Explore the most popular walking 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.

My daughter and her boyfriend were up from SoCal. They joined my son and I who had hiked this trail back in the Spring. We all left San Jose at 6:30 am to try and beat the heat. We were on the trail at roughly 8:30 am with plenty of water, cooling towels, and provisions.

We added the hike to the caves so my daughter could experience it, but hadn't seen that they were closed. We were shunted around to the reservoir. We charged our cooling towels in the reservoir and headed up the high peaks.

As we were expecting, it was warming up as the day wore on, but it was comfortable. There was occasional shade and we stopped for breathers. We made it to the bench in about 2 hours. We stopped and ate our snacks and enjoyed the view. We saw a few other hikers although more coming from the opposite direction.

We continued the high peaks. Saw some birds that may have been condors. No bird experts in our group

As we worked our way down, the temperature rapidly rose and our towels were losing their cooling ability.

It's a long, dry, steep hike back down to the cars on Condor Gultch Trail. The scenery is gorgeous, though, and well worth it.

We got back to the car, exhausted. It was about 12:30 pm when we arrived.

Everyone loved the hike. What really surprised me was how many people we passed heading up as we were coming down and the heat was rising. Very impressed.

We stopped at the park store on the way out and enjoyed some cool drinks. The ladies in the store were delightful.

It was a great day at Pinnacles.

went on a 100 degree day at 2:30pm...

1. bring water. i often bring water but never drink it. so glad i had it on this trip. went though 24 oz because i didn’t have more.

2. california condors look like turkey vultures. “they” say there are 30 or so in the park. i saw 6-8 of them. win!

3. i really liked the trail. rapid ascents and switchbacks. some hand rails at the top and narrow passages. good leg workout day.

word !

I would say that the view at Scout Peak and Hawkins Peak is way better than what you get at the Condor Gulch overlook point. And it is easier to start clock-wise than climbing up from the Condor Gulch Trail.

This trail has everything - incline, a bit of rock climbing, if you extend 1 mile to see the reservoir then you'll get to hike through caves too. There's no shade for most part of the trail so wear a hat and bring lots of water. Go early too for a chance to see the condors. We started the hike at 7:30 AM and got to see 6 condors.

A nice hike from the main parking lot up to the caves. Pretty straight forward and it can get hot. Didn't make it to the lake because I was with older folks with knee problems, but it was a nice hike nonetheless.

Great hike. Recommend hiking boots, lots of loose rocks. Caves were closed due to baby bats season. We were told that every year caves close between May 15 and July 15. Wish I knew before hand, but still a great hike to the reservoir. Bring lots of water.

Start early and avoid the heat!

Great hike. We added on the reservoir and I would highly recommend it. Go early. Pretty exposed. We went and had cloud coverage the entire hike so it helped but I can imagine in the sun it would very warm. Saw condors at the end after looping through the reservoir area.

I don’t consider myself an advanced hiker and did this no problem. Yes it has elevation up with first 2 miles or so but take breaks and it is absolutely doable. I was concerned because of the rating but nailed it!

Love it.

The most beautiful hike I’ve ever been on. Make sure to wear good hiking shoes and be aware of the rattle snakes. Hike was easy. Sucked that the cave was closed due to the bats.

Caves were crowded. Would go earlier next time.

Very pretty. Bring lots of water, I went through 3L

Very nice hike! We first actually started at Moses Rim Trail-Bear Gulch and went through the caves through the reservoir, making the hike 6 miles, then went up on High Peaks trail, down to Condor Gulch and down. Their is a spectacular vista on Condor Gulch where Condors love to show off.

Awesome hike! Great views sufficiently challenging. Walking from the overflow lot adds about 6 miles and going through Bear Gulch to get there is a nice start.

This trail is part of our 12.5 miles loop, heavy traffics on Saturday, Bear gulch and caves are well maintained. Headlamps or small flashlights would be fun for little ones. The reservoir is great place for lunch with cool breezes.

Great short hike with a lot of variety. We walked through an underwater stream, up stairs notched into the side of the mountain, through caves and enjoyed a few minutes at a reservoir before heading back. Young kids did well. there was one place where we had to take the baby out of his carrier to make it through but that wasn't a big deal.

The incline starts as soon as you get on the trail, but it’s very doable if you take breaks going up. I started around 8:30am so the sun wasn’t bad on the way up. Great views and rock faces towards the top. Bring a ton of water!

Loved it. Lots of vertical.

This trail gave me more than I expected. It was a great workout along with some stunning views. Not too difficult but be aware of the heat. We started this hike pretty late, 2-230pm, so the sun was really beating on us. However, that did not take away from the enjoyment. Added the cave trail which made it even a better loop! I will definitely recommend this trail/Park. See ya soon Pinnacles!

My friend and I were just passing by and told the ranger we only had a couple of hours but really wanted to go on a hike and experience part of the park. She was super excited and got us to do this trail and it was AMAZING! The hike was too easy, in the sense that we were hiking with toddlers, screaming children and some teenagers who thought the whole park wanted to listen to their rap music (it was satisfying to hear the teenagers get told off by an older man explaining that it was mating season for bats and how would they like it if a bunch of strangers blasted country music while they were being "intimate"?)
Only thing we would do different next time was go earlier in the day and pack to keep going onto the high peaks trail, next time we are going to see the condors if we have to stay up there all day!

Started at approx 11:30 - ranger suggested going up Condor Gulch & coming back down High Peaks. Only saw 2 other people on the way up. At the peak we found a place to sit & have a snack (approx 2 Miles in) and we were surrounded by condor who were perched or flying very close to us. Ran into a few groups coming up the opposite direction as we began our descent. Back at the car by 2:30. Not much shade on Condor Gulch Trail, but lots on the way down. Admission to the park was $25. Fully recommend!

We got a little bit of everything in this loop, got to walk through a zing caves and see six condors.

my family had so much fun going through the cave. the hike was perfect.

hiking
5 months ago

My husband and I spent the afternoon here. It was beautiful and unexpected. We hadn’t even realized this National Park existed prior to Googling, “things to do near Monterey”.

Fun hike that we have done several times now. Short hike from the Nature center to the lower cave (upper cave area is closed). Lots of poison oak around that is starting to bloom. I would suggest continuing on to the reservoir for lunch or a snack, it loops back around to the nature center. Beautiful views of the rock formations and always get to stop and watch in awe at the rock climbers. If you have a chance to camp, do it! One of our favorite campgrounds and gives you more time to hike around on other trails.

We did the loop clock-wise starting at the Bear Gulch area. It was a demanding yet fulfilling hike. Saw plenty of condors. If you can't find a parking spot in the Bear Gulch trail -head parking lot and you hope to do the hike between 10am and 5pm on a weekend, then there is a free shuttle service between the Visitor Centre and the above said trail-head. We used that.

Awesome hiking trail!

Great hike and got the a chance to see a California Condor.

This was my very first cave trail! There’s climbers to your left and lift, beautiful green moss everywhere, and the caves are wonderful! I loved it!

Load More