“An airy trail connecting Bear Gulch Reservoir to the High Peaks Trail.”
— QuinTCM TCM
Check for raptor closures before attempting any off-trail hiking or climbing.
Features: Views — Wildflowers
Dogs: No Dogs
From Bear Gulch Reservoir, the trail heads north of the dam and passes directly below a pinnacle named Tiburcio's X for the large "x" figure created by intersecting cracks. (I don't know the back story on the naming of this formation, but a rather famous California bandito named Tiburcio Vasquez used to hide out in and among the pinnacles in the park. Maybe that is where it got its name?)
Passing Tiburcio's X, continue along the trail passed the Monolith, a huge cuboid formation with another smaller cuboid formation on top of it that sits to the east of the trail. From here, the trail moves above Moses Spring Wall, The Back Door, and Discovery Wall. The trail also sits high above Bear Gulch Cave
. Passing Teaching Rock/The Camel and the climber's access trail to the top of Discovery Wall, the trail eventually ends at the junction with the High Peaks Trail
Flora & Fauna
Pinnacles is currently one of five release sites for California Condors. The park hosts more than thirty of these scavengers. These birds are best seen in the higher regions of the park and can also often be seen on a hill behind the campsites. Pinnacles is also home to many species of raptors and other birds and is an excellent area for birding.
Wildflowers like Larkspur, California buckeye, Elegant clarkia, California buckwheat, Mariposa lily, Bush poppy, Gray mule-ears, Indian Warrior, California poppy and many others are abundant in spring.
Look for manzanita shrubs interspersed among patches of chaparral.
The park is also home to around 300 different species of lichens, which are easily visible on the many rock formations they color.