“An airy, unmaintained trail leading to views from Pinnacles National Park's second highest point.
— QuinTCM TCM
WARNING! After reaching South Chalone Peak, the trail continues to descend. However, following the trail further leads to nothing but open wilderness.
Check for raptor closures before attempting any off-trail hiking or climbing.
Bring lots of water! None is available along the trail.
Near the end of the Chalone Peak Trail
to North Chalone Peak, the trail continues on to South Chalone Peak, the second highest point in Pinnacles National Park. The beginning of the trail is marked by a lone barbed wire fence post located on the south side of a metal gate. Follow this unmaintained trail as it first descends into a saddle between two ridgelines. After descending, the trail ascends again to a second ridge line before ending at South Chalone Peak. The peak is marked by a small rock cairn. Head back the way you came!
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.