Bear Gulch Caves and Reservoir Loop Trail

MODERATE 28 reviews
#5 of 22 trails in

Bear Gulch Caves and Reservoir Loop Trail is a 1.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Paicines, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
1.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
472 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

cave

lake

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Directions from Bear Gulch Visitor Center: Follow Moses Spring Trail southward .6 miles to the caves.

hiking
4 hours ago

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18 days ago

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18 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

by far one of my favorite trails at Pinnacle National Park! Its great on a hot day because the caves will keep you cool! It does have high traffic since its easy access for all types of hikers. Make sure to bring a flashlight, you'll need it.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

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2 months ago

2 months ago

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2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

Far exceeded my expectations! Wear waterproof gear if you don't want to get wet. We had a blast walking through the caves! The waterfall was roaring- lucky us! Take your time and go back through a second time. If someone is behind you and rushing you, step aside and let them pass. If people are yelling and being obnoxious (that was my experience...)I recommend letting those people pass as well and just enjoy being in the cave. Do this!

5 months ago

This trail was cool- until this point I had never had the opportunity to hike through a legitimate cave, so the experience was unique and unforgettable.

We hiked this trail in November on Thanksgiving weekend. Unfortunately we didn't realize that this a heavily populated time to visit the park, so on this shorter cave hike we saw many people. However, I imagine on another weekend this wouldn't be an issue.

Before attempting to hike to the Bear Gulch caves, make sure you check if they are open. Bear Gulch caves are divided into the upper and lower caves, but they sometimes are closed to protect the native bat population. Here is the site to check the status:

https://www.nps.gov/pinn/planyourvisit/cavestatus.htm

I would check that before heading out (or ask a ranger) so you don't hike to a dead end.

The trail is easy, short, and pretty. The only time it becomes a little challenging is in the cave itself, where you have some dark navigating around rocks and some ducking to do. Make sure you bring a flashlight or a headlamp as the cave will be pitch black for some sections. Also it might be helpful to bring grippy gloves as you maneuver.

7 months ago

Nice talus cave formations of the ancient geological era

hiking
8 months ago

rock climbing
8 months ago

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8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago