Neighboring Parks

Pinnacles National Park Top 6

Here are some of our favorite things to do from gorgeous hikes to exploring a cave.

Explore a Cave and a Reservoir

Visitors explore Bear Gulch Cave in Pinnacles National Park
Visitors explore Bear Gulch CaveNPS/Kurt Moses
Bear Gulch Reservoir in Pinnacles National Park
Bear Gulch ReservoirNPS/Rebecca Ouvry

On the 2.2-mile Moses Spring to Rim Trail Loop at the Bear Gulch Day Use Area, you’ll pass rock formations, a reservoir and even Bear Gulch Cave that’s open seasonally. You’ll need a flashlight for the cave. 

Admire the High Peaks

High Peaks Trail in Pinnacles National Park
High Peaks TrailNPS/Beth Hudick

Head to the High Peaks to Bear Gulch Loop that’s a strenuous 6.7 miles round-trip with 1,425 in elevation gain. You’ll hike into the High Peaks and then descend the ridge, passing through meadows and stands of sycamore and oak trees. 

Attend a Ranger Program

A park volunteer hiking the High Peaks bridge, in the light of the sunrise
A park volunteer hiking the High Peaks bridge, in the light of the sunriseNPS

The park offers fun, educational programs done by rangers, so check in at the visitor center to see if a program will be happening while you are there. 

See Iconic Rock Formations

Rock formations in Pinnacles National Park
Rock formations in Pinnacles National ParkPhoto by Patrick Rodden courtesy of San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center

From the Pinnacles Visitor Center, hike to Balconies Cave, a 9.4-mile, round-trip moderate hike. You’ll see Balconies Cave (bring a flashlight) and the largest rock formations in the park along the way.  

Spot a Condor

A California condor takes off from a rock in Pinnacles National Park
A California condor takes off from a rockNPS/Kurt Moses

The park’s California condors live in rocky cliffs in the High Peaks area, and early mornings are the best time to see them roosting there. Otherwise, look up toward the sky. Condors have a 10-foot wingspan, the largest in North America. Elsewhere, try to spot any of the 181 bird species that live in the park. 

Camp in the Park

Spend the night at Pinnacles Campground that can only be reached from the East Entrance of the park since there are no connecting roads between the two park entrances. The campground offers tent and group camping, along with RV sites.

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For More Information:
Pinnacles National Park Service