More Pinnacles: Condor Gulch to High Peaks Trail

I woke up to freezing temperatures in the Pinnacles yesterday. Light rains from the night before had turned to ice. My poor car that rarely leaves the coast looked like a frosty Christmas decoration. I did not start a campfire. I started my day hike instead.


Cold mist dissolved quickly into cold air that lingered all day.


Going uphill you don't notice it tho'.



I believe this is some variety of Eriogonum fasciulatus, resplendent in winter red? Elsewhere I saw larger specimens in the deepest ruddy hues.




I suspect there's a lot of splitting and nomenclutter in manzanita taxonomy, and I am no expert. But for obvious reasons, I will venture to call this one Arctostaphylos glauca. I believe the greater Bay Area its northern-most range, which then fans out over the whole of southern California.


California gray pine (Pinus sabiniana) is the only conifer in the Pinnacles.


Pinus sabiniana



Before this trip, I had not seen the Pinnacles in 30 years. My dad took me here several times when I was young. It seems strange that I remember so little of it considering that when I returned Point Lobos after the same number of years, I remembered it all.




You'd think it would have left a bigger impression. But maybe he took me to different parts of the park back then.








Anonymous said...

Wow, I love these pics, and the arduous hiking they represent.
Mimi (friend of Jencjoyous)

ryan said...

Pinnacles is great. Interesting that you don't remember it. It's exactly the kind of place I liked when I was a kid, big rocks and weird caves. So strange to think it's so close to the Bay Area.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Thanks for sharing your Pinnacles pictures. I've wondered what it looks like in early winter, since we've only been March (post-snow) to June (already very hot). Did your camp get visited by raccoons? http://natureid.blogspot.com/2011/06/habitat-061011-pinnacles-national.html

Les said...

This looks like a great place to hike and camp. Were you by yourself? Before my son was born I would solo camp (my wife only goes outside to get to her car). It was good to be by myself (except for the dog) for several days, but at night it was a little disturbing hearing all the beasties in the forest.

chuck b. said...

Les: Yeah, I went alone. Guy goes outside, but he does not camp. The only animals I heard at night were birds, specifically quail, who seemed to be very busy around my campsite. It was cute.

Katie, I did not see raccoons, but as I was leaving I saw a coyote!

Ryan, yeah I liked it when I was a kid too. Mostly I remember it was always really hot when we were there.

Thank you Mimi.

rainymountain said...

Oooops, I didn't realise that there was an earlier part to the Pinnacles visit when I asked whether the rocks were volcanic in origin.