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Pinnacles National Park

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Overview

Pinnacles National Park was formed by fire, sculpted nearly 23 million years ago when multiple volcanoes erupted, flowed, and slid to create this unique landscape. Take in the views of the towering rock spires teeming with life - Prairie and Peregrine Falcons, Golden Eagles, and the inspiring California Condor. Visitors can journey through chaparral, oak woodlands, and canyon bottoms and enter rare talus caves while enjoying the impressive diversity of the park.

To learn more about Pinnacles National Park, visit www.nps.gov.

Local Info

Visitor Centers:
  • Pinnacles Visitor Center: 9:30 am to 5 pm. Open daily.
  • Bear Gulch Nature Center: 10 am to 4 pm. Open weekends January through May.
  • West Pinnacles Visitor Contact Station: 9 am to 4:30 pm. Open weekends and some holidays.

Visiting Tips

The East Entrance of Pinnacles National Park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The West Entrance is gated, and the gate is open from 7:30 am to 8 pm for entrance to the park. The gate will automatically open for visitors exiting the park after hours. There are no connecting roads between the two entrances.

Fees & Passes:
To learn more about park fees, click here.

Camping & Lodging

The Pinnacles Campground is only accessible from the East Entrance. The campground offers tent and group camping, along with RV sites. Tent and RV sites can be reserved up to 6 months in advance, and group sites can be reserved up to 12 months in advance. For reservations, please visit recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777. Camping is prohibited at West Pinnacles.

Food & Drink

There are no restaurants located in the park. There are a variety of dining options located outside of the park in the nearby towns.

Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles

Guided Tours:
Ranger-led talks, guided hikes, and evening programs are offered each spring on the east side of the park. Night programs are occasionally offered on weekends in spring, summer, and fall months. To learn more about these ranger-led programs and to see the current events calendar, click here.

Shuttles:
The park operates a shuttle from Pinnacles Visitor Center to Bear Gulch Area. The hours of operation vary by season, and current hours of operation can be found at the park's website.

Other Activities

People come to Pinnacles National Park to hike, rock climb, watch and study wildlife, view wildflowers, and experience nature. Pinnacles offers solitude, challenge, and escape from the urban lanscape of the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas. Unlike many national parks, Pinnacles is most popular in the cooler months - spring, fall, and winter are excellent times to visit. Visit the park's website to learn more about the many ways to explore Pinnacles.

Maps & Guidebooks

To download a variety of free brochures to help plan your visit, click here.

Gems in Pinnacles National Park - 2

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gem Favorite Though you'll have to navigate tight clearances, Bear Gulch Cave provides both a respite from the sweltering heat and the unique opportunity to explore a talus cave.

Bear Gulch Cave

(14) Soledad, CA
gem Favorite A juvenile california condor, as evidenced by the black head, glides on thermals around the High Peaks.

High Peaks Viewpoint

(6) Soledad, CA

Recommended Routes in Pinnacles National Park - 5

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Recommended Routes

Favorite A juvenile california condor, as evidenced by the black head, glides on thermals around the High Peaks.
Difficult

High Peaks

5.1 mi 8.2 km 1,444' Up 440.22 m Up 1,447' Down 440.95 m Down

Soledad, CA
Favorite Pinnacles National Park on the Balconies trail.
Intermediate

Balconies Cave Loop

2.6 mi 4.3 km 400' Up 121.84 m Up 399' Down 121.74 m Down

Soledad, CA
Favorite A juvenile california condor, as evidenced by the black head, glides on thermals around the High Peaks.
Intermediate

High Peaks Loop from West Chaparral Parking

4.2 mi 6.8 km 1,259' Up 383.62 m Up 1,258' Down 383.57 m Down

Soledad, CA
Favorite A juvenile california condor, as evidenced by the black head, glides on thermals around the High Peaks.
Difficult

Balconies and High Peaks Loop

9.0 mi 14.4 km 1,718' Up 523.76 m Up 1,718' Down 523.74 m Down

Soledad, CA
Favorite Pinnacles National Park on the Balconies trail.
Intermediate/Difficult

North Wilderness and Balconies Cave Loop

10.7 mi 17.2 km 1,108' Up 337.58 m Up 1,100' Down 335.38 m Down

Soledad, CA

Pinnacles National Park Hiking

  • 68 Miles 109 Kilometers of Trail
  • 5 Recommended Routes
  • 2 Gems Gems
  • 10 Easy Trails Easy Trails
  • 15 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
  • 0 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Share what you know about this area!

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Trails in Pinnacles National Park - 20

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Trails

5.0 mi 8.1 km #1High Peaks Trail
Difficult
Soledad, CA
Difficult
Soledad, CA
0.2 mi 0.4 km #2Bear Gulch Cave Trail
Intermediate
Soledad, CA
Intermediate
Soledad, CA
0.4 mi 0.6 km #3Balconies Cave Trail
Intermediate
Soledad, CA
Intermediate
Soledad, CA
0.5 mi 0.8 km #4Moses Spring Trail
Intermediate
Soledad, CA
Intermediate
Soledad, CA
1.8 mi 3.0 km #5Juniper Canyon Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Soledad, CA
Intermediate/Difficult
Soledad, CA
0.8 mi 1.4 km #6Balconies Cliffs Trails
Intermediate
Soledad, CA
Intermediate
Soledad, CA
3.3 mi 5.3 km #7Chalone Peak Trail
Intermediate
Soledad, CA
Intermediate
Soledad, CA
1.7 mi 2.7 km #8Condor Gulch Trail
Intermediate
Soledad, CA
Intermediate
Soledad, CA
1.4 mi 2.2 km #9Sycamore Trail
Intermediate
Soledad, CA
Intermediate
Soledad, CA 13 
0.6 mi 0.9 km #10Tunnel Trail
Intermediate
Soledad, CA
Intermediate
Soledad, CA

Photos of Pinnacles National Park - 166

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Photos

A juvenile california condor, as evidenced by the black head, glides on thermals around the High Peaks.
Dec 1, 2018 near Soledad, CA
Beautiful views on High Peaks Trail!
Jan 27, 2016 near Soledad, CA
The heart of Pinnacles National Park
Oct 14, 2017 near Soledad, CA
California Condor hanging out on the high peaks trail.
Feb 24, 2016 near Soledad, CA
Though you'll have to navigate tight clearances, Bear Gulch Cave provides both a respite from the sweltering heat and the unique opportunity to explore a talus cave.
Aug 9, 2018 near Soledad, CA
The view of the Pinnacles from the western side of the park (as seen near the junction between Juniper Canyon Trail and the High Peaks) proved one of our favorites.
Aug 9, 2018 near Soledad, CA
Heading down a ridge at Pinnacles.
Jun 5, 2016 near Soledad, CA
Pinnacles National Park  - High Peaks Trail.
May 22, 2016 near Soledad, CA