Steep rocky crags and towering cliffs rise out of the Gabilan Mountains east of Salinas Valley in Central California. Called Pinnacles National Monument, the landscape was formed as wind, water, and earthquakes carved away a 23-million-year-old volcano. The region was set aside as a National Monument on January 16, 1908. Today it is called a national park and now encompasses 24,514 acres.
Pinnacles National Park is an American national park protecting a mountainous area located east of the Salinas Valley in Central California, about five miles (8.0 km) east of Soledad and 80 miles (130 km) 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 (320 km) 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 only by foot trails. The east side has shade and water, the west has high walls. The rock formations provide for spectacular pinnacles that attract rock climbers. The park features unusual talus caves that house at least 13 species of bats. Pinnacles is most often visited in spring or fall because of the intense heat during the summer. Park lands are prime habitat for prairie falcons, and are a release site for California condors that have been hatched in captivity.
The plants that grow in this arid region are brown from the summer heat. Most of these plants are chaparral, plants adapted to arid climates, but pine and oak forests and grasslands also grow in the monument. The region has hot, dry summers with cool winters in which moderate rain falls. During the winter and spring rains, the mountains are green, dotted with wildflowers in the spring. When the rains stop, the region quickly turns brown.
Since 1908, Pinnacles National Monument has increased in bits and pieces to its present size of nearly 26,000 acres. On January 10, 2013 President Barack Obama signed legislation passed by Congress that redesignated the monument as a National Park.
According to Wikipedia & earthobservatory.nasa.gov