Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Pinnacles National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great hike. Did it in CCW direction and took the spur at the end to the reservoir. Tried to do caves on way back to car but chickened out. I’m 6’4” and claustrophobic. Thankfully there was an obvious bypass trail close by to go around caves!

Nice little hike to do in the afternoon when the heat of the day starts fading (we visited mid-June). There isn't much to the first 2/3 of the hike, the Balconies Caves and Balconies themselves are fun though. Nevertheless, if you only can do one hike in Pinnacles, do one in the High Peaks/Condor Gulch instead.

A lovely hike. We came in mid-June and, originally, thought that we'd do the whole loop, continuing along the High Peaks Trail. By around noon, however, the hot weather started to get to us, so we decided to call it a day and hike down through the Condor Gulch instead.
For how short this loop is, it really does offer an outstanding taste of what Pinnacles are all about - lovely views most of the way and we even saw 4 condors - one soaring overhead and three sitting in a gulch in the Condor Gulch.
Highly recommended!

Great little unique trail. Pack enough water. And be prepared to scramble on rocks through narrow trail.

Great hike. Talus caves were very unique and fun to explore. Fairly easy hike but narrow in a couple spots. Stairs could be a but slippery but good railings to hold onto. Reservoir at the end was worth the extra time. Water was gross but it was still a pretty spot for a picinic. My 9yr and 3yr old did fine and had a great time wearing the headlamps.

Really awesome trail! Well maintained and not as strenuous as expected. I stopped multiple times for ten plus minutes and still made the loop in less than five hours. Great trail!

Though it was upwards of 90 degrees, there is ample tree cover on the lower part of the trail. Towards the peak, amazing views across the valley and on the off-chance, able to catch a glance of the 40~ California Condors flying around! Overall, a very good hike for beginner to intermediate hikers!

hiking
24 days ago

Make sure you have a head lamp or light source. Also, it was hot, and you need to drink a lot on the way back to stay hydrated. Insects were not a problem most of the time. I went counterclockwise to normal travel. Said hi to a lot of folks. Saw snakes, couple Chipmunks and Squirrels gathering cones and seeds, not too many birds, except for the group of turkeys outside the caves. This is a truly awesome not to be missed hike, should have led with this. Go for the views especially of the rock formations around the caves with the mountain backdrop.
Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFO02nxPdM4-CabegFIPlow?view_as=subscriber

So the reviews made here were very useful in completing my hike yesterday. It was a little hot, but also you need to drink a lot on the way back to stay hydrated, the creeks are dry do no real water source. Insects were not a problem like they can be. This is a flat trail through woods, watch for wildlife. Saw one falcon. This is a truly awesome not to be missed hike, should have led with this. Go for the views especially rock formations around the caves mountain backdrop. Crowds were not a problem on a Wednesday.
Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFO02nxPdM4-CabegFIPlow?view_as=subscriber

Absolutely stunning! I enjoyed the climb. Every turn had a stunning view. If your lucky you may spot a California condor. Absolutely a hidden gem!!

So the reviews made here were very useful in completing my hike yesterday. We carried enough water for the 9 mile trek. Insects were not a problem like they were in summer. We started out early in West parking area, 35 degrees so we hit the trial fast to warm up. Midweek was a great time to go, saw less than a handful, not including a school group at the caves. Luckily they had all just gone through and we had the caves to ourselves which was a first. When we got to the High Peaks it was warmer and sunny. This is a truly awesome not to be missed hike, should have led with this. Go for the views especially of the Peaks with the mountain backdrop. In some spots on this trail, you can experience what the "Sounds of Silence" are as this hike will take you there.
We were able to see a California Condor up close next to the trail which was awesome.

Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFO02nxPdM4-CabegFIPlow?view_as=subscriberGreat trip to see the peaks.

hiking
30 days ago

Very good trail. Awesome views and narrow trail section that makes you pay attention to your footing. Makes you feel like your rock climbing to a point. Overall the trail is smooth and not too steep. Usually crowded during peak times. I would stay away in the summer it gets way too hot. Best in spring when the flowers are plentiful. Be sure to stop along the way and soak up the views.

Did this hike in the direction shown on All Trails and I thought it was nice for this time of year (Oct). Not too hot in Condor and i liked the direction we took up the steps and down the switchbacks. Views were amazing. Fun times with the carved steps and rails with my 5-year old. Saw two tarantulas and three condors. Nice day.

Moderate hike with very beautiful views. Go through the bear Gulch caves for bonus experience. It is not shown in this all trails map.

Beautiful views, quiet, can get really hot... overall great experience.

Almost had the place to myself. Went counter clockwise. Outstanding views from the peaks. Caves were awesome. I was the contractor who built the West visitor Center, and had never hiked anything in the park until today. Special day!

Great views. Nice stars.

Very nice decently flat trail. A LOT of poison oak off of the trail. Of you stay in the middle, you’re safe. The caves are nice and cool literally and figuratively. Thankfully no bugs. Mosquitoes drive me crazy. I would definitely like to return in cooler weather and after a good rain. Bring a flashlight!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful scenery, very flat and easy trail to get to the caves. Balconies cave was a fun, short climb around and over rocks. My 4 year old was able to navigate it with no problem so I think that this would be a great family trail. Parking lot is small so I recommend arriving early. Trail is also pretty exposed in the afternoon so bring a lot of water on hot days.

High Peaks Condor Gulch Trail parking at Bear Gulch area then onto Bear Gulch Trail thru caves, and then onto the high peaks can be an e moderate hike depending on conditions, and the views are spectacular of the surrounding hills and valleys. This hike of High Peaks Condor Gulch Trail in Pinnacles National Park is well worth doing, great all year long. This video was shot on the relatively wide trail of Eastern side of the Peaks, so very little of both ticks and Poison oak as hazards if you don't get too close to the sides or go off trail. Lots of wildlife if you look for it. It was very hot, so carry lots of water. Take binoculars to see the Condors close up.
A Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFO02nxPdM4-CabegFIPlow?view_as=subscriber

Do this hike clockwise as suggested. Its easier because there is zero shade on the Condor gulch side. It was 94 when we went and it was probably like 104 up by the rocks. Bring a good amount of water. I brought 2 liters and drank every drop of it.

All of it was worth it. But in the heat it is hard. Expect condors, spectacular rock formations, and breathtaking views and and interesting stretch of climbing up and through narrow pathways and man made rock ladders. Definitely didn't disappoint. We loved it.

Lots of foot traffic but doesn't distract from the beauty

hiking
2 months ago

Great view from the peak.

The signage is confusing when the upper cave is closed. If doing the trail clockwise, when you exit the lower cave, head towards the reservoir and you will then see the needed signage

Very beautiful, very hot. Wear sunblock, a hat and Extra water.

Middle part of the trail had lots of good spots for scrambling! Can get very hot so make sure to bring enough water.

hiking
2 months ago

So happy we chose this trail! I found it very enthralling like a game of clue towards the end because you have to look around to figure out where the cave entry is. You think after walking under a few boulders “wow...it’s over?” It is not. Look around hard and you’ll see a small passage way plunging downward. The answer is yes, that is indeed the trail! Once you are walking down into this entry and everyone behind you thinks you’re crazy, you’ll find a cool, dark cave. Don’t turn around yet because there are some clues on the wall (white arrows) that lead you out another way. I would highly recommend headlamps. If you have difficulty getting around large obstacles, claustrophobia, or you’re afraid of the dark this trail is not for you. Hope this helps!

Hard. In 112 degree heat wouldn’t recommend.

I recommend doing this trail counter clockwise so you save all the fun stuff till the end!

Very fun hike. Not too strenuous but it’s still uphill. The caves are very cramped especially at the end. We had to crawl on our knees across a metal grate to get out. The loop back was very easy going.

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