Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Pinnacles National Park...Our Newest National Park

On our most recent hiking trip, we explored our newest national park, The Pinnacles, which are east of Soledad and south of Paicines, California.  There are two distinct entrances which do not connect. We entered from the East side where there is a spacious campground.  The West entrance is parking only for day hikes.  Leaving the parking area, we followed a mostly dry creek through a pretty canyon.

We took a combination of trails including Bear Gulch Trail, Moses Spring Trail, Bear Gulch Caves, Rim Trail, High Peaks Trail, and Condor Gulch Trail to walk a little over six miles.  The following photos are some of what we saw along the way. 

 This is just before we entered Bear Gulch Caves.  It really does get dark inside, so have a flashlight or app on your phone.  The Bear Gulch Cave is home to roosting bats part of the year.  Fortunately, the cave had recently been reopened for visitors.

Yes, we saw a condor.  A volunteer at the top of  High Reaches Trail monitored condor flight trails. We viewed this female several times before she disappeared.

At a backward glance, the Pinnacles do not seem too imposing, but we climbed up and down and up and down.  This loop was listed as strenuous.  The elevation gain is just over 1400 feet. The rock formations, talus caves, trails, trees, and condor were amazing.

 "In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks."  -John Muir  


  1. I did not know it was now a "Park". It has been way too long since I was there last. I may just do a stop over on my way down to the desert this fall.