San Jose, California
Pinnacles National Park
February 26, 2005
Pinnacles National Park
|Special notice: There was an error on our printed meeting schedule. This Pinnacles hike is listed as being on February 21st. The hike is actually on Saturday, February 26th. Please inform anyone that might need to know. Thank you.|
Our host Kaisha will lead us through the magical peaks and valleys of this ancient volcanic eruption which rises out of the chaparral-covered Gabilan Mountains , east of central California 's Salinas Valley , are the spectacular remains of an ancient volcano. Massive monoliths, spires, sheer-walled canyons and talus passages define millions of years of erosion, faulting and tectonic plate movement. Within the monument's boundaries lie 24,000 acres of diverse wild lands. The monument is renowned for the beauty and variety of its spring wildflowers. A rich diversity of wildlife can be observed throughout the year.
The rock formations of Pinnacles National Monument divide the park into East and West Districts, which are connected by trails, but not by a vehicle road. More than 30 miles of trails access geological formations, spectacular vistas and wild land communities. The Pinnacles' rock formations are a popular destination to challenge technical climbers. Pinnacles is a day-use park, with occasional full moon hikes and dark sky astronomical observations led by ranger-interpreters
High Peaks -
Bear Gulch Loop
6.7 mile loop, 4 to 5 hours, Elevation gain: 1600 feet
Strenuous loop hike; excellent views; begins at the Visitor Center and passes through High Peaks . For a shorter loop, use the Condor Gulch Trail instead of following the entire High Peaks Trail (5.0 miles).
Condor Gulch Trail
1.7 miles one way, 1 to 1½ hours one way, Elevation gain: 1100 feet
Moderate to Overlook (1 mile), more strenuous beyond; good views of High Peaks on the way to the overlook where they tower overhead, even better from close to the junction with High Peaks Trail; geology trail guide available.
For a map of these directions and more please search the Web for the Pinnacles website.
Keep in mind that this place really fills up on the weekends and plan accordingly by carpooling. Travel time will run you at least 2 hours from San Jose . The Parking fee is $5 per vehicle
NO PETS: Dogs and other pets are not allowed on the trails