Pinnacles National Park
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- National Parks
- Pinnacles National Park
Located in central California, Pinnacles National Park is one of the state’s numerous gorgeous wildlife areas. Formed through volcanic eruptions millions of years ago, the park now boasts a large number of towering pinnacles, giving the area a very interesting landscape. From grasslands and woodlands to canyon bottoms and bat caves, there are several areas to explore throughout the park, and each one is home to a large number of native animals including falcons, eagles, and condors.
Wondering about the weather in Pinnacles? The summers in this park tend to be hot and dry and the winters, while mild during the day can become quite chilly at night. Additionally, the winters do see a moderate amount of precipitation. Because of this, the ideal times to visit are spring and fall when temperatures tend to be incredibly pleasant.
There are several towns surrounding Pinnacles National Park, meaning finding food, shopping, and entertainment shouldn’t be a problem. Soledad for instance, is the nearest town and offers most anything you might need. That said, those looking for a bigger city can easily head into San Jose which is about 70 miles north of the park.
As far as in-park activities go, there are plenty of amazing things to see and do. We highly recommend hiking through the bat caves, but be sure to bring a flashlight. Hiking in other areas, rock climbing, and bird watching are also popular activities.
Of course, the many scheduled ranger programs are also fantastic and should not be missed.
- Spring 65-70 F
- Summer 85-95 F
- Fall 70-80 F
- Winter 60 F
- Coming soon
- Pinnacles National Park Private Vehicle: $25
- Pinnacles National Park Motorcycle: $20
- Pinnacles National Park Per Person: $12
RV Rentals Near Pinnacles National Park
Nearby RV Rentals
Keystone RV Premier Ultra Lite 19FBPR
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KZ Escape E14 HATCH
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Pinnacles National Park Hiking Trails
Pinnacles is a super cool place to take a hike. Not only do hikers get to see a variety of terrains, they also get to experience some amazing views from up high, and some dark cave hiking below. On top of all that, the various wildlife found in the park often make an appearance. This makes each hike unique and interesting and helps visitors connect with nature and understand the importance of nature preservation.
Below are our favorite Pinnacles trails. Those looking for more options can find those listed on the Pinnacles website here.
Pinnacles National Park Easy Trails
Pinnacles National Park Moderate Trails
Pinnacles National Park Hard Trails
Things to do Outside Pinnacles National Park
Ready to seek out some air conditioning, delicious food, and other kinds of entertainment? Sounds like it’s time to head into one of the nearby towns or cities. Lucky for you, there are plenty of those, and each one offers something unique, meaning your explorations will continue even after you leave the park.
Feeling overwhelmed by it all? Not sure which things to see, do, and eat? No worries! We’ve narrowed the long list down to the best of the best, making your choices easy and rewarding.
Discover Nearby Towns and Cities
RV Resorts & Campsites in Pinnacles National Park
Enjoy camping? If so, you’re going to love camping in or near the breathtaking views at Pinnacles. When you visit, you’ll have the option of staying in the public park within the park boundaries, or in a private park just outside the gates. Either way, you’ll have quick and easy access to an amazing park that is filled to the brim with things to explore.
Just make sure to book ahead of time. As you can see, camping options are limited, so they do fill up!
Campgrounds Near Pinnacles National Park
Find the Best Dumpstations Near Pinnacles National Park
Dumpstations Near Pinnacles National Park
How to get to Pinnacles National Park
Visitors who wish to get to Pinnacles National Park by car will need to make their way to Highway 146. That said, there are numerous ways to get to this highway depending on where you are coming from and whether you wish to use the east entrance or the west entrance. We recommend checking out this page for specific information. Be sure write these directions down and take a road map along, as GPS is unreliable in the Pinnacle National Park area.
Of course, some people must fly into the area first. These individuals should plan to fly into Monterey Regional Airport if flying domestically, or Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport if flying internationally. That said, both are over an hour away from the park by car, so plan accordingly.
Wondering where to stay during your trip to Pinnacles? As mentioned before, camping is an excellent option, and for those who like to camp in style, an RV is ideal. Driving an RV into the park allows you to travel at your own pace, and staying in an RV means begin comfortable no matter where you end up parking. Those who don’t own an RV can always rent one, meaning anyone can enjoy the benefits of camping during a trip to Pinnacles.
Campers who plan to stay in the RV sites in the park should know that 30-amp electric hookups are provided. 50-amp hook ups are not available however, meaning appropriate adapters should be packed. Additionally, there are no water or sewer hookups at the RV sites. There are water fill-up stations, coin-operated showers, restrooms, and a dump station.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Pinnacles National Park is accessible for disabled visitors. The visitor centers are fully ADA accessible. Much of the park is rocky, steep terrain that is not suited for wheelchairs, however, Prewett Point Trail is a new, accessible trail that shows views of the High Peaks and Balconies Cliffs.
Yes, pets are allowed at Pinnacles National Park. Pets are allowed in picnic areas, at the campground, in parking lots, and on paved roads. Pets are not allowed on park trails, on the shuttle, or in any park buildings including the visitor centers.
Top things to do at Pinnacles National Park include exploring Bear Gulch and Balconies Caves, hiking to the Condor Gulch Overlook, or hiking to Bear Gulch Reservoir. The park is home to several other caves and plenty of scenic hikes as well.
Pinnacles National Park is 26,000 acres or 40 square miles large. It's the smallest of California's national parks, but has plenty to do in that smaller space.
Cooler months are the best time to visit Pinnacles National Park. In early spring, visitors can see wildflowers along the trails. Fall and winter both have cooler weather and are also popular times to visit the park. In fact, unlike many parks that peak in summer, Pinnacles National Park is actually more popular in winter.