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Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park Camping & Hiking

Price: $85

OVERVIEW

Pinnacles National Park located east of the Salinas Valley in Central California. The park encompasses 26,000 acres of spectacular rock formation and remnants of an extinct 23-million-year old volcano. There are more than 30 miles of hiking trails that showcase the beauty of the park up close and personal. Hikes range from flat stretches of grasslands to uphill climbs through talus caves onward to the rocky spires that Pinnacles is famous for. Condors are often observed soaring on the morning thermals along the ridge and coming in to roost on their favorite trees in the evenings. Pinnacles National Park is a nesting place for the endangered soaring bird, the largest in North America.

Check out this video from Bartell’s Backroads:

CAMPING AT PINNACLES CAMPGROUND

Pinnacles Campground is located in the unique Pinnacles National Park, 32 miles south of Hollister, California. It is located on the eastern side of the park and is situated in a rolling landscape dotted with shady Valley Oak, Blue Oak, and Coast Live Oak trees. A gentle, seasonal creek runs through the grounds. Springtime finds Pinnacles bursting with a wide variety of vivid wildflowers that line every trail and fill entire meadows with color. Deer and wild turkeys roam the area, and condors can be viewed from within the campground. The park ranges in elevation from 824 ft along the South Chalone Creek to 3,304 feet atop North Chalone Peak.

ADVENTURE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Meet up with Adventure People you traveled with in the past or experience Adventure People for the very first time and forge new friendships!
  • Explore the unusual rock formations and remnants of an extinct 23 million-year old volcano.
  • Every evening, gather with Adventure People for a picnic-style community dinner.
  • Unwind each night around the campfire roasting marshmallows and sipping your favorite beverage.
Join the Facebook Event

RESERVE YOUR SPOT

ITINERARY

FRIDAY

We kick off the weekend by arriving at our campground anytime after 1 pm and checking in with your trip leader. Located in the unique Pinnacles National Park, located 32 miles south of Hollister, CA and 29 miles northeast of King City, CA on Hwy 25. You’ll be immersed in the outdoors while still having simple comforts like a hot shower and flushing toilets.

If you arrive early, Pinnacles National Park has more than 30 miles of trails, ranging from easy to strenuous. Many trails intersect, allowing for a short loop or a longer all-day hike.

This evening, we’ll get to know your fellow Adventure People as we sit around the campfire with your drink of choice.

SATURDAY

This morning, we’ll hit the trails for a full day of exploration! The Bench Trails provides direct access to the park from the campground. Hopefully, the Balconies Cave and Beach Gulch Cave, which houses a large colony of Townsend’s big-eared bats, will be open. The cave is usually open in March as long as the hibernating colony of bats shows no signs of disturbance. Townsend’s big-eared bats are listed as a “sensitive species” by the state of California, and they are protected. The colony in the Bear Gulch Cave is the largest maternity colony between San Francisco and Mexico.

After exploring the caves, we’ll walk through the heart of the Pinnacles rock formations, particularly along the steep and narrow section of the High Peaks trail. The Condor Gulch Trail to High Peaks Trail Loop is a 5.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail that features a lake and is rated as difficult. This is the #1 rated hike in central California, but there are less strenuous trails if you’d prefer to do something else.

High Peaks Trail at Pinnacles National Monument threads its way through the wreckage of a volcano destroyed by the San Andreas Fault millions of years ago. The Monument, about 100 miles south of San Jose, celebrates the assortment of rock formations created as the volcano gave way to greater forces of plate tectonics.

This from the easter entrance of the Pinnacles provides the most direct route to the High Peaks, where a series of ladders and multiple tight squeezes take hikers through a geological maze that has made the Pinnacles a favorite among hikers from throughout California.

While the rocks and expansive vistas are the main attractions, you might get lucky and spot some of the rare California condors that nest in the park and soar high above.

Trails on this hike:

Condor Gulch Trail; High Peaks Trail; Bear Gulch Trail.

Starting from the Bear Gulch parking area, you can go either way. Condor Gulch Trail is a bit steeper, so you may want to start out there to get your climbing done on fresh legs and spare your knees on the way down.

Springtime adds wildflowers to the awesome scenery, making it a near-perfect hike.

SUNDAY

Sunday is departure day and the end of our incredible weekend. After breakfast, we’ll pack up camp and say goodbye to our new friends until the next adventure.

Trip Leader
2-nights camping at Pinnacles Campground w/ hot showers and flush toilets
National Park Fees
New adventurous friends and unforgettable stories!

Transportation to the campground
Beverages and meals (you will need to bring your own food and beverages)
Travel Insurance
Personal Expenses

Our campground for the weekend is Pinnacles Campground, located located 32 miles south of Hollister, CA on Hwy 25 and 29 miles northeast of King City, CA on Hwy 25. Campground is located on the east side of Pinnacles National Park off Hwy 25.

Getting There
Latitude 36° 27′ 59.0000″ N
Longitude 121° 10′ 34.0000″ W

Check-in at 1 pm
Check-out at 11 am

Facilities: Pinnacles Campground is located on the eastern side of the park and is open year-round. It offers family and group tent sites, as well as RV sites with electric hookups. Roads and parking spurs are gravel. Flush toilets and drinking water are provided. Showers are available for a fee. A general store with basic foods and camping supplies is located on-site. A swimming pool is located within the campground, but it is only open from April through September.

Carpooling:

It is recommended that you join in the Facebook Event page. There you can meet other Adventure People and make carpool arrangements. Don’t be shy! Invite a traveler coming from your area to share gas, stories, and road trip music jams!

This trip is intended for those who feel comfortable being active approximately 4-6 hours a day. The majority of the group will be doing a hike on Saturday that is rated strenuous, but you will have the option of doing something easier if you choose. Just be aware that you may be doing it alone.

What do you bring on a camping and hiking weekend?

Camping Gear: For a complete list, please visit our Car Camping Checklist.

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad or Air Mattress
  • Pillow
  • Camp Chair
  • Cookware
  • Water
  • Food
  • Cooler
  • Remember to pack snacks for your adventures! Trail mix, energy bars, however you fuel, pack it so you don’t bonk mid-adventure.

For Hiking:

The American Hiking Society recommends everyone pack the “Ten Essentials” every time you head out for a hike.

  • Appropriate Footware
  • Map and Compass/GPS
  • Water (and a way to purify it)
  • Food
  • Rain Gear & Dry-Fast Layers
  • Safety Items (light, fire, and a whistle)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Kife of Multi-Tool
  • Sun Protection
  • Shelter

We will be following the CDC’s recommendations for visiting parks and recreational facilities. We will be limiting the number of people per site to 4 people (each site holds 6) and practicing social distancing as much as possible. If social distancing is not possible, we ask that you wear a mask. We will bring extra hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, but you should wash your hands often with soap and water and avoid touching your face as much as possible. Sharing equipment will not be possible for safety reasons, so you should plan to bring your own camp kitchen equipment and be prepared to cook your own meals.

World Nomads is our trusted travel insurance provider. Receive a no-hassle online quote in less than 2 minutes.

If getting off the grid to wander through changing landscapes, exploring local villages, or trekking a mountain pass sounds like your ideal adventure, then don’t forget to pack your travel insurance. Whether you’re heading up Kilimanjaro, to Base Camp, or out for a Sunday stroll, World Nomads travel insurance can help you and your family when an unexpected accident tries to derail your next hiking trip.

Make sure you’re covered in case of an accident!

FAQ

Unlike many national parksPinnacles is most popular in the cooler months. During the spring, when the grasses are green and a variety of wildflowers can be seen along any trail, hiking is at its best. Fall and winter are also excellent times to visit. Temperatures in March are in the 60’s in the daytime and in the 30’s at night.

First, know the road through the park, Highway 146, does not connect the east and west sides of Pinnacles. The East side of the park is located off Highway 25, about 30 miles from Hollister (to the north) and King City (to the south). Please make sure your car has enough gas to travel to and from the park. The Westside of Pinnacles is found 12 miles east of the town of Soledad, off of Highway 101. Soledad also provides services such as gas, restaurants, and groceries. Both entrances to the monument are located on Highway 146, which is obstructed within the park boundary by the Pinnacles rock formations.

Pets are allowed in paved areas of the park, including parking lots, picnic areas, and the campground, but are prohibited on all hiking trails. Pets must be on a 6-foot leash and be attended to at all times. Leaving your pet in the car while you hike is harmful to your pet’s well-being and may result in a citation. Because Pinnacles National Park is a protected habitat for many sensitive and even endangered plants and animals, pets are prohibited on all hiking trails.

The Pinnacles are rocky spires that remain from an ancient volcanic field. Millions of years worth of volcanic activity, tectonic plate movement and erosive forces have created the rugged landscape we see today.

The best months to see wildflowers are March, April, and May.

The green rock is pumice lapilli tuff. With a probable overall rhyolite composition, the lapilli was analyzed and found to contain glauconite, a green mineral that is known to occur in marine environments where sediment is deposited along a continental shelf.

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ITINERARY DISCLAIMER

Adventure People reserves the right to modify trip itineraries at the discretion of your tour director as necessary due to weather, conditions, illness, injury, group dynamics, safety, or other unforeseen incidents. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary.

PAYMENT POLICIES

Our camping trips require payment in full in order to reserve your spot. Should you need to cancel, all cancellations must be advised in writing. We calculate your refund on the day we received written notice of cancellation. The applicable cancellation fees shall be determined with reference to the date on which the request to cancel is received by Adventure People. All refunds will be processed within a few days of your cancellation. Cancellation of a tour Product or failure to join a tour Product will result in retention of funds by Adventure People, as follows:

30+ days prior to start date: 50% of the trip price shall be held by Adventure People
14 days prior to start date: 100% of the trip price shall be held by Adventure People

No exceptions will be granted to our Cancellation Policy.

We reserve the right to cancel trips with inadequate participant attendance, in which case all money paid to Adventure People will be fully refunded. Adventure People CANNOT be held responsible for any personal expenses, such as airline tickets due to changes in itineraries or tour cancellations.

The event is finished.

Date

Mar 12 - 14 2021
Expired!

Cost

$85.00

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