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Climbing above the Balconies Cave, this trail offers views of Balconies Cliffs and its surroundings.


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Map Key

0.8

Miles

1.4

KM

Point to Point

1,462' 446 m

High

1,205' 367 m

Low

162' 49 m

Up

257' 78 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

24%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly Requires some hiking up but the trail is short and is a great way to soak in some impressive views before or after climbing through the cave.

Check for raptor closures before attempting any off-trail hiking or climbing.

Description

This trail is a great way to make a loop back to either Old Pinnacles Trail or Balconies Trail after having gone through Balconies Cave on the Balconies Cave Trail.

If accessing this trail from the Balconies Trail, turn northwest at the sign marking the trailhead and begin ascending passed a rock formation called The Flumes, which sits to the west of the trail. Shortly thereafter, the trail gets up close and personal with one of the most imposing rock formations in Pinnalces NP, The Balconies. For much of this trail, The Balconies' water streaked face looms large to the west while another imposing rock feature looms large to the east, Machete Ridge. Other rock formations along this route include Osiris, Smiling Simian, and Toogs. Eventually, the trail will flatten out and begin descending where it will meet the junction with Old Pinnacles Trail and Balconies Cave Trail.

Balconies Cave is situated in the gulch to east of this 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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Quin TCM

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 5 votes

#7409

Overall
  4.6 from 5 votes
5 Star
60%
4 Star
40%
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Trail Rankings

#599

in California

#7,409

Overall
4 Views Last Month
1,212 Since Apr 9, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

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Photos

Starting the hike to Balconies Cave. Our visit was at the end of April, wildflowers were in bloom and the grass was green and pretty against the rocks.
May 8, 2022 near Soledad, CA
You can best see the impressive rock formations from Balconies Cliffs Trail
Aug 6, 2017 near Soledad, CA
Sami in Balconies Cave
May 8, 2022 near Soledad, CA
Tight spaces through the Balconies Cave - flashlight required! We hiked the Balconies Cave Loop trail on September 11, 2017. Very nice!
Aug 27, 2019 near Soledad, CA
A view above you as you climb the Cliff Trail.
Feb 24, 2016 near Soledad, CA

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