Balconies Trail to Machete Ridge is a 1.4 mile out and back trail located near Paicines, California and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round.

Length1.4 miElevation gain108 ftRoute typeOut & back
Kid friendlyHikingWalkingRockyFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)

Pinnacles National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $30 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot or bike the fee is $15 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $55. For current conditions please check: https://www.nps.gov/pinn/planyourvisit/cavestatus.htm

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Reviews (281)
Photos (924)
Activities (292)
Completed (1,248)
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Anabel Sandoval
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Hiking

Fantastic!

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Katherine Roundy
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Hiking

The Balconies Cave Trail is closed and that makes the trail impossible to pass through. You have to climb the Balconies Cliff Trail instead. Otherwise this is a gorgeous loop!

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Harmander Sihra
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Hiking
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Kurt Lodes
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Hiking
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Zi Dawn
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Hiking
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Ofer Cherbinsky
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Hiking

Beautiful, so many Condors

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Lorena Lelo
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Hiking

Perfect weather, many people hiking.

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Mark & Carmen Toomajian
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Hiking

Awesome Trail, great views of the peaks!!!

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Alex Colino
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Hiking
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Suzanne Lopez
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Hiking

This 9 mile trail was great! we went Old Pinnacles Trail to Balconies Cliff to Juniper Canyon to Tunnel Trail to Blue Oak to Bench!

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Tina Raikar
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HikingGreat!

This was a very easy and kid friendly trail. The pathway was very well paved, but of course, you need to still be careful as there a lot of small rocks on the path. It got a tiny bit confusing towards the end where you get close to the balconies caves, but otherwise it was clear.

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Vijayalaxmi Lalawat
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Walking
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Neil Barbo
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Hiking
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Mary Mack
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Hiking

Nice day hike! I recommend going early in the morning because there isn’t very much parking. We didn’t go early (arrived around 9am) and ended up having to park around the campground area which gained us around 2 miles to get to the trailhead

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Pranay Bonagiri
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Hiking

Super well maintained. Shaded areas and places where you can walk off the main trail to explore

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Tracie Tran
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Hiking

Great place and great hikes...This is really a hidden treasure. We did the Balconies Cave to Hike Peak Loop trails and really found the nature beautiful and calm. Very special to see this fascinating nature at this place. Keep an eye out for the condors, they’re hard to miss with their magnificent size. The natural stone landscapes here are so unique. Definitely a place to visit. Completed 10 miles hike, the hike was not hard and it is well prepared.

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nancy pinedo
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Hiking
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Katharine Eger
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Hiking

Gorgeous trail! Really solid hike with serious elevation. The sun was strong and the sky was clear, so really consistent. Lots of condors!!!

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Chris Moore
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Hiking
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Jesse Birchfield
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Hiking
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David Odell
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Hiking
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Kelly R
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Paddle sports
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Deane Gardner
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Hiking
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Grace Brodeur
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Hiking

Not a ton to see but beautiful fall colors

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Soraya Levy
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Hiking

Heavily trafficked with hikers who were NOT wearing masks. Some cool geological features (which I had a hard time focusing on with so many unmasked people around). I’d call the trail moderately difficult; the entire first half is flat and the uphill is not very steep. Trail is well maintained. Remember sun protection!

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Andy S
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Hiking
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Bryce Chen
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Hiking

Extreme heat today!

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Tatiana Jiselle
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HikingGreat!

The first .5mi from the parking lot has no shade. Once you’re in the canyon the temperature drops a bit. If youre looking to do this bring enough water for being out in the heat and try to avoid hiking when the suns out in its hottest.

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Tatiana Jiselle
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HikingGreat!RockyScramble

What a unique hike! The rock is volcanic so its soft which causes a bit more rock breakaway on the hike. The park hit 105 degrees today around noon. Start EARLY! As early as possible to avoid the heat. We took the suggestion of the others and did the loop counter clockwise which was awesome! It not only gave us an advantage on the incline in the earlier morning but also allowed us to have a ton of shade on the majority of our hike as we were in the opposite side from the sun. There are some rock shambles— would recommend trekking poles for the top but we did without them just fine, theyre just a nice to have. Bring lots of water. Im a petite female and drank about 3L. Overall time took 3H (including a 15-20min break for lunch along the high peak)! Oh! And we saw like 5-7 condors swooping the sky for food along the high peaks!!

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