Forest and Inyo National Forest border it on the northwest and east, respectively. The John Muir Wilderness wraps around much of the northern half of the park, the Monarch Wilderness preserves much of the area between the park's two sections. Kings Canyon is characterized by some of the steepest vertical relief in North America, with numerous peaks over 14,000 feet on the Sierra Crest along the park's eastern border, falling to 4,500 feet in the valley floor of Cedar Grove just ten miles to the west; the Sierran crest forms the eastern boundary of the park, from Mount Goethe in the north, down to Junction Peak, at the boundary with Sequoia National Park. Several passes cross the crest into the park, including Bishop Pass, Taboose Pass, Sawmill Pass, Kearsarge Pass.
All of these passes are above 11,000 feet in elevation. There are several prominent subranges of the Sierra around the park; the Palisades, along the park's eastern boundary, have four peaks over 14,000 feet including the highest point in the park, 14,248 feet NAVD 88 at the summit of North Palisade. The Great Western Divide extends through the south-central part of the park and has many peaks over 13,000 feet, including Mount Brewer; the Monarch Divide, stretching between the lower Middle and South Forks of the Kings, has some of the most inaccessible terrain in the entire park. In the northwest section of the park are other steep and rugged ranges such as the Goddard Divide, LeConte Divide and Black Divide, all of which are dotted with high mountain lakes and separated by deep chasms. Most of the mountains and canyons, as in other parts of the Sierra Nevada, are formed in igneous intrusive rocks such as granite and monzonite, formed at least 100 million years ago due to subduction along the North American–Pacific Plate boundary.
However, the Sierra itself is a young mountain range, no more than 10 million years old. Huge tectonic forces along the western edge of the Great Basin forced the local crustal block to tilt and uplift, crea
John Augustus Sutter, born Johann August Suter, was a German-born Swiss pioneer of California, with Mexican and American citizenship, known for establishing Sutter's Fort in the area that would become Sacramento, the state's capital. Although he became famous following the discovery of gold by his employee James W. Marshall and the mill making team at Sutter's Mill, Sutter saw his own business ventures fail during the California Gold Rush; those of his elder son, John Augustus Sutter Jr. were more successful. John August Sutter was born on February 23, 1803, in Kandern, Baden and his father came from the nearby town of Rünenberg in Switzerland. Johann went to school in Switzerland. At age 21, he married the daughter of a rich widow, he was more interested in spending money than earning it. Because of family and mounting debts, Johann faced charges. So he ventured to America. In May 1834, he left his wife and five children behind in Burgdorf and with a French passport he boarded the ship Sully which travelled from Le Havre, France, to New York City where it arrived on July 14, 1834.
In North America, John August Sutter undertook extensive travels. Before he went to the U. S. he had learned English in addition to Swiss French. He and 35 Germans moved from the St. Louis area to Santa Fe, New Mexico, a province of Mexico moved to the town of Westport, Oregon Territory. On April 1, 1838, he joined a group of missionaries, led by the fur trapper Andrew Drips, traveled the Oregon Trail to Fort Vancouver in Oregon Territory, which they reached in October. Sutter planned to cross the Siskiyou Mountains during the winter, but acting chief factor James Douglas convinced him that such an attempt would be perilous. Sutter was charged £21 by Douglas to arrange transportation on the British bark Columbia for himself and his eight followers; the Columbia departed Fort Vancouver on November 11 and sailed to the Kingdom of Hawaii, reaching Honolulu on December 9. Sutter had missed the only ship inbound for the Alta California, had to remain in the Kingdom for four months. Over the months Sutter gained friendly relations with the Euro-American community, dining with the Consuls of the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, John Coffin Jones and Richard Charlton along with merchants such as American Faxon Atherton.
The brig Clementine was hired by Sutter to take freight provisions and general merchandise for New Archangel, the capital of the Russian-American Company colonies in Russian America. Joining the crew as unpaid supercargo, Sutter, 10 Native Hawaiians laborers and several other followers embarked on April 20, 1839. Staying at New Archangel for a month, Sutter joined several balls hosted by Governor Kupreyanov, who gave help in determining the course of the Sacramento River; the Clementine sailed for Alta California, arriving on July 1, 1839, at Yerba Buena, which at that time was only a small seaport town. At the time of Sutter's arrival in California, Alta California was a province of Mexico, had a population of only about 1,000 Europeans and an estimated 100,000-700,000 Native Americans. Sutter had to go to the capital at Monterey to obtain permission from the governor, Juan Bautista Alvarado, to settle in the territory. Alvarado saw Sutter's plan of establishing a colony in Central Valley as useful in "buttressing the frontier which he was trying to maintain against Indians, Russians and British."The governor stipulated however that for Sutter to qualify for land ownership, he had to reside in the territory for a year and become a Mexican citizen, which he did on August 29, 1840.
Construction was begun in August 1839 on a fortified settlement which Sutter named New Helvetia, or "New Switzerland," after his homeland, "Helvetia" being the Latin name for Switzerland. Sutter began to identify himself as'Captain Sutter of the Swiss Guard'; when the settlement was completed in 1841, on June 18, he received title to 48,827 acres on the Sacramento River. The site is now part of the California state capital of Sacramento. A Francophile, Sutter threatened to raise the French flag over California and place New Helvetia under French protection, but in 1846 California was occupied by the United States in the Mexican–American War. Sutter at first supported the establishment of an independent California Republic but when United States troops under John C. Frémont seized control of his fort, Sutter did not resist because he was outnumbered. Sutter had to make peace with the local native Maidu people. Over time, the Maidu and Sutter became friends, they helped Sutter and his Kanakas build a fortified settlement.
Sutter called the place New Helvetia or “New Switzerland.” Sutter's Fort had a central building made of adobe bricks, surrounded by a high wall with protection on opposite corners to guard against attack. It had workshops and stores that produced all goods necessary for the New Helvetia settlement. Sutter employed or enslaved Native Americans of the Miwok and Maidu tribes, the Hawaiians he had brought, employed some Europeans at his compound, he envisioned creating an agricultural utopia, for a time the settlement was in fact quite large and prosperous. Prior to the Gold Rush, it was the destination for most immigrants entering California via the high passes of the Sierra Nevada, including the ill-fated Donner Party of 1846, for whose rescue Sutter contributed supplies; some Native Americans worked voluntarily for S
Cabrillo National Monument
Cabrillo National Monument is at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego, United States. It commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542; this event marked the first time a European expedition had set foot on what became the West Coast of the United States. The site was designated as California Historical Landmark #56 in 1932; as with all historical units of the National Park Service, Cabrillo was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. The annual Cabrillo Festival Open House is held on a Sunday each October, it commemorates Cabrillo with a reenactment of his landing at Ballast Point, in San Diego Bay. Other events are held above at the National Monument and include Kumeyaay and Mexican singing and dancing, booths with period and regional food, a historical reenactment of a 16th-century encampment, children's activities; the park offers a view of San Diego's harbor and skyline, as well as Coronado and Naval Air Station North Island.
On clear days, a wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean and Mexico's Coronado Islands are visible. A visitor center has exhibits about the expedition; the Old Point Loma Lighthouse is the highest point in the park and has been a San Diego icon since 1855. The lighthouse was closed in 1891, a new one opened at a lower elevation, because fog and low clouds obscured the light at its location 129 meters above sea level; the old lighthouse is now a museum, visitors may enter it and view some of the living areas. The area encompassed by the national monument includes various former military installations, such as coastal artillery batteries, built to protect the harbor of San Diego from enemy warships. Many of these installations can be seen while walking around the area. A former army building hosts an exhibit; the area near the national monument entrance was used for gliding activities in 1929-1935. Several soaring endurance records were established here by William Hawley Bowlus and others including the first 1-hour flight in a sailplane, a 15-hour flight in 1930 which surpassed the world record for soaring endurance.
Charles Lindbergh soared in a Bowlus sailplane along the cliffs of Point Loma in 1930. Markers for these accomplishments can be found near the entrance, the site is recognized as a National Soaring Landmark by the National Soaring Museum. On October 14, 1913, by presidential proclamation, Woodrow Wilson reserved 0.5 acres of Fort Rosecrans for "The Order of Panama... to construct a heroic statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo." By 1926 no statue had been placed and the Order of Panama was defunct, so Calvin Coolidge authorized the Native Sons of the Golden West to erect a suitable monument, but they were unable to carry out the commission. A major renovation of the half-acre monument was undertaken in 1935. In 1939 the Portuguese government commissioned a heroic statue of Cabrillo and donated it to the United States; the sandstone statue, executed by sculptor Alvaro de Bree, weighs 14,000 pounds. The statue was intended for the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco but arrived too late and was stored in an Oakland, California garage.
Then-State Senator Ed Fletcher managed to obtain the statue in 1940 over the objections of Bay Area officials and shipped it to San Diego. It was stored for several years on the grounds of the Naval Training Center San Diego, out of public view, was installed at Cabrillo Monument in 1949; the sandstone statue suffered severe weathering because of its exposed position and was replaced in 1988 by a replica made of limestone. Cabrillo Monument was off-limits to the public during World War II because the entire south end of the Point Loma Peninsula was reserved for military purposes. Following the war the area of the national monument was enlarged by Presidents Eisenhower and Ford, it includes more than 140 acres. Despite factors such as the toxicity of the San Diego Harbor, over-harvesting of native species, large-scale developments for the 3.1 million residents of the San Diego-Carlsbad Metropolitan Area, the introduction of exotic and harmful species to the area, there is still a vast array of flora and fauna that inhabit the Monument area.
One of the most thriving and diverse animal communities of Cabrillo National Monument is located in the intertidal zone and tide pools. The species that live in the tide pools include coralline algae, true limpets, acorn barnacles, goose neck barnacles, rock louse, sea lettuce, kelp fly, pink thatched barnacles, encrusting algae, mussels, dead man's fingers, sea bubbles, unicorn snail, Tegula top snails, aggregating anemone, sandcastle worms, hermit crabs, wavy turban snails, keyhole limpet, brittle star, surfgrass limpet, kelp crab, sea hare, bat star, knobby blue star, sea urchin, sargassum weed, feather boa kelp, chestnut cowry, sea palm, ruddy turnstone, lined shore crab; the Monument advises that the best time to see the tide pools is in the late fall or winter, when tides are rated at negative one or lower during daylight hours. In the winter (December
Sutter's Mill was a sawmill, owned by 19th-century pioneer John Sutter, where gold was found, setting off the California Gold Rush, a major event of the history of the United States. It was located on the bank of the South Fork American River in Coloma, California and is nowadays part of the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. On January 24 1848, James Wilson Marshall, a carpenter from New Jersey, found flakes of gold in the American River at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Coloma, California. At the time, Marshall was working to build a water-powered sawmill owned by John Sutter. On February 2, 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in Mexico City which transferred the American Southwest to the United States; when the news got out about the gold, people from all over the world headed for California, speeding statehood and permanently transforming the territory. During the next seven years 300,000 people came to California to seek their fortunes from either mining for gold or selling supplies like food, burros, lumber and shovels to the prospectors.
Henry Bigler and Azariah Smith, like other workers at the mill, were veterans of the Mormon Battalion, wrote about their experience in journals. Bigler recorded January 24, 1848, in his diary; this gold find. The discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill caused a large mass of migration to California. After the finding of gold California changed going from 14,000 non-natives to an estimated 85,000 newcomers to California in just a year. Many from the eastern states dropped everything they were doing to head West in hopes of becoming rich. There was significant mass immigration of fortune-seekers from many countries. 60,000 Chinese immigrants, 7,000 Mexicans, tens of thousands from many other countries. There were 81,000 newcomers in 1849 and another 91,000 in 1850. Many died from turf wars over mine claims and diseases that broke in the towns as there was not good sanitation. Small villages and towns had turned into bustling cities with all kinds of people. Towns were popping up overnight all over California starting in 1849 into the early 50's.
The infrastructure for the number of people that had come was not there. These towns lacked sewerage, fire departments. Fires wiped out whole towns; the gold rush attracted immigrants from all over the world, who brought with them their unique culture and values. These immigrants formed communities throughout California, added to the rich fabric that makes up the state; the site of the mill is located on the South Fork American River. Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is registered as California Historical Landmark number 530; the current Sutter's Mill is a replica of the original building. It was built based on an early day photo of the mill; the mill was the inspiration for a song by singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg. The mill was the namesake for a song by the New Riders of the Purple Sage, for Herb Sutter's blog; the original flake of gold discovered at the mill is at the Smithsonian Institution. Sutter's Fort California gold coinage Sutter's Mill meteorite Discovery of Gold, by John A. Sutter, Hutchings’ California Magazine, November 1857.
Sutter describes how Marshall told him of the gold. Early photographs and textual references to Sutter's Mill, via Calisphere, California Digital Library. Official site
Phase I environmental site assessment
In the United States, an environmental site assessment is a report prepared for a real estate holding that identifies potential or existing environmental contamination liabilities. The analysis called an ESA addresses both the underlying land as well as physical improvements to the property. A proportion of contaminated sites are "brownfield sites." In severe cases, brownfield sites may be added to the National Priorities List where they will be subject to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund program; the actual sampling of soil, groundwater and/or building materials is not conducted during a Phase I ESA. The Phase I ESA is considered the first step in the process of environmental due diligence. Standards for performing a Phase I site assessment have been promulgated by the US EPA and are based in part on ASTM in Standard E1527-13. If a site is considered contaminated, a Phase II environmental site assessment may be conducted, ASTM test E1903, a more detailed investigation involving chemical analysis for hazardous substances and/or petroleum hydrocarbons.
As early as the 1970s specific property purchasers in the United States undertook studies resembling current Phase I ESAs, to assess risks of ownership of commercial properties which had a high degree of risk from prior toxic chemical use or disposal. Many times these studies were preparatory to understanding the nature of cleanup costs if the property was being considered for redevelopment or change of land use. In the United States of America demand increased for this type of study in the 1980s following judicial decisions related to liability of property owners to effect site cleanup. Interpreting the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Liability Act of 1980, the U. S. courts have held that a buyer, lessor, or lender may be held responsible for remediation of hazardous substance residues if a prior owner caused the contamination. In 1998 the necessity of performing a Phase I ESA was underscored by congressional action in passing the Superfund Cleanup Acceleration Act of 1998; this act requires purchasers of commercial property to perform a Phase I study meeting the specific standard of ASTM E1527: Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process.
The most recent standard is "Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries" 40 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 312 which drew from ASTM E1527-13, the ASTM Standard for conducting'All Appropriate Inquiry' for the environmental assessment of a real property. Previous guidances regarding the ASTM E1527 standard were ASTM E1527-97, ASTM E1527-00, ASTM E1527-05. Residential property purchasers need only conduct a site chain of title survey. A variety of reasons for a Phase I study to be performed exist, the most common being: Purchase of real property by a person or entity not on title. Contemplation by a new lender to provide a loan on the subject real estate. Partnership buyout or principal redistribution of ownership. Application to a public agency for change of use or other discretionary land use permit. Existing property owner's desire to understand toxic history of the property. Compulsion by a regulatory agency who suspects toxic conditions on the site. Divestiture of properties Scrutiny of the land includes examination of potential soil contamination, groundwater quality, surface water quality and sometimes issues related to hazardous substance uptake by biota.
The examination of a site may include: definition of any chemical residues within structures. Depending upon precise protocols utilized, there are a number of variations in the scope of a Phase I study; the tasks listed here are common to all Phase I ESAs: Performance of an on-site visit to view present conditions. Evaluation of risks of neighboring properties upon the subject property Review of Federal, State and Tribal Records out to distances specified by the ASTM 1528 and AAI Standards Interview of persons knowledgeable regarding the property history. Examine municipal or county planning files to check prior land usage and permits granted Conduct file searches with public agencies having oversight relative to water quality and soil contamination issues. Examine historical aerial photography of the vicinity. Examine current USGS maps to scrutinize drainage patterns and topography. Examine chain-of-title for Land Use Limitations. In most cases, the public file searches, historical research and chain-of-title examinations are outsourced to information services that specialize in such activities.
Non-Scope Items in a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment can include visual inspections or records review searches for: Asbestos Containing Building Materials Lead-Based Paint Lead in Drinking Water Mold Radon Wetlands Threatened and Endangered Species Mercury poisoning Debris flow Earthquake Hazard Vapor intrusion Often a multi-disciplinary
Sacramento is the capital city of the U. S. state of California and the seat of Sacramento County. Located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in Northern California's Sacramento Valley, Sacramento's estimated 2018 population of 501,334 makes it the sixth-largest city in California and the ninth largest capital in the United States. Sacramento is the seat of the California Assembly, the Governor of California, Supreme Court of California, making it the state's political center and a hub for lobbying and think tanks. Sacramento is the cultural and economic core of the Sacramento metropolitan area, which had 2010 population of 2,414,783, making it the fifth largest in California. Sacramento is the fastest-growing major city in California, owing to its status as a notable financial center on the West Coast and as a major educational hub, home of Sacramento State University and University of California, Davis. Sacramento is a major center for the California healthcare industry, as the seat of Sutter Health, the world-renowned UC Davis Medical Center, the UC Davis School of Medicine, notable tourist destination in California, as the site of The California Museum, the Crocker Art Museum, California Hall of Fame, the California State Capitol Museum, the Old Sacramento State Historic Park.
Sacramento is known for its evolving contemporary culture, dubbed the most "hipster city" in California. In 2002, the Harvard University Civil Rights Project conducted for Time magazine named Sacramento "America's Most Diverse City". Before the arrival of the Spanish, the area was inhabited by the Nisenan people indigenous peoples of California. Spanish cavalryman Gabriel Moraga surveyed and named the Rio del Santísimo Sacramento in 1808, after the Blessed Sacrament, referring to the Eucharist in the Catholic Church. In 1839, Juan Bautista Alvarado, Mexican governor of Alta California granted the responsibility of colonizing the Sacramento Valley to Swiss-born, Mexican citizen John Augustus Sutter, who subsequently established Sutter's Fort and the settlement at the Rancho Nueva Helvetia. Following the American Conquest of California and the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, the waterfront developed by Sutter began to be developed and incorporated in 1850 as the City of Sacramento; as a result of the California Gold Rush, Sacramento became a major commercial center and distribution point for Northern California, serving as the terminus for the Pony Express and the First Transcontinental Railroad.
Nisenan and Plains Miwok Native Americans had lived in the area for thousands of years. Unlike the settlers who would make Sacramento their home, these Native Americans left little evidence of their existence. Traditionally, their diet was dominated by acorns taken from the plentiful oak trees in the region, by fruits, bulbs and roots gathered throughout the year. In 1808, the Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga discovered and named the Sacramento Valley and the Sacramento River. A Spanish writer with the Moraga expedition wrote: "Canopies of oaks and cottonwoods, many festooned with grapevines, overhung both sides of the blue current. Birds chattered in the trees and big fish darted through the pellucid depths; the air was like champagne, drank deep of it, drank in the beauty around them. "¡Es como el sagrado sacramento!" The valley and the river were christened after the "Most Holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ", referring to the Catholic sacrament of the Eucharist. John Sutter Sr. first arrived in the area on August 13, 1839, at the divergence of the American and Sacramento Rivers with a Mexican land grant of 50,000 acres.
The next year, he and his party established Sutter's Fort, a massive adobe structure with walls eighteen feet high and three feet thick. Representing Mexico, Sutter Sr. called his colony New Helvetia, a Swiss inspired name, was the political authority and dispenser of justice in the new settlement. Soon, the colony began to grow as more pioneers headed west. Within just a few short years, Sutter Sr. had become a grand success, owning a ten-acre orchard and a herd of thirteen thousand cattle. Fort Sutter became a regular stop for the increasing number of immigrants coming through the valley. In 1847 Sutter Sr. received 2,000 fruit trees, which started the agriculture industry in the Sacramento Valley. That same year, Sutter Sr. hired James Marshall to build a sawmill so that he could continue to expand his empire, unbeknownst to many, Sutter Sr.'s "empire" had been built on some thin margins of credit. In 1848, when gold was discovered by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, a large number of gold-seekers came to the area, increasing the population.
In August 1848 Sutter Sr.'s son, John Sutter Jr. arrived in the area to assist his father in relieving his indebtedness. Now compounding the problem of his father's indebtedness, was the additional strain placed on the Sutters by the ongoing arrival of thousands of new gold miners and prospectors in the area, many quite content to squat on unwatched portions of the vast Sutter lands, or to abscond with various unattended Sutter properties or belongings if they could. In Sutter's case, rather than being a'boon' for Sutter, his employee's discovery of gold in the area turned out to be more of a personal'bane' for him. By December 1848, John Sutter Jr. in association with Sam Brannan, began laying out the City of Sacramento, 2 miles south of his father's settlement of New Helvetia. This venture was undertaken against the wishes of Sutter Sr. however the father, being in debt, was in no position to stop the venture. For
Pinnacles National Park
Pinnacles National Park is an American national park protecting a mountainous area located east of the Salinas Valley in Central California, about five miles east of Soledad and 80 miles southeast of San Jose. The park's namesakes are the eroded leftovers of 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. Pinnacles is managed by the National Park Service and the majority of the park is protected as wilderness; the national park is divided by the rock formations into East and West Divisions, connected by foot trails. The east side has shade and water, the west has high walls; the rock formations provide for spectacular pinnacles. The park features unusual talus caves. Pinnacles is most visited in spring or fall because of the intense heat during the summer. Park lands are prime habitat for prairie falcons, are a release site for California condors that have been hatched in captivity.
Pinnacles was established as a national monument in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt, was redesignated as a national park by Congressional legislation in 2012, signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 10, 2013. Native Americans in the Pinnacles region comprised the Chalon and Mutsun groups of the Ohlone people, who left stone artifacts in the park; these native people declined with the arrival of the Spanish in the 18th century, who brought novel diseases and changes to the natives' way of life. The establishment of a Spanish mission at Soledad hastened the area's native depopulation through disease and dispersion. Archaeological surveys have found 13 sites inhabited by Native Americans, 12 of which antedate the establishment of the missions. One site is believed to be about 2000 years old; the last Chalon had died or departed from the area by 1810. From 1810 to 1865, when the first Anglo-American settlers arrived, the Pinnacles region was a wilderness without human use or habitation.
By the 1880s the Pinnacles known as the Palisades, were visited by picnickers from the surrounding communities who would explore the caves and camp. The first account of the Pinnacles region appeared in print in 1881. Between 1889 and 1891, newspaper articles shifted from describing excursions to the "Palisades" to calling them the "Pinnacles". Interest in the area rose to the point that the Hollister Free Lance sent a reporter to the Pinnacles, followed two months by a party of local officials. Investors came from San Francisco to consider placing a resort hotel there, but the speculation came to nothing. In 1894, a post office was established in Bear Valley. Schuyler Hain was the postmaster. Since at least one other Bear Valley was in California, the post office was named "Cook" after Mrs. Hain's maiden name. In 1924, the post office was renamed "Pinnacles". Schuyler Hain was a homesteader who arrived in the Pinnacles area in 1891 from Michigan, following his parents and eight siblings to Bear Valley.
His cousin, A. W. White, was a student at Stanford University, White brought G. K. Gilbert, one of his professors, to see the Pinnacles in 1893. Dr. Gilbert was impressed by the scenery, his comments inspired Hain to publicize the region. Hain led tours through the caves, advocating the preservation of the Pinnacles. Hain's efforts resulted in a 1904 visit by Stanford president David Starr Jordan, who contacted Fresno Congressman James C. Needham. Jordan and Needham, in turn, influenced Gifford Pinchot to advocate the establishment of the Pinnacles Forest Reserve to President Theodore Roosevelt, who proclaimed the establishment on July 8, 1906. Pinchot, interested in the management of forests for productive use rather than for preservation, advocated the use of the passed Antiquities Act to designate the scenic core of the area as Pinnacles National Monument, done by Roosevelt on January 16, 1908; this designation nominally passed control of the Pinnacles from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of the Interior, but the U.
S. Forest Service retained effective control of the area until circa 1911. In his efforts to promote the Pinnacles, Hain became convinced that the Pinnacles were an "extraordinary mountain" described by Captain George Vancouver and pictured by John Sykes in his book Voyage of Discovery, which documented the Vancouver Expedition. Hain began to refer to the mountain as "Vancouver's Pinnacles", a term, picked up by Sunset in a 1903 article. References to "Vancouver's Pinnacles" persisted until 1955, when analysis of the Sykes picture indicated that the mountain described by Vancouver was located near Fort Ord, within easy reach of the day trip described by Vancouver. First set aside as part of the Pinnacles Forest Reserve in 1906, Pinnacles has had several different federal management agencies, ranging from the U. S. Forest Service to the General Land Office and to the National Park Service. In 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt created Pinnacles National Monument with the power given him in the Antiquities Act of 1906.
The initial area designated under the Antiquities Act was 2,080 acres. The Forest Service relinquished control of the monument circa 1911, but no operating agency yet existed to receive it. No drivable roads existed into the park from communities like Hollister. Hollister boosters campaigned for federal funds for road-building. Congressman Everis A. Hayes made a trip into the Pinnacles in 1913 as part of the campaign for road funds. By 1914, primitive roads extended to Bear Valley; the National Park Service was fina