Only 10 years old as of 2023, Pinnacles National Park has yet to be discovered by the masses. It’s an incredible hidden gem with its dormant volcanoes, which are today’s pinnacles, the critically endangered California condor, three fault lines and stunning caves. Turn to page TK to discover the best things to do in the park.
Just 30 miles from the town of Hollister lies the park’s East Entrance where you’ll find the visitor center, campground and a ton of trails. For a moderate, family-friendly hike that’s just 2.2 miles roundtrip, take the Moses Spring to Rim Trail Loop at the Bear Gulch Day Use Area.
Afterwards, explore the area’s rolling vineyard-covered hills along the Cienega Road Wine Trail near Hollister. Stop for tastings at Eden Rift, California’s oldest continuously producing vineyard, enjoy a glass of award-winning pinot noirs at Calera and see what was once the world’s largest wine cellar spanning 4 acres at DeRose.
Locals liken driving the road to driving through a Pinterest board—it’s just that gorgeous.
Nearby Hollister is the gateway to Pinnacles National Park and is definitely worth the visit. The city just celebrated its 150th anniversary so stop on by and check out all of the thriving establishments in downtown Hollister for an amazing assortment of breweries, restaurants, and retail shops. check out more than 120 places to eat, like local favorite Grillin’ & Chillin’ Alehouse, at SavorSanBenito.com.
The Calaveras Fault meets the San Andreas Fault near Hollister, and you can see how the seismic activity has shifted sidewalks and curbs. Pick up a map at the San Benito Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center to tour the fault’s slow work, including shifting a residential walkway two feet, so it no longer lines up with a house’s front door. When you reach Dunne Park, you’ll see the fault has created slight uplift in a north-south direction.
Don’t miss Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area, which offers four-wheel drive, ATV and motorcycle opportunities, along with hiking, biking and equestrian trails, picnic areas and camping. It straddles the San Andreas Fault in the Gabilan Mountains.
Another spot worth visiting is San Juan Bautista State Historic Park, which preserves a large number of Spanish-era buildings including the Mission San Juan Bautista.
When it’s time for bed, choose from options like the modern Holiday Inn Express, or the Mission Farm RV Park which is 101 years old and has historic buildings on-site.
For more information:
San Benito County Chamber
243 Sixth Street, Suite 100, Hollister, CA 95023-3988
Central Coast Tourism