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Bear Gulch Caves

Pinnacles National Park

Gabilan + Southern Diablo Mountains, California

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Bear Gulch Caves

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  • The Bear Gulch Caves in Pinnacles National Park.- Bear Gulch Caves
  • The stairwell descending to the Bear Gulch Caves from the Bear Gulch Reservoir dam.- Bear Gulch Caves
  • The entrance to the Bear Gulch Caves from the reservoir side.- Bear Gulch Caves
  • The stairwell descending to the Bear Gulch Caves from the Bear Gulch Reservoir dam.- Bear Gulch Caves
  • The Bear Gulch Caves in Pinnacles National Park.- Bear Gulch Caves
  • The Bear Gulch Caves in Pinnacles National Park.- Bear Gulch Caves
  • The Bear Gulch Caves in Pinnacles National Park.- Bear Gulch Caves
  • The Bear Gulch Caves in Pinnacles National Park.- Bear Gulch Caves
  • A family exploring the Bear Gulch Caves.- Bear Gulch Caves
  • - Bear Gulch Caves
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Fun, easy to reach.
Cons: 
Seasonal closures, short.
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Region:
Gabilan + Southern Diablo Mountains, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
300.00 ft (91.44 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.00 mi (1.61 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,300.00 ft (396.24 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

The Bear Gulch Caves are a fun side jaunt on a day exploring the popular Bear Gulch area of Pinnacles National Park, which is also home to popular climbing areas such as Tourist TrapDiscovery WallThe Monolith, as well as the scenic Bear Gulch Reservoir. The caves are most directly accessed via the Moses Spring Trail, a beautiful walk through the heart of Bear Gulch. Exploring the caves does not require any special equipment other than a headlamp or flashlight.

The Bear Gulch Caves are home to the largest colony of Townsend's big-eared bats between San Francisco and Mexico. The bats, which feed heavily on moths but may also pursue other small insects, are listed as a "sensitive species" by the state of California. Their mating season occurs in the fall, followed by rest in the winter and the rearing of young in the spring and early summer. A gate has been installed in the caves by the National Park Service to close off certain portions of this critical habitat at certain times of the year. Closures may be looked up before traveling to Pinnacles by checking the park's website. Be sure to follow proper cave visitation etiquette to prevent the spread of white nose syndrome into Pinnacles National Park. 

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

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)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
10 Members
Who's Done It
4 Members
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96 Adventures Explored
48 Adventures Published

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