hiking

walking

views

birding

nature trips

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

kid friendly

rock climbing

trail running

cave

forest

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 hike to condors and views

This is a moderate but challenging loop from the West entrance of Pinnacles. Balconies caves is nice short /easy trail and High Peaks is longest from West side. Normally I hike Juniper Canyon/Tunnel/Condor to Moses spring to Bear Gulch caves back to High Peaks trail and this is a longer version at 11+ miles but I hiked late in the afternoon and was racing light so I cut out Moses Spring and Bear Gulch caves and ended up at 8 miles per the GPS. Great 3 hour hike if you are pushing the pace and 2,500ft of climbing means it can be challenging. It is normally warmer so bring lots of water. I used 2L of fluids and stopped for a snack at Scout Peak (2,600 ft) overlooking the West Entrance looking northwest. I love the high peaks trail (steep and narrows) and via tunnels trail this adds 1.5 mile back to West entrance but keep in mind the steep and narrow section is a lot more technical so be careful. Overall the park is in great condition and really beautiful place to hike.

hiking
8 days ago

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
17 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
30 days ago