Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park is located at the east of California’s fertile Salinas Valley that protects a mountainous area. It is America’s 59th national park and Pinnacles is known as California’s national monument. This national park was mainly created for visiting and for the preservation of local homesteaders. Then it was maintained and developed by a group of residents who are living in that area and they were called the ‘Pinnacle Boys’. Pinnacles National Park is about 26,000 acres and the Pinnacles rise from the foothills of the Gabilan Mountains. 

The number of visitors to the park is between 350,000 to 400,000 per year, mainly from Asia and Europe. The park has much access for climbers, hikers, artists, bird watchers, and geology buffs. The wonders in the Pinnacles park include the crags, spires, the mammoth rock formation, flowers, wildlife, tunnel arch, and caves that make the place perfect for photography. 

Pinnacles National Park is divided into two parts, east, and west where there are no roads linking the two parts. The education specialist interpretation ranger ‘Michelle Armijo’ says that a road might be the impact for both the terrain and the beauty of the park. 

How do you get to the Pinnacles National Park?

Pinnacles lie in central California which is about 5 miles east of Soledad or 50 miles southeast of Gilroy. There are two entrances to the park: one on the east side and the other on the west side. But you will not be able to drive from one entrance of the park to the other, though both the entrance roads are on the same highway. 

If you want to reach the west entrance, you will have to take Highway 101 to the town of Soledad and you will have to turn east on Highway 146. This entrance is opened only for day use, so do not enter it if you have plans to camp. The west entrance is very close to the Balconies Cave and Jawbone Trail.

If you want to reach the east entrance, you will have to take Highway 25 to the south of Hollister and you will have to turn west on Highway 146. Then you will arrive at the park entrance, and then at the visitor center and campground. The east entrance is very close to the Bear Gulch Cave and Chalone Peak Trail. And it is just a few miles to go to any of the trailheads. For camping inside the park, the only option you take is the east entrance. 

Weather at the Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park has a Mediterranean climate with summers and cooler, wet winters, etc. The park is opened year-round but you will have to look for the perfect season to visit this park. The spring season starts from March to May which is the best time to visit the park where you feel very comfortable during the daytime. The summer starts from June to September which is a good time but with a high daytime temperature which makes hiking uncomfortable. The fall season is also good, which lies in October and November. The winter season starts from December to March where the temperatures are cooler. 

Activities to do in the Pinnacles National Park

  • Camping in the Pinnacles National Park
  • Backpacking and Backcountry Camping
  • Hiking in the Pinnacles National Park
  • Visiting Balconies Cave Loop
  • Cave Status 
  • South Wilderness Trail
  • High Peaks Trail through Juniper Canyon and Tunnel Trail
  • High Peaks Trail and Bear Gulch Cave Loop
  • High Peaks and Balconies Cave Loop
  • High Peaks and North Wilderness Trail Loop
  • Chalone Peak via Bear Gulch Cave
  • Climbing access trails
  • Rock climbing
  • Wildlife and Critters
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