Old Pinnacles Trail Loop is a 9.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Soledad, California that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as moderate and offers a number of activity options.

Length9.5 miElevation gain1,732 ftRoute typeLoop
HikingNature tripsRock climbingBird watchingViewsWildflowersWildlifeFeeNo dogs
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Getting There

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. 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.

There is ample parking. Food and restrooms are available in the park.

From Hollister, drive south on highway 25 Turn right onto highway 146 to enter Pinnacles National Monument From Salinas take highway 101 south to Soledad In Soledad, turn left on Metz Road turn left on highway 146 to enter Pinnacles National Monument Please note: highway 146 does not go through the park. You must exit from the same side of the park that you entered.

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Reviews (183)
Photos (3,917)
Activities (124)
Completed (978)
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Provençal Le Gaulois
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 8, 2021
HikingGreat!

April 2021. Great trail. You can follow the main path and also try something fun between the rocks. The reservoir is a great spot. Enjoy

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jeff pilar
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Hiking

great hiking trail with fantastic views. You will have a nice great workout the last 5 miles

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Kangta Peng
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Hiking

Great work out and with amazing views .

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Brian Groves
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Hiking

Hiking from the East parking puts the main elevation gain in in the middle of the hike. I haven't been to Pinnacles in a decade because of its popularity, but there weren't many people there on a Thursday In February. Most folks were at the High Peaks and Bear Gulch Areas. The Balcony Caves were closed which added another mile and a few hundred feet elevation gain. Great day in the park.

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Meg Naughton
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HikingGreat!No shade
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Sakura Irie
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HikingGreat!
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George Carney
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Hiking

Fantastic walk in a national park I had not visited before. Had a perfect winter day .

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Jesse Birchfield
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Hiking
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chad parker
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HikingGreat!
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Gil Blustein
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HikingNo shade
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Sarie Lovell
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Hiking
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Michelle Michelle
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Hiking
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Mark Lehmann
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HikingGreat!

A favorite at Pinnacles, and less traffic. Start at old Pinnacles parking lot and check out the trail head kiosk and map. It starts along the creek and very peaceful, and after some incline, it opens up to a full view of the backside of Pinnacles and the hike brings you closer and closer, really spectacular. The caves are closed so I went on the balcony trail. It I stopped for lunch at the west entrance picnic area. Walking the floor past the Pinnacles is amazing. Watch for trail markers especially when crossing creeks. I finished in 4 hours and then did the High Peaks trail from the old Pinnacles parking lot, and tallied 20M for the day. Saw a Condor in a tree and just watched in awe for 20 minutes. When doing the 2nd hike, go to the top then take the tunnel trail and come back on the high peaks trail. I’d do both these hikes again and again.

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Samantha Duran
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HikingGreat!

Such a challenging trail but so worth it. Not many hikers on the trail. But you do interact with someone every once in awhile. I would do it again. My legs are dead today.

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Phu Hoang
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Rock climbing

Starting from the West entrance on the Juniper Canyon trail this 10 mile loop takes you up and around the best views within Pinnacles and down to the reservoir. Great approach to numerous climbing routes

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Daniel Tavera
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Hiking

good hike....

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Tyler Chuck
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Hiking

An absolutely incredible place. Great loop hike! The caves are currently closed due to COVID, so that changes the route a little and adds a little elevation and mileage. We took the high peaks trail and that was stunning. A park ranger said that today was the first day that trail was open since the COVID shut down. The rock formations are amazing. Great place for a break at the lake as well. Was pretty exposed and hot, so bring water. Very nice hike!

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Michael D
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Hiking

If I could cut out half this hike I’d give it a 5 star. The start and end of the hike are nice, but half this hike is just near a service road and picnic areas very underwhelming. If you zoom into the map you can see the midway point is littered with parking/picnic

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Amit Kamath
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Hiking

So ....From Sunnyvale to this place 2 Hr drive completely worth it. We left at 7:00 morning and sharp at 9:00 we reach the parking lot. Due to drizzle we had to wait for around 30 mins. - Download the AllTrails Maps if you are planning to do the complete loop as 95% of the places is a no network zone - Anti-clockwise is what I would recommend. - Fantastic view at the top and also when you come down near the lake. - 70:30 Tree shades so do carry plenty of water - Btw important cave routes are closed so that can add additional detour to your hike completion - Must do for sure

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Julia Chrisco
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Hiking

Beautiful trail! The caves are so much fun to crawl through. Gorgeous views. We saw a California Condor which was incredible. Bring water shoes for the caves. A lot of the trail is pretty exposed, so plenty of water and sun protection is essential. Overall a great way to see a large portion of the park in one day!

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Stephen Tyler
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Hiking

Amazing views, solid distance, and an overall great hike. Pinnacles NP is beautiful, and this trail is a great showcase for the terraforming taking place here.

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Gultaj Sangha
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Hiking

Beautiful Vistas once you get to the top of the ridge!

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Nathalie Cruz
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Hiking

Been wanting to do this hike for awhile and it was great. Got there a little bit later so it was crowded because of the holiday weekend. So had to wait for the shuttle. you can also just hike up after paying for entrance fee. There were sections where there were groups of people and felt compacted but then got longer sections where you didn't see to many people.

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J D
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Hiking

Parts were hard but we did it. 5 hours later so worth it after

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AllTrails User
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HikingRocky

It was an awsome journey we hiked the whole trail took about 5 hours

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David Dilworth
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Hiking

We did a 10mi loop from west chaparral trailhead to balconies around to bear gulch, the reservoir and thru high peaks. Great hike.

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Ethan Heald
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HikingFee
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Zijian Wang
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Hiking

Best trail in south bay considering safety, view and fun

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Cooper Douglas Raterink
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Hiking

It was too hot by about 10 or 11am to hike through the high peaks area. I suggest to enjoy this hike you get an early start (maybe 7am) and hike counter clockwise, so that you summit the high peaks first and can hike the shaded areas as the sun rises.

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