Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park

Quick Facts

Pinnacles National Park


(831) 389-4485

Map Directions

Things To Do


Rising out of the chaparral-covered Gabilan Mountains, east of central California's Salinas Valley, are the spectacular remains of an ancient volcano. Massive monoliths, spires, sheer-walled canyons and talus passages define millions of years of erosion, faulting and tectonic plate movement. Within the monument's boundaries lie 24,000-acres of diverse wildlands. The monument is renowned for the beauty and variety of its spring wildflowers. A rich diversity of wildlife can be observed throughout the year. The rock formations of Pinnacles National Monument divide the park into East and West Districts which are connected by trails, but not by a vehicle road. More than 30-miles of trails access geological formations, spectacular vistas and wildland communities. The Pinnacles' rock formations are a popular destination to challenge technical climbers. Pinnacles is a day-use park, with occasional full moon hikes and dark sky astronomical observations led by ranger-interpreters. Come enjoy this diverse park with many outdoor activities.

Map of Pinnacles

Latitude, Longitude: 36.491421, -121.182632



  • Camping

    Pinnacles Campground is located near the east entrance of the park and offers tent, group, and RV sites. Each tent and group site has a picnic table and fire ring. RV sites have electrical hookups and share community tables and barbecue pits. Water spigots are located throughout the campground. Oak trees provide shade in many of the sites. The campground swimming pool is now open for the spring and summer seasons.

  • Caving

    The Bear Gulch Cave provides a home to a colony of Townsend's big-eared bats as they hibernate in winter and raise their young in the late spring and summer. Townsend's big-eared bats are listed as a "sensitive species" by the state of California, it is a requirement that they are protected. The colony in the Bear Gulch Cave is the largest maternity colony between San Francisco and Mexico.

    The lower half of the Bear Gulch Cave is usually open from mid-July through mid-May each year, depending on the presence of the colony of bats. The entire cave is closed from mid-May to mid-July while the bats are raising their young.

  • Climbing

    Pinnacles National Monument offers a variety of climbing routes that range from easy topropes to the multi-pitch climbs along Machete Ridge.

  • Hiking

    Pinnacles National Monument has more than 30 miles of trails, ranging from easy to strenuous. Many trails intersect, and you can plan a short loop or a longer all-day trip. Popular destinations are Bear Gulch Reservoir, High Peaks, and the Balconies area.

  • Picnicking

    Picnicking is available throughout the park.


Unlike many national parks, Pinnacles National Monument is most popular in the spring and fall. During the spring, high temperatures are usually in the 60s and 70s, though nights can be chilly, with lows in the 30s and 40s. Fall temperatures are similar. If you do come in the summer, please be prepared for highs in the 100s. Temperatures can swing as much as 60 degrees during the day, and cool mornings can turn into extremely hot days. Plan short hikes in the mornings or evenings, wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing, and above all, carry and drink plenty of water. You can also avoid the hot summer days by hiking in the full moon at night.



Pinnacles National Monument has two entrances: east and west. The west entrance can be reached via Highway 101 near the town of Soledad, then east along Highway 146 to the Chaparral area. The east entrance is reached via Highway 25, south of the city of Hollister and north of the town of King City, then west on Highway 146. The entrances are NOT connected by a road. It is not possible to drive through the Monument from one side to the other. If you're not sure which side of the monument to visit, keep in mind that there is a variety of trails that start from either side. If you'd like to visit a cave, you'll probably want to go the west side to take the Balconies Cave Loop, which is two miles round trip. If you'd like to get views of the High Peaks without leaving your car, you can see the rock formations from the west parking area. The road to the west side of the monument is winding and narrow, so if you're traveling in an RV, you'll probably want to enter the monument from the east.

Phone Numbers


(831) 389-4485



The blog photo (at least the crop) is awesome!