Pinnacles National Park Location And How To Reach It

Central California’s Pinnacles National Park protects a hilly region east of the Salinas Valley, roughly five miles east of Soledad and 80 miles southeast of San Jose. Erosion has reduced the western side of an extinct volcano to eroded remnants entrenched in the California Pacific Coast Ranges that were formerly located on the San Andreas Fault. The bulk of Pinnacles is designated wilderness by the National Park Service, which oversees the park’s administration.

East and West Divisions of the park are separated solely by foot pathways by the park’s rock formations. High walls separate the east side from the west. Granite climbers are drawn to the area because of the stunning pinnacles formed by the rock formations. At least 13 different kinds of bats may be found in the park’s unique talus caverns. Because of the extreme heat in the summer, most people choose to visit Pinnacles in the spring or autumn. Prairie falcons and newly born California condors are often released from captivity on park properties. There are many activities to do in Pinnacles National Park like camping, hiking, cave status, etc.

Multiple volcanoes erupted, flowed, and slid about 23 million years ago to build Pinnacles National Park, which is now a national park. There is a distinct landscape left behind. Chaparral, oak forests, and canyon bottoms are all common stops for hikers. In rare talus caverns, hikers see prairie and peregrine falcons, golden eagles, and the inspirational California condor. Upon exiting the tunnels, hikers are greeted with towering rock spires alive with life.

Entrances and how to reach Pinnacles National Park

Inaccessible Road

Please bear in mind that there is no road that links the park’s east and west gates when traveling to Pinnacles National Park. There is the fastest path between the east and west entrances through King City on Highway 101.

Using a Map Website on the Internet
For example, if you type “Pinnacles National Park” into a search engine or use the official park address, you will get a different location in the park. Copy and paste the following coordinates (the digits in bold font) into an internet map search to get directions or locate a specific spot.

The Pinnacles Visitor Center is located at 36.493545, -121.146646.

Pinnacles Visitor Contact Station is located on the west side of the park at 36.477700, -121.226136.

Using a GPS Device to Get Where You’re Going
Motorists may be directed to an area of the park they did not want to visit by putting the park’s location or name into a GPS gadget. Use a map or the driving instructions below to validate your GPS route. For devices that allow you to input coordinates manually, use the above coordinates to help you get to the right side of the park.

San Francisco Bay Area to East Entrance: from San Francisco Bay Area

  • After passing through Gilroy, go south on Highway 101 until you reach Highway 25. On the 25 freeway.
  • Follow Hwy 146 for roughly 30 miles after passing through Hollister.
  • Right on Hwy 146.
  • Check-in at the Pinnacles Visitor Center by turning left into the Pinnacles Campground.
  • The Bear Gulch Area is 3.5 miles from the campsite on Highway 146.

Direct route from San Francisco to the West Entrance.

  • Drive south on Highway 101 to Soledad.
  • If you’re coming from the west, use the 146 East exit.
  • The highway turns into a one-way street, so drive with care.
  • Pinnacles National Park may be reached after a 14-mile drive along Highway 146.

From the South:

East Entrance

  • To get to King City, go north on Highway 101.
  • Take the 1st Street exit.
  • King City is on your right.
  • When 1st St. becomes Bitterwater Rd., keep going straight (Monterey County G13).
  • Continue on Bitterwater Rd until it meets Highway 25.
  • Highway 25 (North) will be on your left; it will take around 15 miles to get there.
  • To access the park, turn left onto Highway 146.
  • Check-in at the Pinnacles Visitor Center on your left as you approach the Pinnacles Campground.
  • Further inside the park on Highway 146 lies the Bear Gulch Area.

West Entrance

  • Soledad may be reached by driving north on Highway 101.
  • Go east on Highway 146.
  • Take caution while driving on Highway 146, which changes into a one-lane road at one point.
  • Pinnacles National Park may be reached after a 14-mile drive along Highway 146.
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