ElevationAscent: 1,444' 440 m
Descent: -1,447' -441 m
High: 2,557' 779 m
Low: 1,281' 390 m
GradeAvg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 54% (28°)
Popular hikes nearby
Balconies and High Peaks Loop
9.0 mi 14.4 km • Loop • 1,718 ft Ascent 523.76 m Ascent
North Wilderness and Balconies Cave Loop
10.7 mi 17.2 km • Loop • 1,108 ft Ascent 337.58 m Ascent
High Peaks Loop from West Chaparral Parking
4.2 mi 6.8 km • Loop • 1,259 ft Ascent 383.62 m Ascent
Balconies Cave Loop
2.6 mi 4.3 km • Loop • 400 ft Ascent 121.84 m Ascent
“Hike to rocky peaks and see a California Condor.”— Steve Jackson
Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Family Friendly Kids will love the ability to scramble on boulders and through the tight-squeezes between them.
Need to Know
The trailhead is accessed from the Bear Gulch Day Use Area across the parking lot from the nature center. A sign marks the beginning of the trail. The trail is open and airy and continually ascends along the edge of Condor Gulch to the west. Follow the well marked path and look for rock formations like The Hippopotamus, Nebulous Knob, Popcorn Pinnacle, and The Three Birds. About half-way along the trail there is an overlook protected by some metal railings. This is a good place to soak in some views of Condor Gulch and perhaps catch a glimpse of some condors. The rock wall to the west of the overlook is called Dutch Goose Wall. Continuing east, the trail ascends before turning north passed Casino Rock, Doodlin' Dody, The Peanuts, The Toes, Dionysian Tower, and Jamcrack Rock. The trail ends where it meets the High Peaks Trail.
Take a left onto the High Peaks Trail - this trail moves past chaparral-covered hillsides and lichen covered rock formations. Keep an eye open for the many obvious rock formations such as the Carousel and the Anvil. The most recognizable of the pinnacles to the northeast are Pipsqueak Pinnacle and The Snout. In the gulch to the southwest, look for a pinnacle called The Unmentionable, named thus for obvious reasons. The views along this trail feature many varied and interesting pinnacles.
Eventually, you'll loop back to Bear Gulch Trail. This trail gradually descends back to the Bear Gulch parking lot. While not quite as spectacular as the High Peaks Trail, there are still several interesting rock formations along the way.
Flora & Fauna
Land Manager: NPS - Pinnacles National Park