ElevationAscent: 11' 4 m
Descent: -553' -169 m
High: 2,011' 613 m
Low: 1,459' 445 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 18% (10°)
Popular hikes nearby
Balconies Cave Loop
2.6 mi 4.3 km • Loop • 400 ft Ascent 121.84 m Ascent
Singletrack Soledad, CA( 12 )
5.1 mi 8.2 km • Out and Back • 1,444 ft Ascent 440.22 m Ascent
Singletrack Soledad, CA( 31 )
Balconies and High Peaks Loop
9.0 mi 14.4 km • Loop • 1,718 ft Ascent 523.76 m Ascent
Singletrack Soledad, CA( 6 )
North Wilderness and Balconies Cave Loop
10.7 mi 17.2 km • Loop • 1,108 ft Ascent 337.58 m Ascent
Singletrack Soledad, CA( 4 )
11.3 mi 18.2 km • Out and Back • 1,854 ft Ascent 565.1 m Ascent
Singletrack Salinas, CA( 1 )
4.8 mi 7.7 km • Loop • 1,431 ft Ascent 436.13 m Ascent
Singletrack Carmel Valley Village, CA( 7 )
Navigate on-trail with our free app
“A quiet, narrow trail with great views that descends from Prewett Point to the Jawbone Parking area.”— David Hitchcock
To access the trail, park at the West Visitor Contact Station, and hike out the Prewett Point Trail for roughly a third of a mile. Here, a small sign marks where the Jawbone Trail begins dropping off to the right side of the trail. You'll notice immediately that the trail narrows and follows a singletrack around the side of the hill.
The trail descends steeply through the Chaparral environment common in Pinnacles National Park. Views of North Chalone Peak, the High Peaks, and the Balconies Cliffs spread out before you as you make your way down the trail. As you descend, you'll notice Spanish moss hanging on the trees alongside the trail.
At roughly 0.8 miles, you cross a wooden footbridge, built with the help of the Pinnacles Partnership. During the winter, especially after rain storms, the West Fork Chalone Creek can be heard as you follow the trail. For roughly 0.2 miles, the creek is on your left hand side, until you cross another footbridge. The trail leaves the creek, but you can hear it if there has been rain recently.
At roughly 1.2 miles, the trail descends some steps and crosses 146 as it makes its way down to the Chaparral parking area. Once you cross the street, the trail follows the road to the Jawbone overflow parking lot. At the far end of the parking lot, a 0.3 mile connector trail links the Jawbone parking area with the Chaparral parking area.
From the parking lot, you can descend into the Chaparral area where you can take Juniper Canyon up to the High Peaks, follow the Balconies Trail out to the caves and cliffs, or take the North Wilderness Trail deeper into the park. There is a restroom and picnic area in the Chaparral area, so take some time to enjoy the views, grab a bite to eat, and then decide where your adventure will take you. To get back to your vehicle at the West Visitor Contact Station, you either have to head back up the Jawbone trail, or try to catch a ride with someone back to your car.
Due to its location on the west side of the park and distance from the high peaks and caves, this trail isn't heavily traveled, allowing you to enjoy a peaceful hike.
Hiked this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Flora & Fauna
Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow hikers know what's here.
Land Manager: NPS - Pinnacles National Park