Pinnacles National Monument

California, United States
 (2 votes, 2 reviews)
Pinnacles National Monument is a protected mountainous area located east of central California's Salinas Valley. The Monument's namesakes are the eroded leftovers of half of an extinct volcano.The Monument is divided by the rock formations into East and West Divisions, connected by foot trails; there is no through road that connects the east end west entrances to the park. The east side has shade and water, the west has high walls. The rock formations provide for spectacular pinnacles that attract rock climbers. It is popular with advanced rock climbers due to the many difficult and challenging climbs. The Monument is most often visited in spring or fall because of the intense heat during the summer months.Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinnacles_National_Monument

Trails

Summary
Difficulty
Distance
Condor Gulch to High Peaks
Essential loop at the Pinnacles, one of the best hiking locales in central California
Moderate
6.7 mi/
10.8 km
High Peaks-Beach Gultch Loop
Hike the whole length of the High Peaks Trail to find out why it's the most popular Pinnacles trail.
Moderate
7.6 mi/
12.2 km
High Peaks & Balconies Cave, Pinnacles NM
Hike the highs and lows of Pinnacles National Monument, one of the best parks in central California.
Moderate
8.5 mi/
13.7 km
Guides
Condor Gulch to High Peaks
Condor Gulch to High Peaks
Pinnacles National Monument, California, United States
 
Moderate: 6.7 miles, Half day
Essential loop at the Pinnacles, one of the best hiking locales in central California
High Peaks-Beach Gultch Loop
High Peaks-Beach Gultch Loop
Pinnacles National Monument, California, United States
 
Moderate: 7.6 miles, Half day
Hike the whole length of the High Peaks Trail to find out why it's the most popular Pinnacles trail.
High Peaks & Balconies Cave, Pinnacles NM
High Peaks & Balconies Cave, Pinnacles NM
Paicines, California, United States
 
Moderate: 8.5 miles, Full day
Hike the highs and lows of Pinnacles National Monument, one of the best parks in central California.
Community Trips
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Pinnacles: Chalone Peaks and the Southern Wilderness
by antonyw on Apr 03, 2010
Pinnacles, California, United States
13.0 miles
A great hike planned by my crazy friend Laurent. We had done the Northern Wilderness trail last fall so when he proposed this hike it didn't take me long to think... hmmm that'd be fun. We parked at Bear Gulch on a chilly morning around 9am and made the nice hike up to the lake bypassing the caves since we had packs on. The coats came off and we made the nicely...
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Pinnacles gone crazy - Chalone Peaks, Pig fence, and South Wilderness Trail
by Vaudesir on Apr 03, 2010
Pinnacles, California, United States
12.9 miles
Pinnacles National Monuments is a place I love to visit. It's different from what's around, and it's remote. For quite some time, I had been wondering whether it was possible to connect two trails that dead-end in the South part of the park. It seemed silly to have to backtrack, while connecting those two trails would make for a beautiful (and probably strenuous) loop.The trails are the South Wilderness Trail, which I...
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Pinnacles High Peaks and Northern Wilderness
by antonyw on Nov 01, 2009
Pinnacles, California, United States
12.6 miles
An absolutely stunning hike across the Pinnacles themselves and then out through the Northern Wilderness section.We arrived about 7:45 after a long drive down from San Jose.  I was in shorts and a Tshirt so the 46F temp was a bit chilly but later on I was wishing that it was still cold as it got quite warm back on the North Wilderness trail.We headed straight up the outhouse which took us...
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Pinnacles .. Balconies and High Peaks
by sammydee on Apr 03, 2010
Pinnacles, California, United States
7.9 miles
I organized a group trip to Pinnacles for the Geocachers of the Bay Area (http://thegba.net).  Fifteen folks came out to play!  We started at West Pinnacles, and headed to the Balconies Cave ... from there over to the Old Pinnacles Trailhead, then up the High Peaks trail to and through the peaks themselves .. then back down to West Pinnacles.Wildflowers were near their peak.  The bright yellow bush poppies were amazing, as...
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Pinnacles National Monument
by sea2sky on Apr 01, 2009
Paicines, California, United States
13.3 miles
WHEN: March 29, 2009 WHERE:  Pinnacles National Monumenthttp://www.nps.gov/pinn/ DIRECTION: http://www.nps.gov/pinn/planyourvisit/directions.htm PARK MAP:http://home.nps.gov/applications/hafe/hfc/carto-detail.cfm?Alpha=PINN  
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Pinnacles: Balconies Cave & High Peaks Loop
by croyle on Apr 23, 2011
Pinnacles, California, United States
8.7 miles
Spring is the best time at Pinnacles, when the flowers are at their peak and it's not absurdly hot. Starting at the west entrance, this clockwise loop took my friends and I through the Balconies Caves trail (and through the short but cool cave section), back around the pretty flat northern part of the park, then up through the High Peaks trail where we hit the big climb.Fortunately, the climb is worth...
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Pinnacles High Peaks and Caves
by HikeNBike on Mar 31, 2010
Pinnacles, California, United States
5.8 miles
Hiked from East Pinacle side of park on Condor Gulch, High Peaks, and then to the lake and down via the caves. You will need a light for the caves and you may have to walk in a bit of water.  Some steep narrow sections at the top. Saw a condor. Caves may be closed due the high water in winter and to protect the bats in spring and later.
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Pinnacles - High Peaks and North Wilderness Trail
by Vaudesir on Nov 01, 2009
Pinnacles, California, United States
12.6 miles
It's been a year and a half since we last went to Pinnacles National Monument, and Sunday seemed like a nice day for a long hike through the hike peaks, and along the less known North Wilderness Trail. A group of enthusiasts (Rebecca, Dave, Sam, Antony, Pang, Jeff) was quickly formed, and that Sunday, at 8 am (after a 2 hours drive from San Jose), we were all at the West entrance's...
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A lot of interesting rock formations Photo
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An Early Spring Loop Around Pinnacles
by dano23 on Jan 01, 1990
Pinnacles, California, United States
8.9 miles
This trip is worth it for the drive alone. Highway 25 south of Hollister is prime California pasture-land, vineyards and farms at its best. Pinnacles is a treat any time of year, but springtime is best for wildflower hunting. I made the trip on a cool day, just after the rains, and saw a lot of color. If it's Springtime, get to Pinnacles! I love the high-alpine feel of the park --...
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Pinnacles NM -- High Peaks loop
by mjp303 on May 15, 2010
Pinnacles, California, United States
5.9 miles
We spent the weekend with the Webelos Scouts at Pinnacles NM.  For our hike we went up Bear Gulch, along the ridge via High Peaks, and then back to the start via Condor Gulch:  lots of fun with a group of about 25 kids and adults.  Fortunately, the talus cave in Bear Gulch was still open.  I believe it was the last day to pass through before the annual closure for bat...

Reviews
Touchstone
One of my favorites. Beautiful scenery and great hiking possibilities.
Visited on Jan 22, 2011

by Touchstone on Dec 27, 2011
jasonchiu
A great place to seek solitude and enjoy the view of red rocks.
Visited on Dec 26, 2009

by jasonchiu on Dec 24, 2010

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