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

Challenging and rewarding

Awesome trail great hike some crazy climbs but really fun and incredible vistas

Nice hike, but don’t do it in summer like us, it was 100+ degrees

Amazing rock formations in the High Peaks area. Balconies caves are closed indefinitely due to rock movement in the last storm. Sooooo glad we went in reverse and tackled the steep part first and descended down the switchbacks on the west side of the park. Our last three miles were relatively flat back to the Old Pinnacles trailhead. Highlights were seeing a condor soaring in the sky and a bobcat running into the brush. This trail is NOT for the casual day hiker. It will definitely test your legs.

I absolutely love this park and this trail! Ive done it both directions now and while clockwise is “easier,” I find counter-clockwise to be more rewarding because the peaks are kind of the highlight after the long ascent then you have the reservoir and caves as icing on the top, making the trek feel “worth it.” Can’t go wrong either way - it’s a great leg workout & challenging cardiovascularly, but very doable even if you need frequent breathers. Yesterday we were strapped for time to get back to the shuttle by 4pm so if you’re in a hurry, you can finish in 2hr30mins but I recommend to take it slower. Like everyone else said, take plenty of water & a snack if you wish to hangout at the beautiful peaks. There a bathroom, lots of places to sit and chill, and a ranger toward the evenings to make sure you end on the correct side of the park. I highly recommend this trail! But if you want a shorter trail that also gets the peaks, the Juniper Canyon Loop from the west entrance is a nice option, about 4 miles.

This is one of my favourite trails in California, the loop takes me about 2 hours. 1:40 if I hustle, 2:20 if I take a break. The steep and narrows are super fun but do require maneuvering and a little scramble. Restrooms about 3 miles in. Beautiful views. Great in twilight. I prefer counter clockwise.

Amazing view along the way

This was a fun short little day hike. A cool cave to walk through, a pretty body of water and awesome outlooks along the way back!

What a great day hike! Very easy and only took an hour to complete the entire 2 mile loop. The caves were tons of fun and different from any other hikes we have ever done. Very little climbing or elevation gain but immediate payoffs on views, caves, reservoir, and watching rock climbers. Lots of fun!

Went through the caves twice because there were too many loud visitors the first time. Going through the second time when the caves were empty was a really serene experience. Waterproof boots recommended in the case of recent rains.

Did this trail after the rain and had some pretty stunning misty views. Went counter clockwise and really enjoyed, I found it to be a nice ascent with a gentle decline after finishing the steep and narrow segment. Saw three condors in flight at he highest points (prior to the picnic trail fork) which was spectacular. Made frequent stops and still finished in 4 hours. Probably one of my favorite hikes.

Arrived later in the day (around 2pm) as the early birds were starting to leave so I scored a parking spot at Bear Gulch. The ranger at headquarters recommended doing this loop clockwise since that makes most of the steep & narrow parts be ascents (nicer on the knees) -- I listened to her and it was a pretty easy hike! Took me 2h15 to complete -- I only stopped a couple of times for water & picture taking. Lovely rainbow views on the high peaks trail thanks to light rain. Considering it was a holiday Saturday, not many others on the trail until I got to the condor overlook.

Great hike. Spectacular views. Take this loop counter clockwise and add Bear Gulch caves/reservoir to get the full Pinnacles experience. Don't forget to look up often for condors. This should be "moderate" instead of "hard" as far as Alltrails ratings go. Expect 4-6hrs total time.

We walked this trail, including Bear Gulch Cave/Reservoir trails and it totalled 18.5kms. A beautiful day out. It took 6 hrs but we stopped for 30 minutes for lunch and 15 minutes watching Condors and several minutes chatting, so 5 hrs walking time say. This park is so different after Yosemite and Sequoia but still beautiful! We drank 2 litres each but it was November and 22C as a high. The tight narrow part was no problem for my wife, who hates steep drop offs. A very good trail with cut steps and hand rails.
Highly recommend.

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!

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!

hiking
3 months 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.

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

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.

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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