#23 of 61 national parks in United States of America

Best trails in Pinnacles National Park

5,095 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Pinnacles National Park, California? AllTrails has 30 great hiking trails, trail running trails, dogs no trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 14 moderate trails in Pinnacles National Park ranging from 1.2 to 9.5 miles and from 964 to 3,290 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

Comprised of impressive rocks, caves, cliffs, and peaks, Pinnacles National Park showcases the results of ancient volcanic activity on landscape. The park provides spectacular heights that attract many rock climbers. The park has an abundance of hiking, in fact, the two sides of the park are only connected by foot; there is no road connecting the two sides. Please note the park is often very hot in the summer months. Fees: Vehicle Entrance Fee - $30.00 Motorcycle Entrance Fee - $25.00 Walk-in or Bicycle Entrance Fee - $15.00 Passes are good for seven days from the time of purchase. Vehicle and motorcycle fees include all passengers. Non-commercial Groups - Per Person - $15.00 Per-person fee charged to non-commercial groups entering in a vehicle with a capacity of 16 passengers or more. Annual and Lifetime Passes Pinnacles National Park Annual Pass - $55.00 This pass is valid for 12 months from the month of purchase. It covers the entrance fee to Pinnacles National Park for the pass signee and accompanying passengers entering in a single, non-commercial vehicle. Pinnacles Annual Passes are available at park entrance stations and visitor centers.

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Map of trails in Pinnacles National Park
Park information
Acreage:
16,048 acres
Contact
831-389-4486
Top trails (30)
#1 - Condor Gulch Trail to High Peaks Trail Loop
Pinnacles National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(1052)
Length: 5.5 mi • Est. 3 h 12 m
The Condor Gulch Trail to High Peaks Trail Loop is one of the best hikes in Pinnacles National Park. The trail head is located by the Bear Gulch Visitor Center and is best reached from the east entrance of the park. The High Peaks Trail at Pinnacles National Monument threads its way through the wreckage of a volcano destroyed by the San Andreas Fault millions of years ago. The Monument, about 100 miles south of San Jose, California, celebrates the strange assortment of rock formations created as the volcano gave way to greater forces of plate tectonics. This loop from the eastern entrance of the Pinnacles provides the most direct route to the High Peaks, where a series of ladders and multiple tight squeezes take hikers through a geological maze that has made the Pinnacles a favorite among hikers from throughout California. While the rocks and expansive vistas are the main attractions, you might get lucky and spot some of the rare California condors that nest in the park and soar high above. Trails on this hike: Condor Gulch Trail; High Peaks Trail; Bear Gulch Trail. Starting from the Bear Gulch parking area, you can go either way. Condor Gulch Trail is a bit steeper, so you may want to start out there to get your climbing done on fresh legs and spare your knees on the way down. The trail passes by Bear Gulch Reservoir and the Bear Gulch Caves. Best time to go: Springtime adds wildflowers to the awesome scenery, making it a near perfect hike. Summer will be too hot and autumn may be too dry, but winter should be gorgeous if you give the trails a couple days to dry out after passing storm systems. There are steep and narrow sections of the trail that require some technical footing. Caves in the area tend to close seasonally due to weather conditions and the presence of wildlife. To view updated closure information, please see https://www.nps.gov/pinn/planyourvisit/cavestatus.htmShow more
#2 - Moses Spring Trail to Bear Gulch Reservoir
Pinnacles National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(433)
Length: 1.2 mi • Est. 28 m
#3 - Juniper Canyon Trail to High Peaks
Pinnacles National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(303)
Length: 4.5 mi • Est. 2 h 40 m
Beautifully shaded by the surrounding trees and chaparral for most of the hike but it can get very hot very quick. It begins fairly easy and quickly gains difficulty as you gain elevation. You will need plenty of water and watch out blackberry bushes and Mountain Misery which are both abundant.Show more
#4 - Moses Spring and Rim Trail Loop
Pinnacles National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(428)
Length: 2.5 mi • Est. 1 h 1 m
This loop is a good choice for rock formations, talus caves, and the reservoir on a short hike and also a good choice for children. Bear Gulch Cave is open seasonally. Flashlight required in the cave.Show more
#5 - Condor Gulch Trail To Overlook
Pinnacles National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(493)
Length: 1.9 mi • Est. 46 m
#6 - Old Pinnacles Trail Loop
Pinnacles National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(182)
Length: 9.5 mi • Est. 5 h
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.Show more
#7 - High Peaks Trail
Pinnacles National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(177)
Length: 6.4 mi • Est. 3 h 33 m
#8 - High Peaks & Balconies Cave Loop Trail
Pinnacles National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(180)
Length: 7.9 mi • Est. 4 h 24 m
Users can hike the highs and lows of Pinnacles National Monument, one of the best parks in central California. The striking terrain of the Pinnacles National Monument might make you feel like you're at least a couple of state borders away from the San Francisco Bay Area, but in truth this national park is less than a hundred miles south of San Jose. Our recommended route combines two of the most popular trails in the park - boasting caves, some tight squeezes in high places and to top it all off, the chance to spot the endangered Californian condor. Tips: - Summer conditions can be fierce on hikers in this park, so plan to tackle this park in cooler weather and remember to bring plenty of water. There is a water spigot at the West Chaparral parking lot which comes in useful. - Bring a flashlight or headlamp for the short yet pitch-black section of the Balconies Cave. - Check the park's official website for trail closures in the winter/spring nesting season. Alternatives: - Balconies cave short semi-loop hike from the Chaparral entrance, with minimal elevation gain. - High Peaks loop trail from Bear Gulch, which boasts a shorter route to the top of the mountain, but without the Balconies Cave experience.Show more
#9 - Balconies Trail
Pinnacles National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(149)
Length: 9.1 mi • Est. 5 h 1 m
#10 - Balconies Trail to Machete Ridge
Pinnacles National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(269)
Length: 1.4 mi • Est. 38 m
For current conditions please check: https://www.nps.gov/pinn/planyourvisit/cavestatus.htm Show more
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