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his March 5, 2010 file photo provided by the National Park Service shows a nesting California condor in a cranny near the High Peaks Trail in Pinnacles National Monument, Calif. President Barack Obama signed a bill Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, designating central California's Pinnacles National Monument as a national park. (AP Photo/National Park Service, John Maio, file)

There's a new national park

America has a new national park. Here's the story behind that, and some other park news that you want to know. Pinnacles National Monument is now Pinnacles National Park, the 59th in America. And spring is one of the best times to visit when the wildflowers are in bloom around the volcanic formations.

If you go to the park in early morning or evening, you might even catch sight of a condor - Pinnacles is the only national park with a condor release program.

Death Valley National Park was recently named an 'International Dark Sky Park," the largest in the world.

Translation? It's officially one of the best places to go stargazing, with clear skies, low light pollution, and plenty of programs and events.

But it's not all good news. This year, the National Park Service announced that it's reducing the number of free entrance days at all parks around the country. Last year there were 17 free days; this year it's only 11.

The reason? Money, of course. Free admission days are meant to drive traffic and raise awareness, but the park service loses between $700,000 to $1 million for every free day.

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Peter Greenberg Staff, Travel Today
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