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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.

Great trail! My girlfriend and I both had low expectations from the really lackluster entrance, however, once we started we were very pleasantly surprised. The trail starts off with a few boring switchbacks but steadily the views really start to become awe inspiring once you're able to see the high peaks. Climbing through the high peaks themselves was a bit more nerve racking than I had expected but the views make any stomach butterflies subside pretty quick. Also once you get way up there, you can see tons of condors. When we came to the bridge a condor flew by from a distance of about 30 ft.

Word of advice, start this one early! Condor Gulch gets despicably hot as the day progresses. The temperature at the park was in the 90s but in that one particular area it was 103 when we checked.

hiking
11 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

trail running
23 days ago

I come here to trail run twice a week. Such a beautiful place and every now and then...your lucky enough to see a Condor.

hiking
24 days ago