Old Pinnacles Trail Loop is a 9.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Paicines, California that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, nature trips, and birding.
Nestled in the mountains of central California, Pinnacles National Park is home to a range of unique rock formations, talus caves, and a series of beautiful peaks and valleys. It's also an excellent place to view wildlife, and is the nation's premier spot to view the endangered California condor. The park is lined with a network of trails that access both caves and peaks. No one trail is overly long, and it's possible to complete a number of them with an extended, beautiful day of hiking. The park also has a drive-in campground for those who'd like to spend more than a day, but it is only accessible from the eastern entrance.
WARNING the north west side just after the caves is totally flooded. You will not be able to complete the loop unless you cross the water knee deep at 7-10 crossing points.
Super pretty trail! We went to the old pinnacles trail to the juniper canyon trail and then went down bear gulch trail back to our car. Next time I would do the hike backwards and start at bear gulch. The incline was difficult, there are lots of switchbacks. And if you've already been hiking for 6 miles, going uphill is tiring. The views are definitely worth it though once you get to the top towards the peaks. Can't wait to go back!
We hiked for 12 miles, I think we stumbled onto the trail and did not figure out the loop Part, we had to back track. We eventually came to some small caves to explore. Which you can do, despite how scary it looks in the pitch black.
This loop is very beautiful and moderately difficult. Highly recommended.
spectacular hike ,amazing place all around ..i visited in late dec was cold at night but sunny and fairly warm all day for perfect hiking weather ..must see the caves and balconies route is great too .can make it a short or long hike ,but check it out .. thoroughly enjoyed every minute ..I will be back
This park is amazing and I can't wait to come back. Do yourself a favor and check out both of the caves as well as doing the full high peaks trek. Bring plenty of water. The scenery is just jaw dropping and crawling through caves with flashlights was just too much fun.
The best part was the views in the High Peaks, the Cave trails and the reservoir. The northern half of the loop is a little less eventful. The warm and dry air was a nice change from the colder Bay air.
Wow! What an amazing view. This trail kicked my butt. I didn't bring enough water. So if you hike this in summer - hydrate! :) it was a spontaneous trip for me and I didn't realize it was so steep. I can't wait to hike this one again!
Amazing•Nice cool day!
Great hike. Make sure you bring plenty of water with you during the summer months. The rock formations are stunning. Well worth the trip. It's too bad camping is not allowed up top. That would make it a five star spot.