Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
5.00 mi (8.05 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

This classic hike starts in the popular Bear Gulch Day Use Area accessed from the east entrance of Pinnacles National Park. Beginning with a gradual 2-mile ascent up Condor Gulch, the elevation, views and excitement all continue to build as hikers approach the High Peaks area, about 2,000 feet above the Bear Gulch parking lot. Distinctive volcanic rock formations and expansive vistas over the surrounding countryside abound. Around the 2.5-mile mark, hikers have the choice of staying in the heart of the High Peaks or skirting the edge on the Tunnel Trail, which passes through a short manmade tunnel in the rock. After the two forks converge again, a bathroom is available before starting the descent down the High Peaks trail back to Bear Gulch.

Pinnacles can be very hot in the summer, and the High Peaks can be surprisingly cold in the winter, so it is best to dress in layers and be prepared for a range of conditions.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Pros

Unique landscape. Possible condor sightings. Sweeping views.

Cons

Stifling summer heat.

Trailhead Elevation

1,300.00 ft (396.24 m)

Net Elevation Gain

2,000.00 ft (609.60 m)

Features

Rock climbing
Bird watching
Wildlife
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Cave
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Gabilan + Southern Diablo Mountains, California

Comments

04/01/2019
A uniquely gorgeous hike where Condors soar!
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