Pinnacles National Monument
Pre-blog for this weekend's trip to Pinnacles National Monument.
I will give an in depth background to Pinnacles National Monument and some general information in the Blog following my upcoming trip there. Kirk and I reserved a campsite at Pinnacles Campground at the East Entrance of the park.
We have several general goals.
- Train for this year's Mt. Whitney climb.
- Get in some much needed camping time and backpack camping practice.
- Check out both of the park's caves (Balconies Caves and Bear Gulch Caves).
- Hike to North Chalone Peak (3304 ft., climb from 2300 ft. climb from Pinnacles Campground)
- Hike to the High Peaks including Hawkins Peak (2720 ft.)
Goals to attempt if time, weather etc. permit.
- Hike to the South Chalone Peak in addition to the North Chalone Peak (3.2 miles in addition to 10 miles+ hike to North Chalone)
- Hike the North Wilderness Trail
I did a bit of a reconnaissance hike at the park on February 6th. From about 8 AM until 5 PM I was able to hike to North Chalone Peak, High Peaks, the Bear Gulch Caves and Reservoir, a total of approximately 13 miles. Here is a really brief summary.
Bear Gulch Caves
|Start of Bear Gulch Trail|
Pinnacles is notorious for being a hard place to visit in the hot months and while I would agree with this for most of the park, it's not so bad on the Bear Gulch Trail. This is because the trail is mostly along the bottom of a canyon, and covered in Oaks.
|Stairs in the Bear Gulch Caves|
Bear Gulch Reservoir
The reservoir is a great place for a break. It begins just after the Bear Gulch Caves and feeds directly into them.
|Stairs out of the Bear Gulch Caves up to the reservoir|
|Bear Gulch Reservoir|
|Along the hike to North Chalone Peak|
|Most of Pinnacles National Monument from N Chalone|
|Firewatch tower on N. Chalone|
|Monterey Bay from N. Chalone|
|N. Chalone Peak from Bear Gulch Reservoir|