Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Pinnacles National Park

Earlier this week, I finally visited Pinnacles National Park.  Located 2.5 hours south of San Francisco, Pinnacles is the nation's newest national park.  Founded in 1908 as a National Monument, Pinnacles gained national park status in 2013.

The two most popular activities in Pinnacles National Park are hiking and rock climbing.  The park is home to over 30 miles of hiking trails from short, easy walks to strenuous, day-long hikes.  Rock climbing in Pinnacles is not for novices.  The rock is relatively weak and unstable.  Climbers should consult the park's website for more information before arriving at the park.

Bear Gulch Reservoir

The Pinnacles

Pinnacles has two entrances.  The eastern entrance is off of CA 25 on CA 146, about 25 minutes south of Hollister.  The western entrance is about 20 minutes east of Soledad on CA 146.  Please note that there is no road through the park. 

Bring everything you'll need to the park as amenities are minimal.   A store is located adjacent to the Visitors Center at the east entrance but has limited hours.

The campground is located just inside the east entrance of the park.  The west side of the park is for day use only.  Lodging and restaurants can be found in Soledad and Hollister.  Inn at the Pinnacles, a nice bed and breakfast, is located a few miles from the west entrance to the park.

Pinnacles can be very hot in the summer.  The best time to visit is in the spring when the temperature is cooler and the wildflowers in bloom.  Unless you want to spend a lot of time climbing or hiking, one day is plenty of time to explore the park's main attractions - the rock spires and other formations.

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