Bench Trail is a 4.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Paicines, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and camping and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 4.8 miles Elevation Gain: 137 feet Route Type: Out & Back

camping

hiking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

Directions from Highway 146, Eastern District: Follow 146 toward the East Entrance Station of the Monument. Before reaching the monument entrance turn left into Pinnacles Campground. The trailhead for Bench Trail lies within the campground.

hiking
12 days ago

Condors everywhere, amazing rock/boulders/pinnacles abound! Outdoor Rock climbing heaven too! Will do again. Epic 14 miles around the lark and to the summit.

hiking
3 months ago

Took this from the pinnacles campground to the bear gulch day use area to hike up the high peaks and condor gulch trail loop. It was ok! Probably prettier in spring than February when we went, but close to the road and an unnecessary addition to an already difficult hike. I’d take the shuttle next time from the camp ground if I didn’t want to drive to the bear gulch trail head.

hiking
7 months ago

So I did not give this trail four stars for the simple fact that is not that well marked compared to the more popular trails. Once I found the trail head in the campground then it was easy to stay on until I got to the intersection of Bear Gulch trail which is closed for emergency repairs then you pretty much follow the river as far as you want. There is halfway down the trail some water which was critical for me because it was starting to really warm up and I already used all my water. Pretty much a flat trail compared to the high peaks which is what I wanted today.

hiking
Mon Apr 01 2019

Nice little walk from the campgrounds to the high peaks trail. You can see some nice lupin blooming right now, mountain blue birds, and tons of acorn woodpeckers chattin it up

Sat Dec 03 2016

We did the portion of the Bench Trail between the Peaks View Day Use Area and the Bear Gulch Day Use Area specifically. We chose this portion for its unique contrast to the rest of the park (and actually did it in conjunction with the High Peaks Condor Gulch Trail). This portion is an out and back totaling about 2.7 miles. It begins adjacent to the road in Peaks View, but soon you encounter a double foot bridge and the trail heads away from the road (or at least to a point where you can no longer see it). Unlike the rest of the park, this area is marked by deciduous trees, a stream (that stays full despite water shortages), a waterfall, ferns, flowers, and butterflies. It also goes past a meadow, where we saw 3 deer. You cross the stream several times over wooden foot bridges. There is a steep portion but it doesn't last long. Oh and one point you cross an employees driveway, which can be confusing if you're not expecting it. We only saw 2 other people on this trail. Very sweet and enjoyable.

hiking
Sun Mar 13 2016

Did the section connecting Old Pinnacles to Bear Gultch as part of a 10 Mile loop around the park. If you are doing the loop clockwise from the visitor center like I did, this is the last section of trail, and also the first time you see cars and roads in many hours. I found that to be off putting but that had nothing to do with the park or trail and everything to do with how I hiked it. The loop is so awesome that when I got to this point I was a little saddened because I didnt want it to be over. I would recommend starting here so you get the civilization out of the way early and dont see cars again until Chaparral, and even then its very Brief.

hiking
3 days ago

recorded Recording - May 02, 05:39 PM

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24 days ago

recorded Old Pinnacles Trail Loop

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1 month ago

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