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Tourist Trap

Pinnacles National Park

Gabilan + Southern Diablo Mountains, California

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Tourist Trap

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  • Tourist Trap climbing crag in Pinnacles National Park.- Tourist Trap
  • The High Peaks Trail en route to Tourist Trap from the Bear Gulch Day Use Area.- Tourist Trap
  • The High Peaks Trail en route to Tourist Trap from the Bear Gulch Day Use Area.- Tourist Trap
  • The climber access trail to the base of Tourist Trap branching off to the right of the main trail. The top access trail for climbers is another half mile further ahead.- Tourist Trap
  • The scramble to access the base of Tourist Trap from the High Peaks Trail.- Tourist Trap
  • Both the base access and top access to Tourist Trap are marked with prominent signs off of the High Peaks Trail.- Tourist Trap
  • A view of the scramble to the base of Tourist Trap, photographed from the belay area at the crag. The High Peaks Trail runs along the top left of the photo.- Tourist Trap
  • A climber prepares to climb Wee Little One (5.8) at Tourist Trap.- Tourist Trap
  • A climber clips the second bolt on Wee Little One (5.8) at Tourist Trap.- Tourist Trap
  • A climber prepares to rappel after setting a walk-up toprope anchor on Rat Race (5.7), reached from the top access trail to Tourist Trap from the High Peaks Trail.- Tourist Trap
  • - Tourist Trap
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Close to parking. Fun routes. Beautiful scenery.
Cons: 
Crowded. Hot in summer. Rock can be chossy.
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Region:
Gabilan + Southern Diablo Mountains, CA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Recommended Equipment:
Harness / rope / anchors, Helmets
Alpine climbing NCCS rating: 
Grade V
Net Elevation Gain: 
150.00 ft (45.72 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,350.00 ft (411.48 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Due to its proximity to the parking lots at the Bear Gulch Day Use Area, Tourist Trap is a popular climbing crag at Pinnacles National Park. Offering about a dozen toprope, sport, and trad routes ranging from 5.7 to 5.11a, Tourist Trap serves climbers of various abilities within a 15-minute walk from the car. Sharing its approach with the main trail serving many of the major attractions on the east side of the park, Tourist Trap also draws the attention of hikers, eliciting exclamations from passing children and photographs from curious bystanders.

Pinnacles National Park is the newest national park in the United States, acquiring this status in 2013 after being originally established as a national monument by Theodore Roosevelt in 1908. The park features dramatic volcanic rock formations including high peaks, caves, and highly-featured walls that are well suited to rock climbing. The peaks rising above the surrounding farms and grasslands host one of the highest densities of prairie falcons in North America as well as reintroduced California condors and a growing population of peregrine falcons. Other wildlife include coyote, bobcat, California quail, golden eagle, and cougar.

Rock climbing has a long history in Pinnacles, which has seen first ascents throughout the development of the sport in the United States from the 1930s through modern times. The local climbing community has a strict ground-up bolting policy forbidding bolting on rappel. Resulting sport climbs have a natural flow but do not always offer convenient protection on crux moves. Though the volcanic rock is not as robust as the granite found in Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada, numerous mineral crystals and other features make for routes that often give climbers many sequencing choices. These crystals are prone to being dislodged, however, so both climbers and belayers in Pinnacles should always wear helmets.

Brad Young's "Climber's Guide to Pinnacles National Monument" is a favorite among local climbers and provides excellent coverage of Tourist Trap and other crags within the park. Some popular routes at Tourist Trap include:

Rat Race (5.7)
Thrill Hammer (5.8)
Nipple Jam (5.8)
Pickpocket (5.11a)

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Field Guide

Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(13 within a 30 mile radius)

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