Hikes in Pinnacles National Park
Pinnacles National Park (known as Pinnacles National Monument until 2013) is located in the Salinas Valley east of the 101 Freeway near the cities of Salinas, Soledad, and King City. Most of Pinnacles National Park is located in San Benito County, but a small section at the south end drifts into Monterey County.
The over 26,000-acre park protects a distinct pocket of inland mountains that is not connected to the larger Santa Lucia Range to the west. This isolated park packs surprising beauty, with peaks formed by volcanoes along the San Andreas Fault that are distinct from the surrounding landscape. There are roads entering the park from the east and west, but no road travels through the park. This leaves the heart of the park accessible only to hikers. There are talus caves on both sides of the park surrounded by unique rock formations. A boldly engineered trail across the 2,500-foot peaks at the top of the Pinnacles is a favorite trek for California hikers. Trails through the caves are popular as well.
Hiking in Pinnacles National Park
This 2 to 2.4-mile hike venture down Balconies Trail past impressive rock formations and through a fun talus cave, starting from Chaparral Trailhead on the west side of Pinnacles National Park.
|High Peaks – Balconies Cave Loop|
This extensive 9-mile loop ventures between the east and west sides of Pinnacles National Park, crossing through the High Peaks and Balconies Cave.
|High Peaks – Condor Gulch Loop|
This 5.3 to 6-mile loop crosses the roof of Pinnacles National Park on an incredible trail.
|Bear Gulch Reservoir|
This 1.5-mile hike passes through a talus cave to reach a reservoir on the east side of Pinnacles National Park.
Camping in Pinnacles National Park
Pinnacles National Park has one campground with tent, RV, and group sites in an oak woodland on the east side of the park.