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Bear Gulch Trail



1.4 mile 2.2 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 418' 127 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 1,402' 427 m
Low: 984' 300 m


Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 17% (10°)


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Trail shared by QuinTCM TCM


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A gently ascending, partially shaded trail leading to the Bear Gulch area.


Features Birding · River/Creek · Wildflowers

Family Friendly Get the whole family familiar with some of the best rock formations Pinnacles has on offer. The Nature Center is a must-see, as well.

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


From the junction with the Bench Trail, take this trail southwest as it winds its way between a dry creek bed to the south and a paved road to the north. The trail gently ascends beneath a grove of trees before opening up again and crossing a bridge over the dry creek bed. Shortly after crossing the bridge, the trail passes over a paved driveway leading to a residence for park employees. Continue along the trail beneath another grove of trees towards the Bear Gulch Day Use Area, which is made up of administrative buildings, a small nature center, bathrooms, and a picnic area. Stop in and check out the nature center!

Continuing on, follow the trail as it crosses a parking lot towards the Condor Gulch Trail and a small bridge. Don't take the bridge but turn southwest and cross a road leading to a small parking lot and some restrooms. Continue on the trail southwest over another bridge and through a shaded picnic area. At the end of the picnic area, cross another road leading to another small parking lot and set of restrooms. Behind the restrooms is a rock formation called The Ignorable Cliffs.

Crossing the road, the trail ascends passed a rock formation called The Tourist Trap before terminating at a junction with the High Peaks Trail and the Moses Spring 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.

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Aug 4, 2019
Ted Kaufmann
Jun 22, 2019
Bailey Ramler
Jun 1, 2019
Andrii Khmelkov
Apr 1, 2019
Dan P
Mar 30, 2019
Reno Hallmeyer
Oct 24, 2018
Birgit Moeller
Aug 25, 2018
Travis Calanoc
Jul 16, 2018
Ryan C. Smith

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 6 votes


  3.7 from 6 votes
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7 Views Last Month
290 Since Apr 10, 2015
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